Grade 2 Overview

Second Grade Curriculum Overview

This overview has been written to inform you about the academic program, skills and concepts being studied in second grade. It is intended to give you a broad overview of the core subjects, instructional goals and learning expectations your child will experience. Newington has a strong comprehensive curriculum, which includes sequential instruction at every grade in language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, the arts and wellness.

Language Arts

The purpose of the Language Arts Curriculum is to develop all aspects of language (reading, writing, speaking, listening and viewing), so students are able to communicate effectively in a technological, ever changing world. We seek meaningful ways to guide our students to apply their knowledge of the language arts across content areas and in realistic situations through a balanced literacy program, including reader's workshop and the Harcourt Trophies reading program.

The second grade reading program includes reading aloud, where teachers read aloud quality literature for enjoyment and to develop literacy skills; shared reading, in which teachers demonstrate reading skills and engage students in the reading process; guided reading, in which the teacher reinforces skills and the child reads; and independent reading, when students read books they have chosen.

Second grade students also spend time with the writing process. The students work in developing their writing skills through writer's workshop. They work to develop quality narrative and informational pieces. Teachers guide students in developing organized, detailed writing with adequate word choice, sentence variety and proper mechanics. As a result, students develop increasing independence as readers and writers.

Students will:

  • read high frequency words in text

  • decode words in text

  • read grade level text with fluency

  • learn, understand, and apply new vocabulary

  • use clues from text to determine meaning of a word

  • monitor comprehension while reading

  • determine central ideas of text

  • recount stories using important information

  • analyze characters’ responses to events

  • use text features to locate key details in informational text

  • compare and contrast the most important points in text

  • use capitalization and punctuation appropriately

  • write and speak using grammatically correct sentences

  • generate topics and ideas and elaborate written work with specific details

  • organize and sequence related sentences to convey ideas

  • write narratives, opinion pieces, and informational pieces

  • proofread, edit, and revise written work

  • apply spelling strategies in writing

  • write legibly, forming letters correctly

  • follow rules for discussion and build on the ideas of others

  • ask and answer questions to clarify or deepen understanding

  • tell a coherent story or recount an experience with facts and details



The goal of the second grade math curriculum is to establish a solid foundation of concepts and skills. Students participate in specific units of study to further their understanding through meaningful and challenging tasks. The curriculum is aligned to the Common Core State Standards, which define what students should know and be able to do in their study of mathematics.

The second grade mathematics program includes direct instruction, where teachers target specific skills and concepts; guided math, in which the teacher reinforces and builds on skills with small groups based on individual progress; independent practice; and collaborative learning, where students have the opportunity to communicate their reasoning, cooperate, and develop critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Through activities, labs, daily practice and problems, and games, students will:

  • demonstrate understanding of place value concepts through 1,000

  • skip count within 1,000 by 5’s, 10’s and 100’s from a given amount

  • compare whole numbers through 1,000 using,

  • demonstrate fluency with addition facts to 20

  • demonstrate fluency with subtraction facts from 20

  • add 2-digit numbers with and without regrouping

  • subtract 2-digit numbers with and without regrouping

  • demonstrate use of strategies to solve a variety of 1 and 2-step word problems with numbers within 100

  • identify and draw shapes to demonstrate understanding of attributes

  • measure length by selecting and using appropriate tools

  • describe how different measurements of the same object relate to the size of the unit chosen

  • tell and write time to the nearest 5 minutes

  • solve problems involving money to demonstrate understanding of the value of coins and bills

  • create picture and bar graphs to represent data and interpret information

  • make sense of problems and persevere in solving them

  • communicate mathematical thinking clearly and precisely



Second grade students are encouraged to explore and discover new ideas in science. The students make observations and predictions, ask questions, and seek information. They present new found knowledge in words, drawings, and graphs. Students work to classify materials as solids, liquids, or gasses based on their observable physical properties. The life cycle of plants is explored, as are the effects of light and water on seed germination and plant growth. The students investigate how soils can differ by particle size, color, and composition, as well as how they support plant life. Finally, the students learn about the specific nutritional needs of humans. The students classify foods according to the basic food groups, as well as learn how different foods satisfy nutritional needs.



All students in Newington are encouraged to appreciate and demonstrate respect, responsibility, and empathy. The goal of our health program is for students to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Students practice making healthy and appropriate decisions throughout each school year. Second grade students learn how healthy snacks and good grooming habits can help them to feel better during the day. They also learn how tobacco and caffeine have negative effects on the human body. The students also learn about common communicable and non-communicable diseases. In terms of safety, second graders learn how to keep safe when at home and what to do in case of an emergency. Finally, students explore how to best deal with peer pressure.


Social Studies

Second-grade students will engage in the study of how people both past and present have made a difference in their community, country, and world as well as exploring how and what we decide to remember about the past.  This interdisciplinary study incorporates history, civics, economics, and geography and requires that student generate and research compelling questions such as:

  • Do we have to have rules?

  • What can we learn from citizens of the past?

  • How do symbols and historical sources help us understand our community?

  • How do people and groups decide how to make the world a better place?

  • How does our geography impact the goods and services produced in our community?


Educational Technology

The technology education program provides students with direct instruction and practice in technology skills on a graduated basis.  Students acquire a working knowledge and understanding of keyboarding, word processing, multimedia skills, and features in G Suite for Education Applications.  Students demonstrate mastery of skills by completing grade appropriate activities and projects.


Art education promotes the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills as well as self-awareness, self-expression, and well-being. Art education also offers unique, creative experiences that help build self-esteem. The elementary art program promotes interdisciplinary experiences that aid students in the integration of ideas, concepts and processes, and in a holistic perception of their world. It promotes an understanding of the diverse cultures in society as reflected in the arts.

Students will:

  • practice and improve drawing skills

  • produce original artwork using a variety of two-dimensional, three-dimensional and mixed art media

  • learn about a variety of artists and art forms, and continue to practice with the art criticism process of describing, analyzing, evaluating and judging art

  • continue to learn about the principles of design and elements of art such as color, texture and shape

  • increase art vocabulary and articulate preferences and opinions about art


Music education enhances learning, communication, creativity, teamwork, discipline, cultural awareness, respect for others and self-esteem through personal accomplishment. The music program develops these skills in children to help them succeed in school, society, and in life.

Students will:

  • continue to develop music literacy by exploring various tonal and rhythm patterns

  • continue to develop their vocal skills

  • continue movement exploration with steady beat and body percussion as part of rhymes and songs, circle games and folk dances

  • further develop their knowledge of classroom instruments by playing steady beat patterns and demonstrating various patterns on these instruments

  • continue with their exploration of pitch, tempo, dynamics, and form, adding rounds and partner songs to their repertoire

  • recognize phrases in music, and develop accompaniment skills (vocal and instrumental)


The Wellness program in second grade is based upon movement concepts and skill themes. It is a child-centered movement program designed for young children. The program provides planned experiences concerned with what the body can do, how the body can move and where it can go. As the children learn these skills, the skills are then placed into the components of educational dance, educational gymnastics, and educational games.

Students will learn:

  • basic body control and space awareness

  • direction and speed

  • fitness appreciation

  • to work with a partner and as a team player