Once students reach 2nd grade, they’re often ready to accelerate their learning. That’s because at this point, they've adjusted to the more rigorous learning environment initially encountered in 1st grade, and are able to further expand their skills and knowledge in every subject area.
In 2nd grade, your child becomes a more experienced writer and reader by practicing their skills in more complex and comprehensive ways. Students read bigger and more complicated books, and write longer and more in-depth pieces. What’s more, second graders pursue projects that involve research and critical thinking.
Reading in Second Grade
Second graders continue to develop their literacy skills as they learn more complex words and absorb longer, more rigorous texts in a variety of genres including fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Students also expand their reading comprehension skills as they talk about what they read, and develop more advanced ideas around those topics. Just like in previous years, second graders also continuously practice reading as they use texts for other subjects throughout the day.
To build reading skills, your second grader:
- Reads more complex words, such as two-syllable words.
- Reads words with common prefixes and suffixes, for example: pre-, re-, un-, -able, -ad, and -er.
- Reads grade-appropriate, irregularly spelled words (consult your child’s teacher for a specific list of these words).
- Reads a variety of texts including fiction, nonfiction, fables, and poetry.
- Understands the structure of a story, specifically the purpose of beginnings (introducing the text) and endings (concluding the text).
- Understands the most important details of a text—its main purpose and the “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” “why,” and “how.”
- Talks about characters’ responses, main events, lessons learned, and important ideas or concepts.
- Begins to make connections within and between texts.
- Compares at least two different versions of the same story, such as two versions of a classic fairy tale.
- Reads at grade level with correct accuracy, pace, expression, and comprehension.
- Self-corrects mistakes and re-reads when necessary.
Second Grade Reading Activities
Make a “W” Chart: While you and your child read books together, make a “W” chart. Fill out the "who," "what," "when," "where," "why," and "how" of the book as your child discovers them.
Pay Attention to Prefixes and Suffixes: When your child uses a word with a prefix or suffix, occasionally stop to talk about it. Break down the word and say what the prefix or suffix and root word mean when they’re put together, and brainstorm other words that have the same suffix or prefix.
Make Up Your Own Version of a Story: After your child reads a story, work together to create your own versions, changing details such as setting, time, or even the ending. You can even tweak the story so it occurs in places or with characters you know. This helps them understand story structure and make comparisons.
Writing in 2nd Grade
Second graders write texts that are more detailed, lengthy, and varied, all of which refines their writing skills. They also use technology to publish their writing (you can help prepare them for this by going online at home together).
Similar to reading, writing occurs throughout the day as students use it for a variety of subjects.
To build writing skills, your second grader:
- Writes a variety of types of texts including:
- Opinion Pieces: Students state their opinions and provide reasons to support them, closing with a conclusion.
- Narrative Pieces: Students write about an event, describing actions, thoughts, and feelings, and provide a conclusion.
- Informative/Explanatory Pieces: Students introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a conclusion.
- Revises and edits writing to improve it.
- Uses digital tools with the aid of the teacher to publish writing.
- Researches topics for shared, group, or class-wide research and writing projects.
Second Grade Writing Activities
Start a Journal: Use it to remember the trips, weekends, and special times your family has spent together. Your child can both write and illustrate the journal — in fact, you can pick a favorite entry from the journal and work with your child to write a longer piece or story about that event, illustrating it with photographs or drawings.
Write What You Think: Kids often have very strong opinions! Ask your child to express their opinion about something through writing and to explain the reasoning behind her thoughts. Your child can then read the piece out loud to family members and take questions from the “audience.”
Read Other People’s Writing: Second grade is a great time for your child to start reading magazines created specifically for kids. These often have many types of texts, including narratives, fiction, non-fiction, and opinion pieces for your child to absorb and learn from. Read the magazines together and talk about the articles — doing so will help fortify their own writing skills.
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