Core Knowledge Listening & Learning
Domain 1: Fables and Stories
This domain will introduce students to fables and stories that have delighted generations of people. By listening to these classics, students will increase their vocabulary and reading comprehension skills, learn valuable lessons about ethics and behavior, become familiar with the key elements and parts of a story, and acquire cultural literacy.
Domain 2: The Human Body
This domain provides students with a basic introduction to the human body. Students will be introduced to a network of body systems, comprised of organs that work together to perform a variety of vitally important jobs. Students will learn about the fundamental parts and functions of five body systems: skeletal, muscular, digestive, circulatory, and nervous. This domain also focuses on care and maintenance of the human body. Students will learn how germs can cause disease, as well as how to help stop the spread of germs.
Domain 3: Different Lands, Similar Stories
This domain will introduce students to three themes in folktales that have been told to children for generations, using variations from different lands or countries. By listening to these stories, students will increase their vocabulary and reading comprehension skills, be exposed to different places and cultures from around the world, and learn valuable universal lessons.
Domain 4: Early World Civilizations
This domain will introduce students to the development of early civilizations by examining the fundamental features of civilizations, including the advent of farming, establishment of cities and government, and creation of other practices, such as writing and religion. It should be noted that the word civilization, as used in this domain, is not meant to convey a value judgment but to indicate that a group of people collectively established and shared these practices. Starting in the ancient Middle East, students will study Mesopotamia. They will learn about the importance of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, the development of cuneiform as the earliest-known form of writing, the first codification of laws known as the Code of Hammurabi, and the significance of gods and goddesses in the “cradle of civilization.” Students will then explore ancient Egypt and be able to compare and contrast Mesopotamia and Egypt. They will learn about the importance of the Nile River; the use of hieroglyphs; the rise of pharaohs, including Tutankhamun and Hatshepsut; the building of the Sphinx and pyramids; and the significance of mummification and the afterlife for ancient Egyptians.
Domain 5: Early American Civilizations
The domain includes a study of the Maya, Aztec, and Inca civilizations, exposing students to the gradual development of cities. Students will examine the fundamental features of the Maya, Aztec, and Inca, including farming, the establishment of cities and government, as well as religion. Students will be encouraged to compare and contrast each of these societies and their elements.
Domain 6: Astronomy
In this domain, students will be introduced to the solar system—our home in space. They will learn that Earth, the planet on which we live, is just one of many different celestial bodies within the solar system. They will learn how the sun, the stars, the moon, and the other planets relate to the earth (given its position in space). In the early read-alouds, students will learn that the sun is a giant star as well as a source of light, heat, and energy for the earth. They will also learn about the earth’s orbit around the sun, and how the earth’s own rotation on its axis leads to the phenomenon of day and night. Part of this domain is focused on the history of space exploration and the missions to the moon. Students will learn about NASA, the Space Race, the Apollo missions, and what it takes to be an astronaut.
Domain 7: The History of the Earth
In this domain, students will learn about the geographical features of the earth’s surface. They will also learn about the inside of the earth and characteristics of its various layers. Students will learn about the shape of the earth, the North and South Poles, and the equator. Students will also learn the names of the layers of the earth—the crust, the mantle, and the core—and characteristics of each layer. Students will learn how occurrences such as volcanoes and geysers give information about the layers of the earth.
Domain 8: Animals and Habitats
This domain will introduce students to the wonder of the natural world, focusing on the interconnectedness of all living things with their physical environment and with one another. Students will learn what a habitat is and will also learn to identify specific types of habitats and their related characteristics. They will learn to recognize different plants and animals as being indigenous to specific habitats and will begin to develop an understanding of several fundamental principles of nature. They will learn, for example, that animals and plants typically live in those habitats to which they are best suited, often developing unique characteristics or features that enable them to specifically adapt to the climate and conditions of a given environment. They will also be introduced to simple classifications of animals according to the types of food they eat and will begin to understand the notion of a food chain.
Domain 9: Fairy Tales
This domain will introduce students to fairy tales that have been favorites with children for generations. Students will learn about the elements of fairy tales that distinguish them from other types of fiction. They will also learn that fairy tales have the elements of character, plot, and setting that are found in other types of fiction. By becoming familiar with particular fairy tales, students will be
able to add these tales to their repertoire of stories that they are able to retell orally. Reading these fairy tales will help first-grade students develop a strong foundation for the understanding of other fictional stories in later grades.
Domain 10: A New Nation: American Independence
In this domain, students will hear about the birth of our country, the United States of America. They will be introduced to many important historical figures and events as the story unfolds to describe how the thirteen colonies evolved slowly over time from their initial dependence on England to the status of an independent nation. The overriding focus of this domain is from the perspective of a rather wide lens, i.e., to emphasize the story of how the colonies became an independent nation.
Domain 11: Frontier Explorers
In this domain, students will learn about the American frontier and the explorers that played an important role in the westward expansion of the United States. Students will be introduced to key people and events that played a role in the early westward expansion of the United States.