By second grade, students understand the basic reading concepts
and now must work on improving their skills with them in using
them to read more complex texts. The students add to their skills
and vocabularies and write with more detail and to a broader audience.
Literary elements such as plot, setting and characters are compared
within written works and different authors. Students may read
different versions of the same story; a contemporary treatment
of a traditional folk tale or the story is told from an alternate
viewpoint or a different cultural background. Students also may
be asked to rewrite the ending of a familiar story. By the end
of the year they are using their increased vocabularies and knowledge
to improve their oral presentations.
Students in the second grade use their knowledge of phonics and spelling patterns
to decode unfamiliar words in texts. They learn how to break words
into syllables and can use that knowledge to understand the structure
of 2 syllable nonsense words and multi-syllable familiar words.
Students also recognize regular and irregular plural forms and
are starting to learn simple prefixes and suffixes. Increased
vocabularies include the ability to explain common antonyms and
synonyms. Second graders also know to break down unfamiliar compound
words into their smaller parts to decipher their meaning. They
are able to identify some words with multiple meanings.
In order to improve comprehension, second graders seek to understand
the author's purpose in writing the text and in doing so, also
define their reason for reading it. They learn to ask questions
which help to clear up any ambiguities they may see in the text.
Students learn that by rewriting the text using their own word
choices and descriptions without altering it's meaning, they can
better comprehend the text. Students can also use other sources
such as diagrams or charts to gather more information. They are
asked to use their own personal experiences to compare and contrast
within the text and across similar selections. Students rewrite
the texts using their own words and real world examples to explain
unfamiliar concepts and information. Another exercise has the
students finding specific examples of declarative, interrogative
and exclamatory sentences and discussing the punctuation and usage.
They learn to use tables of content, chapter headings and titles
to find relevant information in textbooks.
Second graders are expected to write sentences that make sense
and are written to satisfy a specific purpose. They learn to gather
information, organize it, write an outline, a first draft, make
revisions and then edit further when necessary. They understand
they need to keep related ideas together and stay focused. Students
are expected to use dictionaries, thesauri and atlases for reference
and are expected to write legibly. In addition to writing expository
papers, students are expected to write a friendly letter following
At the second grade level, students are expected to recognize
sentence fragments, run-on sentences and complete sentences. Students
should use the correct word order in writing and speaking. They
should recognize nouns and verbs and their proper usages. Punctuation:
commas, quotation marks, periods, question marks are to be used
properly. Spelling and capitalization should also be used accordingly.
Second graders should be able to tell a personal experience or
present a story. The recitation should have a logical beginning,
middle and conclusion and should incorporate typical story elements.
Students should also be able to present a researched topic with
information gathered from more than one source.
For students in the second grade, reading, writing and oral presentations
are becoming more sophisticated and structured. They are able
to read silently and independently and can sound out words and
decode meanings on their own using expanded skills and strategies.
They have been introduced to poetry, drama and grade-appropriate
literature and they have developed skills to understand and explain
the meanings found within.