Second Grade: The Child and the Curriculum
As the children in second grade become more aware of the world and their own individuality, duality becomes the theme. Duality is demonstrated as many children struggle with the high ideals they want to emulate and the lower instinctual forces to which they fall prey. To support this development the children listen to stories which depict both sides of our humanity; animal fables show characters that have no control over their instincts while legends and stories of the saints show heroic figures who strive to develop their higher selves. Nature stories continue to reveal the natural world to the children. It is important that the material presented to the students is accompanied by strong feelings of love for goodness, truth, and beauty on the one hand, and rejection of what is evil and dishonest on the other hand. The children will carry these ideals within themselves, coming to full understanding later in life.
Form drawing in second grade incorporates exercises combining both straight and curved lines which allow the students to make the transition to lower case cursive letters. This discipline also includes symmetry exercises that emphasize left and right, and mirror images of above and below, further illustrating the duality that children experience at this age.
The emphasis of writing in the second grade is on the development of auditory processing (e.g. short vowel sounds) and visual discrimination as a foundation for spelling, writing, and reading. Students learn the lower case and/or cursive letters followed by an introduction of basic punctuation rules for composition. Within the development of composition, the focus is on the identification of words which builds a bridge from first grade letter recognition to sentence construction in the third grade.
Reading is taught through a variety of activities using both whole language and phonic based approaches. In phonics, the emphasis is on how spoken sounds are encoded by written letters and letter groups. Spelling is based on a whole language approach utilizing context and phonetic cues.
Work with mathematical concepts and skills emphasize intensive practice of the number facts in addition, subtraction and multiplication, including tables up to twelve. Number patterns, families and the dynamic quality of numbers in number lines and circles are explored. Also introduced through imaginative story, practice and manipulation of counters are the concepts and aspects of place value up to the thousands and its application in addition and subtraction, including regrouping (borrowing and carrying).
Much work is done to nurture the social environment in the second grade as the children experience their own individualities and the challenge of rising above their instincts and personal desires. Friendships deepen as they begin to relate to one another in this new way.
Grade 2 Morning Lesson Blocks: Fables and Folklore, Native American Stories, Legends of Heroes and Tricksters, Formation of Lower Case Letters, Sentence Structure, and Fundamental of Reading, Rhythm, and Place Value, Times Table, Number Patterns through Shape, Class Play
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