Guiding Self-directed, Independent Learners

Second Grade

Although every child is unique and has his or her own developmental timetable, second graders share many characteristics. Making friends begins to be very important for this age group, even though they may change “best” friends often. Their sense of humor develops and they like to hear and tell jokes. Second graders’ vocabularies are growing and they love to talk!

By second grade, most students have settled in and have begun to use the skills they learned in kindergarten and in first grade. They become more analytical in their thinking as they take on more complicated assignments. Second grade marks a year of transition as children learn to become self-directed, independent learners.

Teacher hugging a student in a pose.


Students will be immersed in fiction and nonfiction texts which relate to all content areas and different personal interests. Teachers continue to develop phonological and phonemic awareness as well as phonics and vocabulary skills foundational to effective comprehension and critical thinking. Students expand vocabulary, use a combination of strategies when reading and read familiar selections with fluency, accuracy and expression.


Students have daily opportunities to write and will be expected to revise selected pieces and share them with others. Students will understand writing as a process and will write in a variety of forms applying written communication skills across all content areas. Teachers encourage the development of writing skills foundational to effective written communication and critical thinking.


The study of number and spatial sense is extended to include three-digit whole numbers and solid geometric figures. Students will continue to learn, use and gain proficiency in addition and subtraction within 20. Students will begin to use U.S. customary units to measure length and weight; predict and use simple probability; create and interpret pictographs and bar graphs; and work with a variety of patterns.


The curriculum focuses on scientific process skills and the engineering design process. Living systems are introduced through habitats and the interdependence of living and nonliving things. Concept of change is explored in phases of matter, life cycles, weather patterns and seasonal effects on plants and animals.

Social Studies 

Students focus on the United States, including an introduction to the lives of Americans and their contributions to the United States, as well as the heritage of the American Indians, past and present. Students should continue developing the use of artifacts and primary and secondary sources, map skills and demonstrate an understanding of basic economic concepts. Students will identify selected Americans who worked to improve the lives of American citizens. Students will recognize the United States is a land of people with diverse ethnic origins, customs and traditions who make contributions to their communities and are united as Americans by common principles.


Visual Arts enable students to use their knowledge and skills to synthesize information, thus allowing them to produce and respond to works of art. Emphasis is on communication of personal values and beliefs in art appreciation and production. Students gain fluency in using and understanding the elements of art (color, form, line, shape, space, texture, value) and the principles of design (balance, contrast, emphasis, movement, pattern, proportion, rhythm, unity, variety) as they relate to artistic expression and communication.

Health & Physical Education 

Students develop proficiency in games, dances and educational gymnastics while demonstrating specialized skills alone, with a partner or in a small group. They access and use resources to improve personal fitness and continue to develop responsible personal and social behaviors as they work with others in safe and respectful ways.


During weekly library visits, students will experience lessons that focus on multiple literacies integrated into grade-level core content. Literacies such as reading, digital, information and multimodal are immersed with the National School Library Standards defined by the American Association of School Librarians. Students have the opportunity to check out books from the school library each week.


General music standards enable students to use music knowledge and skills to synthesize information and create music. Students continue to read, write and compose music, using increasingly complex rhythms and meters. They begin to develop choral skills, including singing in two-and three-part harmony. Students explore and perform a variety of music styles and develop personal criteria to describe and analyze musical performances.


Students master the integration of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) content, practices and processes to investigate and solve real world problems while engaging in meaningful, purposeful and relevant hands-on inquiry-based, problem-based learning experiences.

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