Preparing for 2nd Grade

Review this list of skills teachers will expect children to possess by the end of second grade — including the ability to focus for long periods of time.




In 2nd grade, children will spend large chunks of class time reviewing skills they've learned in 1st grade. However, teachers will expect 7-year olds to be able focus for longer periods of time — and to read at a basic level. 

Skills Acquired During 2nd Grade
Teachers work diligently with 2nd graders so that they'll be able to read fluently for comprehension by the end of the year. Your child's progress during 2nd grade will greatly influence how he views himself as a reader. For that reason, if your child is having trouble, you may want to consider consulting a tutor or reading specialist for the extra help he may need.

Reading and Writing

Your child will:

  • Read grade-specific material confidently and for fun
  • Read with expression
  • Demonstrate comprehension by predicting outcomes
  • Identify main ideas and supporting details
  • Decode words using cues from phonics, word order, and context
  • Self-select a variety of fiction and nonfiction books
  • Keep a journal
  • Recognize parts of speech such as subject, verb, adjective
  • Use capitalization and punctuation correctly
  • Compose in poetic, narrative, creative, and expository forms
  • Write in paragraph form
  • Recognize spelling patterns and spell high-frequency words correctly
  • Use basic research skills for presentations
  • Edit and proofread classmates' work


Your child will:

  • Read, write, count, and sequence numbers up to 1,000
  • Identify place value to the thousands
  • Represent quantities in multiple ways (e.g., 36 = 18 + 18 = 14 + 14 + 8)
  • Know addition and subtraction facts to 20
  • Mentally add or subtract any two-digit numbers
  • Add and subtract three-digit numbers
  • Identify, describe, and extend repeating numeric patterns
  • Tell time to the quarter hour; be able to calculate elapsed time (e.g., from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
  • Count, add, and subtract money using dollar and cent symbols and decimal point
  • Collect, sort, and interpret data in various graphs

Social Studies

Your child will:

  • Discuss current events
  • Recognize historical figures and their contributions to society
  • Understand the relationship between consumers and producers
  • Locate her hometown on a map
  • Appreciate diversity among cultures in the community


Your child will:

  • Identify parts of plants and animals and explain their functions
  • Study dinosaurs and the process of extinction
  • Name classifications of animals
  • Study life cycles, perhaps by raising caterpillars into butterflies
  • Identify land forms
  • Explore physical science, covering topics such as electricity, magnetism, and gravity
Reading Comprehension
Language Arts
What to Expect by Grade
Age 7
Social Studies
Science and Technology
Reading Comprehension
Elementary School