Skills and Concepts for 2nd Grade

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Skills to Teach and Concepts to Introduce in 2nd Grade

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  • Decode using multiple strategies
  • Demonstrate phonics skills to extend understanding
  • Reads more complex words such as two syllable words.
  • Reads words with common prefixes and suffixes. For example: pre, re, un and able, ad, and er.
  • Reads grade appropriate irregularly spelled words. (Consult your child’s teacher for a specific list of these words).
  • Reads a variety of texts including fiction, non-fiction, fables and poetry.
  • Understands the structure of a story and specifically the purpose of a beginning (introducing the text) and ending (concluding the text).
  • Understands the most important details of a text: it’s main purpose and the “who”, “what,” “where,” “when,” “why,” and “how” of a text.
  • Talks about characters’ responses, main events, the lessons in texts, and important ideas or concepts.
  • Begins to make connections within and between texts.
  • Compares at least two different versions of the same story such as, two versions of classic fairy tale.
  • Reads at grade-level with correct accuracy, pace, expression and comprehension.
  • Self-corrects mistakes and re-reads when necessary.
  • Apply appropriate usage/grammar: subject-verb agreement; kinds of sentences
  • Apply appropriate capitalization: first word, names, proper nouns
  • Apply appropriate punctuation: end, comma, quotations marks
  • Demonstrate knowledge of spelling (conventional): from temporary to correct spelling
  • Construct and apply vocabulary/word meaning/ context clues
  • Write a variety of genres: fiction/nonfiction
  • Construct multiple kinds of writing: e.g., essay, poetry, description, narration, opinion, informative, etc.
  • Interpret and respond to literature orally, in writing, projects, media
  • Demonstrate critical reading skills through evaluating and interpreting
  • Demonstrate revision skills in writing
  • Develop oral language: presentation
  • Improve handwriting skills: letter formation, spacing, cursive
  • Uses digital tools (with the aid of the teacher) to publish his writing.
  • Researches topics for research and writing projects
Sample Activities
  • Make a “W” Chart: While you and your child read books together, or while your child reads a book by herself, make a “W” chart. Fill out the who, what, where, why and how of the book as they are learned.
  • Pay Attention to Prefixes and Suffixes: When you or child uses a word with a prefix or suffix stop to talk about it. Break down the word and talk about what the suffix and the root word mean together. Think of other words that have that suffix or prefix. You can also write the word out on two separate cards, with the prefix on one and the root word on the other and make new words with the cards. Write down the different words with prefixes and suffixes you and your child use.
  • Make Up Your Own Version of a Story: After your child reads a story, make your own version of the story, changing details such as setting, time, or even a new ending. You can change the story so it occurs in places or with characters you know. This helps your child understand story structure and make comparisons. Or, make up your own version of a fairy tale or known story.
  • Play Time: Act out a favorite picture book or part from a chapter book. Use the book as a script, playing the different characters and narrators. You can even put on a performance for friends and family. 
  • Keep a Journal: Keep a family journal of trips, weekends and special times spent together. Your child can both write and illustrate the journal.  Pick a favorite entry from the journal and use it to expand your child’s writing. You and your child can write a longer piece or story about that event and illustrate it with photographs or drawings.
  • Research and Report: Pick a topic your child is passionate about and research it. Go to the library or look online together for information on that topic. Then work together to create an informative collage, magazine or article about that topic, using illustrations or photographs from magazines or online.
  • Write What You Think: Kids have very strong opinions! Ask your child to express her opinion about something through writing and be sure to explain reasons why she thinks this. Your child can then read the piece out loud to family members and take questions from the “audience.”
  • Read Other People’s Writing: Second grade is a great time for your child to start reading magazines made especially for kids such as Scholastic News. These often have many types of texts including narratives, fiction and non-fiction and opinion pieces.  Read the magazines together and talk about the articles. Reading these pieces will help your child become a better writer. 
  • Adds and subtracts numbers from 1-20 using mental strategies and ultimately, by the end of the year, adds two 1 digit numbers from memory.
  • Solves one and two-step addition and subtraction problems with numbers up to 100, using drawings and equations and explaining the process.
  • Learns the difference between odd and even numbers.
  • Begins learning the foundations of multiplication by adding the same number to itself, (for example, 4+4) and grouping together the same number of objects to add up to more.
  • Understands and can break down a 3-digit number into groups of hundreds, tens and ones.
  • Reads, writes and counts up to 1000, including being able to count by 5’s 10’s and 100’s.
  • Compares 3-digit numbers, using the signs: >, < and =.
  • Practices adding together up to four 2-digit numbers by skip counting and adding smaller part of the numbers together.
  • Measures objects and uses different units of measurement. (For example, inches and centimeters.)
  • Estimates an object’s measurement and measures how much longer one object is than another.
  • Tells time using analog and digital clocks.
  • Begins to solve world problems involving money.
  • Creates picture and bar graphs, and answers questions about the data represented in the graphs.
  • Recognizes triangles, quadrilaterals, pentagons, hexagons, and cubes and their defining characteristics, such as the number of angles and faces.
  • Breaks up shapes into halves, thirds and fourths and uses smaller shapes to create larger ones.
  • Name, model, write, compare, and order numbers to 1000; identify place value and odd/even
  • Identify and model common fractions as parts of wholes/groups and on a number line.
  • Identify value of and represent varying amounts of coins and bills; find value of collection <$5.00.
  • Model, estimate, and solve 3-digit addition and sub- traction problems; fact families to 20.
  • Identify, create, describe, and extend simple rhythmic, shape, size, number (e.g. 100 chart, addition, subtraction), color, and letter patterns.
  • Construct and solve open number sentence problems: use +, -, >, <, and =.
  • Describe functions (trade coins and measurements).
  • Describe attributes of 2-D and 3-D shapes; identify, draw, describe, and compare 2-D shapes; recognize congruence’ describe rotations, reflections, and translations; identify symmetry.
  • Use a calendar; tell time to quarter hour.
  • Measure objects and use appropriate measurement tools; make and use estimates.
  • Compare length, weight, area, and volume of objects.
  • Gather, organize, represent, and interpret data using tallies, charts, pictographs, and bar graphs.
  • Decide most likely outcomes.
Sample Activities
  • Shop and Count: When you are with your child in the store have her help you figure out the math involved in paying. Talk about change received, total money spent or how much money you saved by using a coupon. You can also play “store” at home using real or game money.
  • Find and Build Shapes: When you see objects such as skyscrapers, picture frames, or even book shelves, ask your child to identify the different shapes she sees in it. Create your own objects using different shapes.
  • Make a Measure Treasure Hunt: Ask your child to measure different objects in the house. You can make this into a treasure hunt. Ask her to find two objects that are the same length, objects that are longer or shorter than each other and the longest or shortest object she can find.  She can even measure the people in your family. A tape measure, paper and pencil are all she needs!
  • Time It: Ask your child to time how long it takes her (or another family to do something). Record these times and figure out how much longer one time is than another or help your child break her own record. 
  • Uses observation and experimentation to learn about his/her world. Asks scientific questions and finds the answers to his/her questions.
  • Collects and uses data to support experiments and what he/she learns.
  • Records his/her observations both through writing and talking and uses his/her observations to explain and make conclusions.
  • Recognize that living organisms are found on the earth’s surface.
  • Recognize that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the earth years before.
  • Compare the characteristics of different types of dinosaurs; describe danger of extinction.
  • Classify objects as living, nonliving, or once living.
  • Describe what living things need to survive; identify ways in which their habitats provide for their basic needs; classify plants and animals by habitats.
  • Identify parts of plants and their functions.
  • Sequence the life cycles of certain plants.
  • Classify and group solid objects by size, shape,
  • color, and texture and liquids by color and texture.
  • Classify matter as solid, liquid, or gas; describe properties of each state; recognize that solids have a definite shape and that liquid, or gases take the shape of their container.
  • Describe how water can change state; describe melting, boiling, freezing, condensing, and evaporating.
  • Identify and describe the safe and proper use of tools and materials.
  • Describe how animals use parts of their bodies as tools for survival.
Sample Activities
  • Compare Textures: Collect different textures from nature such as sticks, leaves, grass, stones and bark. Your child can make a collage out of them or blindfold your child and ask her to use her sense of touch to figure out what it was.
  • Use Your Senses: Go outside into nature and help your child take pictures, videos, draw and write about what she sees, hears, smells and touches. Be sure to focus on one sense at a time, for example have your child close her eyes and ask her to focus on what she hears. Your child can then create a poster, collage or short book of what she learned and observed.
  • Mix It Up: Let your child experiment and mix together different liquids. Add baking soda or baking powder. Have your child record her observations using text and illustrations and write down what she learned. Record differences and findings.
  • Read and Report: Your child can pick a scientific topic she enjoys such as animals, space or the human body. Research the topic together using books and the computer. Your child can then create a collage, short book or informative text about the topic and present it to family members and friends

Social Studies
  • Learns about the history of his community and family.
  • Compares his own community with others, specifically with an appreciation for valuing difference and multiculturalism.
  • Gains a deeper understanding of geography and specifically that of North America, using maps to locate and identify different types of places, such as bodies of water, mountains, the equator, etc.
  • Learns more about government, its roles and how its officials are chosen.
  • Learns about important historical figures.
  • Uses reading, writing and art to deepen his understanding of concepts and portray what he has learned.
  • Learns about American holidays and important days and events.
  • Explain broad concepts of rights, responsibilities and leadership
  • Identify and discuss basic economic principles of buying and selling
  • Discuss events with an evolving understanding of chronology
Sample Activities
  • Compare Your Community: Learn about another community by visiting it or researching it together in books or online. Then make a chart comparing the differences between that community and yours.
  • Find the Historical Figures You Know: You and your child can talk with and interview an older family member or friend about an important or historical moment they experienced. This can be filmed or recorded, or you can even put together a poster or book of what you learned together.
  • Make Your Own Map: Help your child create a map of your home, neighborhood or another important location.




Published:Apr 6th 2017
Modified:Apr 6th 2017


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