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Curriculum Overview

Second Grade

English Language Arts (ELA)

Second grade students are becoming more and more proficient with the reading and writing skills learned in kindergarten and first grade.  Students use their knowledge to participate in reader’s and writer’s workshop inquiry activities and projects throughout the year.  Learners study techniques used by real authors to become more skilful writers. 

Literacy skills taught in second grade include:

  • Learning irregularly spelled words
  • Learning common suffixes and prefixes
  • Identifying the central message and key details in a text
  • Analyzing story elements and non-fiction texts to determine author’s purpose
  • Describing connections between events and ideas in texts
  • Using adjectives and adverbs in their writing to describe characters and events
  • Analyzing story elements and the features of non-fiction texts

Students in all grades K-8 learn reading and writing strategies and skills through teacher modeling, guided practice and independent reading and writing time.  Through daily reader’s and writer’s workshop time, students learn to live as a reader and writer, thinking critically about texts and generating numerous narrative, informational and opinion writing pieces over the course of a year.


In Grade 2, students will extend their understanding of place value to the hundreds place. They will use this place value understanding to solve word problems, including those involving length and other units of measure. Students will continue to work on their addition and subtraction skills, quickly and accurately adding and subtracting numbers up through 20 and also working with numbers up through 100. They will also build a foundation for understanding fractions by working with shapes and geometry. Activities in these areas will include:

  • Quickly and accurately adding numbers together that total up to 20 or less or subtracting from numbers up through 20
  • Solving one- or two-step word problems by adding or subtracting numbers up through 100
  • Understanding what the different digits mean in a three-digit number
  • Adding and subtracting three digit numbers
  • Measuring lengths of objects in standard units such as inches and centimeters
  • Solving addition and subtraction word problems involving length
  • Solving problems involving money
  • Breaking up a rectangle into same-size squares
  • Dividing circles and rectangles into halves, thirds, or fourths
  • Solving addition, subtraction, and comparison word problems using information presented in a bar graph
  • Writing equations to represent addition of equal numbers


Students in 2nd grade science will gain understanding of scientific investigation, interpretation of data, and evaluation of models, inferences, and experimental results through exploring a variety of scientific concepts:

  • The Structure and Properties of Matter
  • Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
  • Earth’s Systems and the Processes that Shape the Earth
  • Engineering and Design Challenges

Social Studies

Second grade social studies topics include the following:

  • Native American history and westward expansion of the United States
  • Holiday traditions around the world
  • Famous people and events throughout United States history
  • Skills taught include reading for information as well as map and globe reading.