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About Core Knowledge PDF Print E-mail

The teachers at Peace Lutheran Preschool use the highly regarded, research-based Core Knowledge Preschool Curriculum. Core Knowledge Philosophy

The Core Knowledge Preschool Sequence is distinguished by its specificity. It identifies those experiences, skills and knowledge that should be offered to all young children. Specificity is necessary as there is no evidence or guarantee that, in the course of early development, all children naturally and automatically acquire the specific knowledge and skills that provide the necessary foundation for future learning.

True, given certain minimal experiences, children naturally acquire certain rudimentary skills and knowledge. For example, barring exceptional physiological or environmental conditions, all children learn to talk. However, this initial capacity for language does not automatically, in and of itself, evolve into more sophisticated language. Acquisition of a diverse vocabulary, competence in understanding and using complex grammatical structures, as well as the ability to use language symbolically,depend heavily upon the opportunity to engage in particular language experiences.

Likewise, very young children naturally acquire certain basic math concepts, recognizing, for example, quantitative differences between groups of up to four objects. However, once again, this initial natural learning does not, on its own, evolve into more advanced competencies—for example, distinguishing and counting quantities greater than four, representing the quantities with specific number words (“four”) and symbols (“4”), and so on.

Readiness is not a general, all encompassing condition that simply happens naturally in the course of a child’s development. Rather, children develop and achieve different levels of readiness in different content areas, based on particular experiences. A child is ready to learn new language skills on the basis of the language experiences already encountered and the skills he or she has already mastered; he or she is ready to learn certain knowledge and skills in math on the basis of the specific mathematical knowledge and skills already possessed.

Said another way, children build new learning on what they have already learned. An important component of these learning experiences is regular interaction with competent individuals who can bridge the gap between the child’s existing knowledge and skills and those toward which he or she is striving.

From, here is a description of the Core Knowledge Sequence at a glance:

A specific, explicit sequence of skills and knowledge, like the Core Knowledge Preschool Sequence, allows teachers, parents or other caregivers to guide a young child’s development in an apprenticelike fashion, taking into account a child’s particular competencies so as to offer those experiences that most closely match his or her present level, while providing the stepping stones to higher levels of competence and understanding. The child’s current skills and knowledge become the starting place for new experiences and instruction, rather than a limitation or restriction.

The Core Knowledge Preschool Sequence includes each of the established critical areas in the development of young children. Within these advancement areas, the Preschool Sequence focuses on nine domains or content areas; each domain covers developmentally-appropriate goals for three-, four-, and five-year-olds. These goals are broken down into specific, measurable, and sequential skills, upon which teachers plan and implement the Core Knowledge curriculum.

Physical Well-being and Motor Development

Movement and Coordination:

1. Physical Attention and Relaxation

2. Gross Motor Skills

3. Eye-Hand and Eye-Foot Coordination

4. Group Games

5. Creative Movement and Expression

Social and Emotional Development Autonomy and Social Skills:

1. Sense of Self and Personal Responsibility

2. Working in a Group Setting

Approaches to Learning Work Habits:

1. Memory Skills

2. Following Directions

3. Task Persistence and Completion

Language and Literacy Development

Oral Language:

1. Functions of Language (Uses of Communication)

2. Forms of Language (Vocabulary and Syntax)

Nursery Rhymes, Poems, Fingerplays, and Songs:

1. Memorization Skills

2. Listening Skills

3. A Sense of Rhyme

Storybook Reading and Storytelling:

1. Listening to Stories Read Aloud

2. Participating in Stories Read Aloud

3. Developing a Notion of Story Schema

4. Awareness of Book and Print Organization

Emerging Literacy Skills:

1. Awareness of Written Print and its Uses

2. Awareness of the Structure of Print

3. Phonemic Awareness

4. Fine Motor Skills and Writing Strokes

Knowledge Acquisition and Cognitive Development


1. Patterns and Classification

2. Geometry

3. Measurement

4. Numbers and Number Sense

5. Addition & Subtraction

6. Money

Orientation in Time:

1. Vocabulary

2. Measures of Time

3. Passage of Time (Past, Present, and Future)

Orientation in Space:

1. Vocabulary

2. Actual and Represented Space

3. Simple Maps

4. Basic Geographical Concepts


1. Investigation and Observation

2. The Living World

3. The Physical World


1. Attention to Differences in Sound

2. Imitation and Production of Sounds

3. Listening and Singing Songs

4. Listening and Moving to Music

Visual Arts:

1. Attention to Visual Detail

2. Creating Art

3. Looking at & Talking about Art


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