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Curriculum and Course Sequence

At Christian Academy of Knoxville, curriculum is more than a textbook. To teach necessary skills and concepts at each grade level, master teachers utilize a variety of resources in addition to the textbook. Students in each grade level receive instruction in Bible, Reading, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. Elementary Students (Preschool – 5) also attend Art, Library, Music, Physical Education, and Spanish weekly. Students in grades 3-5 have direct instruction in Health. Students in grade 3-5 also have instruction in Digital Literacy. STEM projects are weaved throughout the elementary and students have access to technology beginning in Preschool. Fourth and fifth grade students are in a 1:1 iPad learning environment.

Our Christian educators integrate a Biblical worldview throughout all subject areas.

Bible Instruction at the Elementary School level helps students acquire knowledge and encourages children to grow in faith and demonstrate that faith by their behaviors. As faith and application is personal, students will come to apply Scripture over the course of time as they grow in their relationship with God. Overarching themes in our Bible program, Purposeful Design by ACSI, are key to the development of a Christian worldview. Per the scope and sequence of the Purposeful Design program, elementary children learn how to access scripture and recall Bible verses related to the following overarching themes:
  • God tells us His story through the Bible.
  • God’s word is truth.
  • God loves everyone.
  • Everyone needs to come to a saving faith in Jesus.
  • Christ-like behavior, evangelism, ministry and stewardship are all applications of spiritual growth in Christ.
  • Bible study, prayer, and worship are disciplines for spiritual growth.
  • Students need to know and understand spiritual concepts.
Preschool – In Preschool, we focus on familiar Bible truths that emphasize God’s love. Beginning with creation, children learn about relationships, kindness, compassion through Bible stories where God’s love toward individuals or groups of people is evident.
Kindergarten – In Kindergarten, the focus shifts slightly to God’s loving care. Using familiar Bible stories, children grow in knowledge and understanding of relationships, faith, courage, prayer and listening to God.
First Grade – A more in-depth understanding of God’s relationships with people is gained by exploring God’s unconditional love, forgiveness, salvation, trust and obedience through familiar Bible stories.   
Second Grade – Students study character traits of various people in the Bible and apply those truths to their personal lives.  The importance of listening to God, obedience, loyalty, and selflessness key concepts.
Third Grade – Students study and learn about the life of Christ, the early church, and missions. Learning about Jesus from the cradle to the cross, children focus on God’s lesson for us through the life of Jesus, especially through His messages to believers and non-believers, miracles, and actions.
Fourth Grade – Students learn about basic doctrines, including:
  • The Bible is truth.
  • The Bible is inspired.
  • The Bible endures.
  • God is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent.
  • We are created in God’s Image.
  • We are sinners and there are consequences for sin.
  • God extends salvation to us by grace and through faith.
  • Salvation is in Christ alone.
Fifth Grade – Studies in the Old Testament emphasize choices and consequences as well as personal application in life is the focus of Bible instruction. Students learn more about how the consequences of the choices made by Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Saul, David and others in the Old Testament are applicable to us today.
Reading instruction focuses on building a firm foundation in phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. In a literature-rich environment designed to instill a lifelong love of reading, students are exposed to an array of genres including various styles of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. The goal of reading instruction is for students to read, comprehend, and enjoy complex literature and informational texts.  
Whole group and small group instruction allows for a more personalized approach based on the individual. Students progress in comprehension skills from literal/factual to the higher-level skills of understanding, applying, analyzing, and evaluating. There is added emphasis on speaking and listening.
Textbooks, leveled readers and novels are used to support reading instruction. These resources provide an integrated approach to instruction that often spans across disciplines.
Writing skills are developed using the six traits model of writing instruction. Instruction in these areas are progressively more complex as students progress from grade to grade. The six traits are:
Ideas (clarity, focus, quality details, strong support, documentation)
Organization (leads, sequencing, transitions, pacing, conclusion)
Voice (passion, enthusiasm that comes from knowledge, engagement of the reader, individuality)
Word Choice (precise language, strong verbs, sparing use of modifiers, words that paint pictures)
Sentence Fluency (crafting of sentences, rhythm of language, varied sentence beginnings and lengths)
Conventions (grammar, punctuation, usage, layout and presentation of text on the page).
Students learn to write for a variety of purposes and audiences, including instruction in narrative, descriptive, expository and persuasive writing. Writing often includes the use of research and media tools. In addition, in-class technology allows students to share and publish their work.
In mathematics, it is important that students not only memorize basic facts and master fundamental computational skills, but apply learning and knowledge to solve new problems. An increased focus on problem-solving develops students who are thinkers and problem-solvers.
Instruction progresses from the most concrete (using manipulatives) to symbolic, more abstract and complex skills and concepts. There is an emphasis on appropriate and consistent vocabulary from grade to grade.
Christian Academy of Knoxville utilizes the Singapore approach to math instruction. The Framework of Singapore Math states, "Mathematical problem solving is central to mathematics learning. It involves the acquisition and application of mathematics concepts and skills in a wide range of situations, including non-routine, open-ended and real-world problems. The development of mathematical problem solving ability is dependent on five interrelated components: Concepts, Skills, Processes, Attitudes and Metacognition." Modeling is a core component of the Singapore approach. Students are encouraged to attend to precision and make use of structure to reason critically.
The goal of our science program is built upon the natural curiosity of children through relevant scientific content. Our approach is designed to engage elementary students using hands-on investigations when possible as well as interaction with content in all disciplines of science.  As students progress through the elementary school, instruction becomes more formal in nature, progressively building on more complex science concepts. Elementary school students are given a firm foundation in science which serves as a base from which to develop a deeper understanding of science in grades 6-12.
Concepts in Physical Science, Life Science, and Earth and Space Science are introduced and studied. STEM projects integrating science, technology, engineering and mathematics are weaved throughout the elementary years.
Our elementary program focuses on concepts from the four core social studies disciplines: civics, economics, geography and history. Students are introduced to the knowledge and skills necessary to become contributing participants and leaders in our democratic society. Our goal is to equip our students with the skills necessary to understand, participate in, and make informed decisions about the complex world in which we live, all through the lens of what the Bible teaches us. As students are introduced to social studies content, we focus on relationships between various groups of people and developing knowledge and understanding of the past at an age-appropriate level. The nature of elementary social studies lays the framework for more in-depth learning and application in grade 6-12.
Students in elementary school art learn and review the elements of design, including color, line, shape, texture, space, form and value. They learn about the color wheel and various color schemes. Art history is incorporated as students learn about the lives and artistic style of artists such as Georgia O’Keefe, Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and Andy Warhol. Various medias, including watercolor, tempera, oil pastels, chalk, markers, crayons, and colored pencils are used throughout the year.
Students in upper elementary grades attend regular health classes where they learn about nutrition, healthy eating, dental and personal hygiene, body systems and basic anatomy. The goal of our heath program is to teach boys and girls to appreciate, understand and care for their bodies.
The Elementary Library is a warm and welcoming place for our students. Elementary students have a scheduled library time each week. With collaborative planning, the library serves to support classroom instruction. Library activities include story times for younger students to beginning research projects for older elementary students. Students are encouraged to become effective and creative users of information in all formats. Digital literacy and technology skills are shared along with quality literature and positive reading experiences, thus promoting life-long learners and responsible citizenship. Reading incentive programs, author visits, book fairs and other reading activities support the development of student literacy.   
In addition to singing traditional hymns, Christian praise songs, and other musical pieces, elementary music students participate annually in a musical performed for other students and the CAK community. Students also receive instruction in reading, writing, and playing music using various instruments, learning music terminology, and traditional folk dancing.
Physical Education:
Elementary physical education classes focus on moving and exercise. In addition to learning proper form for sports-related movement, students play various games to learn games and practice good sportsmanship. Students also learn basic skills for several team and individual sports.
As foreign language skills are more easily acquired at a younger age, the goal of Spanish instruction at the elementary level is to learn basic language skills and gain knowledge and understanding of Spanish-speaking cultures. Emphasis is on the acquisition of basic vocabulary and simple conversational skills. In lower elementary grades, understanding and speaking the language is the primary focus, while students at the upper elementary grades also learn to read and write in the language. Various instructional strategies, including Total Physical Response, partial immersion, songs and skits are used in the elementary school. As elementary Spanish is introductory in nature, students are not expected to become proficient or fluent. We hope that early exposure leads our students to pursue additional language instruction in later years.