School District of Clayton

Second Grade Learning Objectives

Discovering and inventing roles and rules are priorities for second graders. The second-grade classroom supports students as they learn to discuss, interpret and apply their new understandings.

Throughout this year of increasing awareness and independence, second graders build on their foundation of literacy skills. Second grade is also a time for expanding mathematical problem solving skills by using more complex addition and subtraction strategies as well as the new tools of multiplication and early division.

Second graders learn to assume more responsibility for maintaining and organizing their work, budgeting their time and completing longer-term projects. Students learn to listen attentively and follow directions, demonstrate curiosity and resolve conflicts with appropriate strategies.

Language Literacy

The Language Literacy curriculum focuses on developing skilled and enthusiastic readers and writers. Elementary students learn to be active and capable readers of both fiction and nonfiction, including a variety of print and nonprint texts, who enjoy talking about their reading with others. As a result, students engage in a wide range of comprehension activities designed to support both critical reading and continued growth as readers. Elementary students learn to write and to use writing to learn. Students write in a variety of genres, thus developing their ability to express ideas, emotions and beliefs while acquiring a firm, yet developmentally appropriate, foundation in the fundamentals of writing. Moreover, the District strives to develop students who enjoy reading and writing and who value reading and writing as a means for exploring their imagination, for learning about themselves and the world and for communicating with others.
The second-grade student:
Reads with Accuracy
  • Knows basic sight vocabulary.
  • Uses phonics, grammar and meaning to read unknown words.
  • Reads with fluency.
Uses Comprehension Strategies
  • Recalls facts and information.
  • Uses higher-level strategies: Predicting, Identifying Main Idea, Making Inferences and Drawing Conclusions.
  • Makes personal responses to books and stories.
  • Reads independently for pleasure and information.
  • Reads grade-level text.
  • Uses steps of the writing process: Prewriting, Drafting, Revising, Editing and Sharing.
  • Uses the traits of writing: Ideas, Organization and Conventions (Spelling, Capitalization and Punctuation).
  • Tries different forms of writing: Personal Narrative, Fiction, Nonfiction, Persuasive and Poetry.
  • Demonstrates growing independence and confidence as a writer.

  • Uses research skills to gather information and ideas.



The amount of information available today necessitates that students acquire the skills to select, evaluate and use information appropriately and effectively.  School District of Clayton libraries provide access to print and digital resources for both learning and enjoyment. Librarians provide instruction in accessing and using library resources, facilitating research and appreciating literature.
Second-Grade Objectives
  • Student will know the definition of research.
  • Student will be able to identify materials, with assistance, appropriate to student reading ability.
  • Student will know we make connections (text to self, text to text and text to world).
  • Student will know there are different literary genres.
  • Student will recognize historical fiction, biographies, folk tales, tall tales and poetry when a book in one of these genres is read to them.
  • Student will know the difference between fiction and nonfiction.
  • Student will understand that fiction uses letters and nonfiction uses numbers as organizational tools.
  • Student will understand that fiction is divided into an everybody section and a fiction section for chapter books.
  • Student will understand that fiction uses letters and nonfiction uses numbers as organizational tools.
  • Student will understand there is a way to find books using the computer.
  • Student will use a shelf marker.
  • Student will follow the norms and procedures that are in place for the library, such as check in and check out.
  • Student will begin to sort and locate books to the second letter using the authorʼs last name.
  • Student will begin to sort and locate books to the whole number in the Dewey Decimal System.



Creation is at the heart of the visual arts curriculum. Students learn to work with various tools, processes and media. They learn to make choices that enhance the communication of their ideas. Students learn to make critical judgments as they develop aesthetic perception by interacting with works of art and becoming knowledgeable about history and world culture.
Media, Tools, Methods
  • Use a variety of drawing techniques with control.

Principles and Elements
  • Use light colors next to dark colors for value contrast.
  • Identify differences among forms in the environment.
  • Identify size relationships within an arrangement.
  • Identify and use warm and cool colors and color groupings.
  • Create illusions of texture.

  • Identify and discuss basic art media used by artists to create works of art.
  • Use art works from other times and cultures as guides for the visual expression of ideas and experiences.

Social Context
  • Describe how visual forms contribute to group identification.
  • Describe how visual images are used for celebrating important life events in a variety of cultures.

  • Describe similarities and differences between natural and constructed forms.

  • Identify and describe the reasons that people create art.



The mission of the kindergarten through second grade health curriculum is to provide learning experiences that are relevant to students’ current lives and builds a foundation for future health decisions. It impacts the development of the whole child: physical, emotional, mental and social. Such a curriculum requires a partnership among professional educators, parents and members of the broader community. An effective comprehensive health curriculum equips students with information, resources and skills. Additionally, it helps them develop attitudes necessary to choose healthy lifestyles, to become discriminating consumers of health information and products, and to empower themselves for a lifetime of wellness and productivity.

Personal Health and Safety (taught each year)

Play Safe-Stay Safe I
  • Safety at school, home and playground

Healthy Living I
  • Hygiene
  • Self care techniques
  • Personal responsibility

Body Systems (taught biannually)
Body Sense
  • Major organs
  • Five senses

All Systems Grow I
  • Skeletal, muscular, circulatory and respiratory systems

Nutrition (taught biannually)
Let’s Eat Healthy I
  • Benefits of a balanced diet
  • Food plate


Physical Education

The mission of the kindergarten through second-grade physical education program is to develop knowledge and understanding, attitudes and behaviors, and skills that will enable each student to develop a lifestyle in which regular vigorous physical activity is practiced. Goals and objectives reflect the view that there are important learning’s in the psychomotor, cognitive and affective domains that lead to optimal development of the whole person. All students should have the opportunity to develop and exhibit desirable behaviors in each of the domains.
Fundamental Movement Skills
  • Locomotor, non-locomotor, manipulatives, body management, movement concepts and developmental games

Personal Fitness/Healthy Lifestyles
  • Health and skill-related fitness, wellness and fitness principles

Rhythms and Dance
  • Essential elements of rhythm, creative/interpretive dance, rhythmic activities, forms of dance and social/cultural aspects of dance

Sport Skills and Lifetime Activities
  • Skill techniques, individual/dual/team sports and specialized activities

Outdoor Education/Team Building
  • Cooperation/Team building activities



In second grade, instructional time should focus on four critical areas: (1) extending understanding of base-ten notation; (2) building fluency with addition and subtraction; (3) using standard units of measure; and (4) describing and analyzing shapes.
Operations and Algebraic Thinking
  • Represent and solve problems involving addition and subtraction.
  • Add and subtract within 20.
  • Work with equal groups of objects to gain foundations for multiplication.

Number and Operations in Base Ten
  • Understand place value.
  • Use place value understanding and properties of operations to add and subtract.

Measurement and Data
  • Measure and estimate lengths in standard units.
  • Relate addition and subtraction to length.
  • Work with time and money.
  • Represent and interpret data.

  • Reason with shapes and their attributes.



Science education should encourage an attitude of inquiry in the world around us, excite an interest in the nature and process of science and explore the relationship of science to society, technology, mathematics and other disciplines. Through the science curriculum, students gain a foundation of process skills, leading to organized reasoning, analytical thinking and problem solving abilities.
Second-grade students will complete the following FOSS (Full Option Science System) units:
Pebbles, Sand and Silt
The Pebbles, Sand, and Silt Module provides experiences that heighten primary students’ awareness, curiosity, and understanding of Earth’s natural resources—rocks, soil, and water—and provides opportunities for students to engage in scientific and engineering practices. Students explore the natural world by using simple tools to observe and describe properties of earth materials. In this module, students will:
  • observe and compare physical properties of rocks and soils, using various tools.
  • rub rocks together and observe that they break into smaller pieces.
  • use screens to separate and group river rocks by particle size, and investigate properties of pebbles, gravel, sand, silt, and clay particles.
  • observe weather by using senses and simple tools.
  • explore places where earth materials are naturally found and ways that earth materials are used.
  • use sand to make sculptures and clay to make beads, jewelry, and bricks.
  • find, collect, record and compare samples of soil outside the classroom.

Plants and Animals
The Plants and Animals Module provides experiences that heighten students’ awareness of the way that plants and animals meet their basic needs. Students observe the structures of plants and discover ways to propagate new plants from mature plants (from seeds, bulbs, roots, and stem cuttings). They observe and describe changes that occur as plants grow, and compare classroom plants to those in the schoolyard. They design terrariums and provide for the needs of both plants and animals living together in the classroom. In this module, students will:
  • observe what happens when young ryegrass and alfalfa plants are cut near the soil surface.
  • compare structures and behaviors of different pairs of animals.
  • cut plant stems, place them in water or soil and observe changes over time.
  • initiate the growth of a new plant from a bulb and from a root, and observe changes over time.
  • design and build a terrarium habitat that provides for the needs of plants and animals.
  • record observations of plants and animals, using drawing and writing.

Balance and Motion
We live in a dynamic world where everything is in motion, or so it seems. But not everything is moving the same way. Some things move from one place to another. Other things rotate around and around. Still other things are stationary, stable for a time, balanced on a thin line between stop and go. Other objects move back and forth or vibrate. These are the global phenomena that students experience in the Balance and Motion Module. In this module, students will:
  • create and use representational models to demonstrate stable balanced systems.
  • construct and evaluate toys that demonstrate spinning, and explain how they operate.
  • design runways to control or change the motion of marbles.
  • communicate observations and compare stability and motion, using precise vocabulary.
  • plan and carry out investigations with sound and with magnetic force.
  • analyze and interpret observational data.


Social Studies

Social studies is a multi-disciplinary, integrated approach to the study of people, their physical environment, traditions, leadership and cultures. The K-3 social studies program introduces geography, civics, economics and history. Students study people and cultures, past and present, from our own community and all over the world. They learn how the physical environment shapes cultures, why governments are important and ways in which our needs are served in the economy.
  • Compare and contrast absolute and relative location.
  • Locate school, community, state and country on a map.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between seasons, climate and geography.
  • Define natural resources.

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the various ways in which a location influences the way in which people live.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the culture of our local community.

  • Begin to develop an understanding of the local history of our community.

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the roles of producers and consumers in our community.
  • Observe the way in which our community meets the needs of its citizens.
  • Identify economic concepts such as scarcity, market, supply and demand.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of citizens’ rights and responsibilities as a member of a community
  • Identify the functions of government.
  • Identify the structure of local, state and federal government.

Contemporary Applications
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the current structure of government and contemporary applications of economics in our community.



Technology motivates and empowers all members of our learning community to explore, experiment and connect with the larger global community. Technology is integrated throughout the curriculum to expand resources for learners, improve communication and provide greater versatility in the curriculum. Students learn how to use many technology tools to gather, interpret and share information and to choose appropriate technologies to complete their work. Prior to completion of second grade, students will:
  • use input devices (e.g. mouse and keyboard) and output devices (e.g. monitor and printer) to successfully operate computers and other technologies.
  • use a variety of media and technology resources for directed and independent learning activities.
  • use developmentally appropriate multimedia resources (e.g. interactive books, educational software and elementary multimedia encyclopedias) to support learning.
  • demonstrate positive social and ethical behaviors when using technology.
  • practice responsible use and care of technology systems and software.
  • create developmentally appropriate multimedia products with support from teachers, family members or student partners.
  • use available technology for problem solving, communication and illustration of thoughts, ideas and stories.
  • communicate about technology using developmentally appropriate and accurate terminology (e.g., login, shut down, files, etc.).



The Spanish curriculum is based on the belief that anyone who can learn his or her native language can learn a second language. The curriculum is designed for all learners and addresses a variety of learning styles. Students are given frequent opportunities to interact and use the language. Grammar is presented through and for usage, not as the object of instruction. Teachers emphasize task-oriented, hands-on, concrete activities, which integrate all five language skills (listening, reading, writing, speaking and culture) In second grade, students will learn to:
  • identify common school supplies.
  • describe the weather.
  • say the alphabet in Spanish.
  • name members of the family and tell the size of family.
  • identify common rooms in the house.
  • use numbers to tell date, count objects, count by tens and say how old they are.
  • identify body parts and talk about aches and ailments.
  • describe geography of Mexico using the capital, climate and terrain.
  • use the compass rose.
  • locate Mexico and USA on a world map.
  • state preferences for various Mexican foods.
  • identify plants and animals in the rainforest and describe them.



Communication and expression through music and movement is an important part of growth and brain development. Students in music learn, develop and improve motor skills. The music curriculum provides all students the musical opportunities and experiences necessary to become informed consumers, creators and/or performers of music.
Melody (singing)
  • Perform and recognize steps, leaps and repeats.
  • High and low pitches in melodies

  • Recognize and perform quarter note/rest and eighth notes.
  • Recognize and perform music in sets of two and three.

  • Recognize and perform repeat signs, solo/chorus and verse/refrain.

  • Identify and demonstrate piano, forte, crescendo and diminuendo.
  • Perform melodic ostinato.