2nd Grade

The Second Grade curriculum provides a clear outline of content to be learned grade by grade so that knowledge and skills build cumulatively from year to year. The Core Knowledge Sequence is distinguished by its specificity. By clearly specifying important knowledge in language arts, history, geography, math, science, and the fine arts, the Sequence presents a practical answer to the question, “What do our children need to know?” Learning opportunities are grounded in the application of Multiple Intelligences and the Interdisciplinary approach to instruction, utilizing the Elements of Depth and Complexity in providing a challenging academic program.

Grade Level Theme

Second Grade scholars are taught to look at the world through the Global Theme lens of Change, identifying the following essential, conceptual truths (generalizations):

  • Change has a ripple effect.
  • Change occurs over time.
  • Change has positive and negative effects.
  • Change occurs in patterns.
  • Change is constant.
  • Change brings about change.


The Language Arts program builds on a solid foundation of phonics and phonemic awareness using the Spalding Method. Scholars are then exposed to literature from a variety of genres and authors using the Core Knowledge program, Houghton-Mifflin Journeys and children’s fine literature.

Listening and Speaking

Classroom discussion

  • Participate in discussions on a variety of topics using agreed upon rules.
  • Ask clarifying questions.
  • Express physical sensations, emotions of others, and spatial and temporal relationships.
  • Use narrative language and common sayings and phrases.

Presentation of ideas and information

  • Follow and give simple directions and explanations.
  • Recite nursery rhymes, poems, songs, and give oral presentations using eye contact, volume and clear enunciation.

Comprehension and discussion of read-alouds

  • Understand a variety of texts read aloud.
  • Distinguish reading genres.
  • Describe illustrations and use them to support understanding of read-alouds.
  • Answer questions requiring literal recall and retell key details.
  • Describe, compare, and contrast characters in fiction, drama, and poetry.
  • Change story events and provide an alternative ending.
  • Create and tell an original story.
  • Identify morals or lessons in fables, folktales, and myths.
  • Distinguish fantasy and reality in a text.
  • Demonstrate understanding of literary and sensory language.
  • Use rhyme and rhythm in poetry.



  • Decode and encode using the Spalding method.
  • Demonstrate understanding of relationship between written symbols and sounds.
  • Blend phonemes to pronounce words.
  • Read and understand contractions.
  • Read at least 100 high-frequency words.

Oral reading and fluency

  • Read decodable stories.
  • Demonstrate increasing accuracy and fluency.
  • Use commas and end punctuation in reading.

Reading comprehension – All texts (fiction, nonfiction, informational text, drama, and poetry)

  • Sequence four to six pictures illustrating events from text.
  • Summarize selected parts of a text.
  • Identify basic features of a book.
  • Compare and contrast similarities and differences among texts.
  • Make corrections to events or experiences in a text.
  • Make predictions.
  • Identify temporal words and words that link ideas in a story.
  • Generate questions and seek information from multiple sources.
  • Interpret information in diagrams, charts, and graphs.
  • Categorize and organize information on a topic.
  • Create and interpret timelines and lifelines.


Narrative writing

  • Use setting, character, plot, and dialogue in story writing.
  • Write a personal narrative.
  • Create a title and ending appropriate to the story.

Informative/explanatory writing

  • Use facts, examples, and specific steps in writing explanatory text.
  • Use linking words to connect ideas.
  • Group similar information into paragraphs.
  • Use tools including technology to plan, draft, and edit.
  • Gather information from text sources.

Persuasive writing (opinion)

  • Express an opinion or point of view providing reasons and supporting details.
  • Refer to content of text when appropriate.

Language Conventions


  • Write words, phrases, and details from dictation applying phonics knowledge.
  • Alphabetize words to the second letter.
  • Use a children’s dictionary.
  • Identify and use antonyms, synonyms, homophones, and compound words.
  • Parts of speech and sentence structure
  • Use subject, object, and possessive pronouns.
  • Identify and use correct noun-pronoun agreement.
  • Identify and use regular and irregular plural nouns.
  • Identify and use articles, adjectives, and adverbs.
  • Identify and use subjects and predicates.
  • Identify and use statements, questions, and exclamations.
  • Identify and use complete and compound sentences.

Capitalization and punctuation

  • Capitalize the first word in a sentence, the word I, and proper nouns.
  • Use abbreviations and punctuation for the months, days of the week, titles, and addresses.
  • Use end punctuation, commas, and apostrophes appropriately.
  • Write a simple friendly letter.


  • Scholars are exposed to old and new poetry appropriate to the grade level.
  • Write original poems.


  • Read a grade-level core of stories to include mythology, folk tales and tall tales.
  • Identify literary terms to include myth, tall tale, and limerick

Sayings and Phrases

  • Scholars become familiar with a grade-level and culturally specific core of sayings, phrases, and idioms.


Second Grade scholars continue to explore the globe by identifying and locating specific geographical features. Scholars learn history through the study of other civilizations (both ancient and modern).  Major events of American history are studied beginning with the Constitution and ending with the Civil Rights era.


World Geography

Spatial Sense

  • Identify continents, major oceans, four directions, Canada, United States, Mexico, the equator, the four hemispheres, and the poles.
  • Understand keys, symbols, and legends.

Geographical Terms and Features

  • Review terms from previous grade levels and add coast, valley, prairie, desert, and oasis.

Early Asian Civilizations

Geography of Asia

  • Identify Asia as the largest and most populous continent.
  • Locate China, India, and Japan.


  • Locate the Indus and Ganges Rivers.
  • Discuss Hinduism and Buddhism.


  • Locate major rivers and historical landmarks.
  • Investigate inventions, contributions, and celebrations.

Modern Japanese Civilization


  • Locate the four islands, water bodies, and capital city of Japan.


  • Identify modern cities and industrial and business centers.
  • Investigate symbols, dress, art, and traditions.

The Ancient Greek Civilization

  • Locate the Mediterranean Sea, the Aegean Sea, and Crete.
  • Investigate the Persian Wars
  • Discuss the Olympic Games.
  • Read and discuss Greek mythology.
  • Identify great Greek thinkers and leaders including Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Alexander the Great.


American Government-The Constitution

  • Explain that the United States government is based on The Constitution.
  • Identify James Madison as the “Father of the Constitution”.
  • Explain government by the consent of the governed.

The War of 1812

  • Identify James and Dolly Madison.
  • Discuss important events of the War of 1812.
  • Describe Old Ironsides and “The Star Spangled Banner”

Westward Expansion

Pioneers head west.

  • Discuss new means of travel to include the steamboat and railroads.
  • Locate the routes west.
  • Explain the roles of the Erie Canal, the Pony Express, and the Transcontinental Railroad.

Native Americans

  • Investigate the Sequoyah and Cherokee alphabets.
  • Discuss the forced removal of Native Americans to reservations.
  • Explain the effect of the near extermination of buffalo.

 The Civil War

  • Examine the controversy over slavery.
  • Identify the role of Harriet Tubman and the “underground railroad”.
  • Identify key figures in the Civil War to include Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Clara Barton, and President Abraham Lincoln
  • Discuss the Emancipation Proclamation and the end of slavery.

Immigration and Citizenship

  • Explain the perception of the United States as a “land of opportunity”.
  • Describe the significance of the Statue of Liberty and the role of Ellis Island.
  • Discuss rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
  • Investigate the process of becoming an American citizen.

Fighting for a Cause

  • Study the issues of equality and civil rights.
  • Identify historic and contemporary leaders in the struggle for equality.

Geography of Americas

North America

  • Locate North America, Canada, Mexico, Central America, the West Indies, the fifty states of the United States, the current territories of the United States, the Mississippi River, the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains, the Great Lakes, and the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

South America

  • Identify languages spoken in the countries of South America-Spanish and Portuguese.
  • Identify Brazil as the largest country in South America.
  • Identify and locate the countries of South America, the rain forests, and the Andes Mountains.

Symbols and Figures

  • Discuss the significance of the U.S. flag, historical and current, and the Lincoln Memorial.


Scholars in Second Grade begin to hypothesize and classify observed phenomena so that they better understand our universe. They are encouraged to ask questions and ponder about nature and to seek answers through collecting, counting, measuring, making qualitative observations, and discussing findings.

Cycles in Nature

  • Describe seasonal cycles, life cycles, and the water cycle.


  • Discuss the role of insects in nature.
  • Distinguish characteristics of insects.

The Human Body

  • Identify practices to ensure a healthy body.
  • Explain the organs and functions of the digestive and excretory systems.
  • Explain the relationship of cells to tissues, organs, and systems.
  • Explain the “food pyramid”.
  • Discuss vitamins and minerals.


  • Describe magnetic poles and fields
  • Discuss the law of magnetic attraction.
  • Apply orienteering to locate north.

Simple Machines

  • Name common simple machines to include lever, pulley, wheel-and-axle, gears, inclined plane, wedge, and screw.
  • Describe friction and ways to reduce friction.

Science Biographies

  • Anton van Leeuwenhoek
  • Elijah McCoy
  • Florence Nightingale
  • Daniel Hale Williams


The scholars in Second Grade are provided with the necessary learning experiences beginning with the concrete and pictorial stages, followed by the abstract stage, to enable them to learn mathematics meaningfully.  This approach encourages an active thinking process and the clear communication of mathematical ideas and problem solving.  Emphasis is placed on the development of understanding of mathematical concepts and their applications, and proficiency in problem solving, mathematical reasoning, and higher order thinking.

Numbers and Number Sense

  • Numbers to 1000
  • Tables and graphs
  • Money


  • Halves and quarters
  • Writing fractions
  • Fraction of a set

Computation: Addition, Subtraction, Problem Solving and Equations

  • Addition and subtractionwithout renaming
  • Addition and subtraction with renaming
  • Methods for mental math
  • Adding and subtracting money
  • Multiplication – 2, 3, 4, and 5 tables
  • Division – 2, 3, 4, and 5 tables

Measurement-Linear Measure, Weight, Capacity, Temperature, Time

  • Measuring length
  • Measuring weight
  • Time
  • Capacity


  • Making shapes
  • Flat and curved faces

Second Grade Curriculum Map
Second Grade Spanish Curriculum Map
Second Grade Art Curriculum Map