Units for supporting background knowledge and vocabulary

The Core Knowledge Foundation provides open (FREE) access to content-rich curriculum materials for preschool through grade 8 – Grade K- 8 (NZ 1-9Years) 

The lower grade language arts units kindergarten to Grade 2, which is New Zealand Year 1- 3, include two teacher guides, Anthology and the Supplemental guide. You can choose to use either or combine as the some of the objectives and activities have been adjusted for children with comprehension delays, language delays, ESL learners or kids who need extra support building vocabulary and background knowledge. Both include the read alouds but again the supplementary guides story has been adjusted to make it accessible to all learners making it more inclusive for every student.

This information has been taken directly from Core Knowledge Foundation website – The materials made available for download are freely available for anyone to use, adapt, and share (with attribution), but no one is permitted to sell either the original programme, an adaptation of it, or lesson plans that reproduce any part of it.

Here is an example of a Grade 1 (New Zealand Year 2) Language Arts Unit for Fables and Stories.

Fables and Stories 

Focus: Students are introduced to fables and stories that have delighted people for generations, including Aesop’s fables, a folktale of Anansi the Spider, and Beatrix Potter’s “The Tale of Peter Rabbit.” Students increase their vocabulary and reading comprehension skills, learn valuable lessons about virtues and behavior, and become familiar with the key elements of a story.

Here is a sample of a History and Geography Unit for Grade 2 (New Zealand Year 3 ). The History and Geography units come with one teacher guide only.

Ancient Greece 

Focus: No ancient civilisation has had more influence on the Western world than that of Ancient Greece. In the Grade 2 Core Knowledge History and Geography unit Ancient Greecestudents explore the ideas, patterns of government, and art forms that have formed the basis of much of our own culture.

Here is a sample of a Science Unit for Grade 2 (New Zealand Year 3 ). The Science Units come with teachers guide.

The Properties of Matter

Focus: In this unit, students learn that matter, the “stuff” of which everything is made, exists in many forms. Students will practice sorting and grouping materials by characteristics, called properties, and investigate how the properties of different types of matter make them useful for different tasks. Students take measurements, which permit simple comparisons of different objects. Students explore concepts that include the following:

This is an American Curriculum and some of the history topics reflect this but as you will see there are many topics to choose from to support your child or students in class.

To view all units click here 

The deb would like to clarify at this stage we are only recommending Units to build knowledge and vocabulary not the phonics component as this has not been reviewed.