Second Grade Core Knowledge


Jade Hughes
(402) 715-2350

 Curriculum Overview


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Open Court Reading provides educators with the tools to build strong readers, writers, and thinkers from early emerging to fluent, from those who struggle to those who need a challenge. A curriculum you can trust, SRA Open Court Reading delivers a legacy of success spanning over 50 years, and continues to evolve to meet the needs of today's students and teachers.


While other math curricula ask students to progress from simple to complex concepts in just a few weeks, Saxon Math scaffolds instruction of each concept and continues to review information introduced earlier. This allows students the time and practice to retain math concepts to the level of mastery.

(Cursive introduced in 4th Quarter)

Spalding's Writing Road to Reading, a total language arts program, integrates essential research-based components, an educational philosophy, and a methodology consisting of time-tested principles of learning and instruction. The Spalding Method incorporates a combination of explicit, interactive, and diagnostic instruction in whole group. Daily observations and assessments enable teachers to differentiate instruction to meet individual needs: English Language Learners, Special Needs Students, and Gifted. Students learn the purpose for every task and are active participants throughout lessons.


Shurley English is an English language arts program that covers grammar and composition. Children memorize jingles to learn key grammar concepts. They learn a "question and answer flow" whereby they learn to attack sentences by asking exact questions.  The combination of visual, verbal, and written activity helps children with different learning styles. Children become proficient in identifying parts of speech and their syntax, and they also learn proper usage (e.g., verb tenses), capitalization, and punctuation. They write well written sentences, paragraphs and longer compositions. Lessons are taught with continual teacher-student interaction. Students then complete worksheets or writing assignments.

Literacy/Science/History Domains

Domain 1
Fairy Tales/Tall Tales

Focus: Students are introduced to three classic fairy tales: “The Fisherman and His Wife,” “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” and “Beauty and the Beast.” They consider characteristic elements of fairy tales and consider problems faced by the characters as well as lessons each story conveys. Students then turn to the American frontier and tall tales about Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, John Henry, and Casey Jones. They learn about the characteristics of tall tales, such as exaggeration and larger-than-life characters.

Domain 2
Early Asian Civilizations
(India, China, Japan)

Focus: Students are introduced to the continent of Asia and its two most populous countries, India and China. Students learn about early India, the importance of the Indus and Ganges Rivers, and the basics of Hinduism and Buddhism. Students then explore early Chinese civilization and its lasting contributions, including paper, silk, and the Great Wall of China. In addition, students are introduced to related folktales and poetry, including “The Tiger, the Brahman, and the Jackal,” “The Blind Men and the Elephant,” and “The Magic Paintbrush.”
Domain 3
Ancient Greek Civilizationckla_g2_d3_hero

Focus: Students explore the civilization of ancient Greece, which lives on in many ways—in our language, government, art and architecture, the Olympics, and more. Students learn about the city-states of Sparta and Athens, Greek democracy, the gods and goddesses of the ancient Greeks, and the philosophers Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.
Domain 4
Greek Mythology ckla_g2_d4_hero

Building on the Ancient Greek Civilization domain, students explore several well-known Greek myths and mythical characters, including Prometheus and Pandora, Demeter and Persephone, Arachne the Weaver, Oedipus and the Sphinx, Theseus and the Minotaur, and others. Students learn about common characteristics of myths and examine story elements in the myths.
Domain 5
War of 1812ckla_g2_d5_hero


 Students are introduced to major figures and events in the War of 1812, sometimes called America’s second war for independence. Students learn about James and Dolley Madison, “Old Ironsides,” “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the Battle of New Orleans, and more, all of which build a foundation for more in-depth study in later grades.
Domain 6
Cycles in Natureckla_g2_d6_hero

 Students are introduced to natural cycles that make life on Earth possible. Students will learn about seasonal cycles, plant and animal life cycles, and the water cycle. Students will also enjoy poems by Emily Dickinson and Robert Louis Stevenson.
Domain 7
Westward Expansionckla_g2_d7_hero

Students are introduced students to an important period in the history of the United States—the time of westward expansion during the 1800s. Students explore why pioneers were willing to endure the hardships to move westward, and learn about innovations in transportation and communication, including the steamboat, the Transcontinental Railroad, and the Pony Express. Students also come to understand the hardships and tragedies that Native Americans endured because of westward expansion.
Domain 8


 Students learn about the characteristics of insects, the largest group of animals on Earth. Students explore insect life cycles and social insects such as bees and ants. They consider helpful and harmful aspects of insects. This domain lays the foundation for more in-depth study in later grades of life cycles and animal classification.
Domain 9
The U.S. Civil Warckla_g2_d9_hero


 This domain lays the foundation for more in-depth study in later grades of a critical period in American history. Students learn about the controversy between the North and the South over slavery. Students also become familiar with the achievements of key historical figures during this time, including Harriet Tubman, Clara Barton, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and Robert E. Lee.
 Domain 10
The Human Bodyckla_g2_d10_hero

 Students learn about Anton van Leeuwenhoek and his pioneering work with the microscope. They then proceed to explore a number of topics regarding the human body, including cells, tissues, organs, and body systems, with a focus on the digestive and excretory systems. In addition, students learn about good nutrition and other keys to good health.
Domain 11

Students explore the idea of e pluribus unum and the importance of immigration in the history of the United States, with a focus on the great wave of immigration between 1880 and 1920. They learn reasons why people immigrated and why they settled in particular cities or regions. In learning about citizenship, students are introduced to basic knowledge about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Domain 12
Fighting for a Causeckla_g2_d12_hero

Students learn about seven key figures who fought for a cause and, against great opposition, stood up for what they believed in:  Susan B. Anthony, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mary McLeod Bethune, Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Cesar Chavez. Students explore the connection between ideas and actions, and see how people can do extraordinary things to change a nation’s understanding and actions.

Music in second grade continues with active practice with rhythm, melody, and harmony.  They will be exposed to several composers: Saint-Saens, Vivaldi, Chavez, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Bach.  They will also begin to analyze music. 

Poetry is taught across many subjects.  Each quarter students are tasked with memorizing poetry and reciting it in class.  This is called the poetry appreciation project.

 Visual Arts

Second grade continues the study of the art elements, centering on the element of line, both real and implied. This element of art will be studied through sculpture, landscapes and architecture.

Trout in Classroom

TIC is an environmental education program in which students raise trout from eggs to fry, monitor tank water quality, engage in stream habitat study, learn to appreciate water resources, begin to foster a conservation ethic, grow to understand ecosystems.