Second Grade, Time To Explore And Awaken The Strong Feelings.

By: Mr. Hans, teacher of Trinus

First Grade is the time for creating rhythm and a sense of oneness; in second grade, it is time to  explore the dual aspect of human nature as the children’s feelings awaken. Strong feelings of  sympathy and antipathy may be upsetting to parents, but they are necessary experiences for the  second grader to live through.

We seek  out stories from every culture that portray these feelings and share them with the children  through daily storytelling. We base much of the academic learning on these stories for a rich,  integrated learning experience. We choose multicultural animal fables, such as those from the  famous Aesop and Buddha, and from African and Native American lore to show the human’s  animal characteristics, also known as his lower emotions, pitted one against each other. The  stories speak to the children’s imaginations allowing them to form their own inner pictures of  right and wrong. We do not make conscious the moral of the story; instead, we let the children  work inwardly with it.






On the threshold of newly awakening intellectual faculties, the second grader is given ever more  challenging academic work, all presented in an imaginative, artistic manner. In language arts a  thorough study of phonics skills coupled with sight word acquisition is pursued as we write and  read short vignettes of the fables and stories. We learn spelling rules as we write, we work with  punctuation, grammar (nouns and verbs) and capitalization as we compose our writing, and we  read what we write. We begin to read from “readers” together and individually, reading first  prose or poetry we know by heart. Our speech work is continued as we learn by heart classic  children’s poetry and play lines. In the fall we will delve into cursive handwriting after studying  ‘running forms’ in form drawing class.In contrast to the animal fables, we also share the stories of great people, saints and  heroes/heroines, who have overcome their base, animalistic tendencies to serve others with the  greatest of intentions. We give the children a picture of how noble women and men have  discovered and expressed the human’s highest ideal.




We will review our first grade work and then carry out more complicated  mathematical tasks with the four operations using the vertical format that grown-ups use in the  second semester. Imaginative stories still form the basis for these problems. Memorizing the  multiplication tables as full sentences will now be our focus with the 2,4,7,8,9,11, and 12 tables  being formally introduced. Place value work into the thousands, regrouping in addition and  subtraction and simple long division are also slated for discovery. Of course, a steady diet of  mental math will be included each day.




Our science curriculum in the second grade continues to be experientially-based as we observe  and enjoy the four seasons through crafts, song, poetry, nature walks, stories, and gardening.  Beginning zoology is introduced as the children hear about the characteristic behaviors of a  multitude of animals, take care of our class animals and paint, model and draw animals. We will  take a few field trips to observe and experience nature as well. In gardening class the children  will continue to raise vegetables and flowers, learning about the seed cycle, composting,  seasonal changes and patience. They will also be planting a wheat bed that they will harvest in  third grade!


Daily singing and hopefully daily flute playing (once the flutes arrive) will occur along with a once  a week music class during which we will explore rhythms, percussion instruments, singing  games and dancing.The second grade is blessed to have a balanced movement curriculum this year in their weekly  schedule. Games and daily movement and sensory integration will guide the children through  exercises that build balance, coordination, rhythm, spatial awareness, grace, flexibility, physical  control, and cooperation.




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