In addition to learning about specific topics (which vary from state to state), the 2nd grade social studies curriculum focuses on helping students develop their reading, writing, research, and critical thinking skills as they gain a deeper understanding of history and society and share the new knowledge they learn. Teachers may use texts, photographs, film, art, class trips, and visitors to help students learn about a specific topic through different types of media and from different perspectives. In 2nd grade, there is also often a strong emphasis on comparing differences between groups and appreciating these differences.
In addition, many social studies lessons and projects integrate and overlap with other subjects such as reading, writing and math so 2nd graders continue to develop those skills as well.
In order to build social studies skills, your 2nd grader:
- 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.
Social Studies 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.