What Is Taught In Second Grade?

Written by Dan

Are you curious to know what your second grader learns in school? Does it make you nervous or excited thinking about it? We understand! As parents and educators, we remember that feeling of curiosity when our children progress to the next grade. Let us remove some of that anxiety by helping you explore what is taught in second grade .

From math & language arts to science & social studies, there’s so much knowledge and skills for students to learn! Join us on a fun educational journey as we discuss each subject area and its specific curriculum requirements.

What Is Taught In Maths In Second Grade?

In second grade, children continue to build on their foundation of mathematics concepts acquired during their first grade. Here are some of the critical math skills and ideas that are typically taught in second grade:

Addition and subtraction:

  • Second graders learn to add and subtract two-digit numbers and practice mental math skills, such as counting by twos, fives, and tens.

Place value:

  • Building on the concepts learned in the previous year, second-grade students learn to count up to 1,000 and work on understanding the relationships between hundreds, tens, and ones.


  • Second-graders continue to learn about measurement and units of measurement in both standard and non-standard systems. They also know about time, including reading time on a clock and interpreting schedules.


  • Second-grade students learn to identify, compare, and analyze two-dimensional shapes, including polygons and symmetry. They also learn basic concepts of three-dimensional shapes and can distinguish between them.

Data and graphs:

  • Second-grade students learn to collect and organize data while interpreting bar graphs, pictographs, and line plots. They start learning about probability and chance.

Problem-solving skills:

  • Students practice different problem-solving techniques and strategies, including identifying the question and writing the answer in a complete sentence.

By learning and practising these skills, students develop strong foundations in mathematics, preparing them for the more complex concepts they will confront in the coming years.

What Is Taught In Science In Second Grade?

In second grade, students continue to explore various scientific concepts through inquiry-based learning experiences. Here are some critical areas of focus in second-grade science:

Life Science:

  • Students learn about the life cycle of plants and animals and the interdependence of living things in different ecosystems. They may study different habitats, including the homes and habits of honeybees, earthworms, and other small animals.

Earth Science:

  • Second graders learn about the earth’s surface features, such as mountains, volcanoes, and earthquakes. They explore the water cycle, weather patterns, and the changing seasons.

Physical Science:

  • Students learn about the properties of matter, including solids, liquids, and gases, and the basic concepts of sound, light, and temperature. They may investigate the ideas of force, motion, and energy through various experiments and hands-on activities such as balloon rockets, magnets or simple machines.

Engineering Design Process:

  • Students get introduced to the engineering design process and the steps involved, from problem identification to testing and improvement. They learn how inventive thinking and collaborative problem-solving can lead to successful outcomes.

Overall, second-grade science allows young learners to systematically observe the world in their surroundings. By engaging students in hands-on activities and inquiry-based learning, students can develop a strong interest in science as they learn new things fun and engagingly.

What Is Taught In Social Studies In Second Grade?

Students continue exploring social studies in second grade, building on their first-grade knowledge. Here are some critical areas of focus in second-grade social studies:

Culture and Diversity:

  • Students learn about various communities’ diverse cultures and traditions, including their own. Second graders study different cultures and their unique perspectives while developing an appreciation for diverse backgrounds.


  • Students learn about different types of communities, including urban, rural, and suburban. They learn about the various aspects of a community, such as geography, history, and economics.

Maps and Globes:

  • Second graders use basic map skills such as using a map key, identifying cardinal directions, and interpreting symbols. They also learn about globes and different types of maps, such as political and physical maps.


  • Students continue to explore historical events and learn about significant figures and their contributions. They may study different aspects of their country’s history, such as the American Revolution or Native American history.


  • Students learn about the basic structure of government and governance of their community, including local and national levels. They know the attributes of good leadership and responsible citizens’ responsibilities.

Overall, second-grade social studies build a deeper understanding of the world and its people, helping students understand and appreciate diversity and become informed and active global citizens who could positively change their communities.

What Is Taught In Language Arts In Second Grade?

Second grade builds on the foundation laid in first grade and introduces new concepts and skills to students. Here are some key areas of focus in second-grade language arts:


  • Phonics concepts are reviewed, and new skills are introduced. Second graders learn about long and short vowel sounds, silent “e,” -ck, -dge, -tch, and other letter combinations that create unique sounds.


  • Students build their vocabulary by identifying context clues, synonyms, antonyms, and homophones. They are also introduced to new words from unfamiliar subjects, such as social studies or science, and use dictionaries to learn the meaning of new words.

Reading comprehension:

  • Second graders practice reading comprehension through various literary genres such as fables, folktales, informational texts, and poetry. They develop their critical thinking and analysis of readers by identifying the main ideas, the author’s purpose, character development, and problem and solution.


  • Students are introduced to different writing styles, such as descriptive sentences, narratives, and opinion essays. They practice proper sentence structure, punctuation, capitalization, and proofreading.


  • Second graders practice spelling words using phonics rules and patterns and learn the spelling of high-frequency words.


  • Handwriting is a crucial skill that is taught in second grade. By providing consistent practice, students develop legible writing.

Students can succeed academically across all subject areas by communicating their thoughts in writing and orally.

What Is Taught In Second Grade Humanities?

In second grade, a humanities education is designed to help students understand the world and communities around them. Here are some critical areas of focus in second-grade humanities:

Communities and Cultures:

  • Second graders learn about different types of communities and cultures. They study how family life, traditions, and customs vary worldwide.


  • Students learn about significant historical events and figures, including American heroes and world leaders. They learn about the significance of important national holidays and other special days.


  • Children get introduced to basic economic concepts such as supply and demand, scarcity, and choices. They also learn the importance of entrepreneurship and basic financial literacy.

Government and Civics:

  • Students learn about the leaders, laws, and rules governing their communities at the local and national levels. Civics education helps bring awareness of the importance of active engagement in the democratic process.


  • Second graders explore geography by learning about various landforms, such as mountains, hills, and rivers, and compare multiple cultures worldwide.

Second-grade humanities teach children their roles within society and the world around them. By learning about different communities and cultures, historical events, economic concepts, and good governance, they develop a sense of responsibility and patriotism towards their community and nation.

If you’re a parent looking to understand what your second grader is learning throughout the year, we hope this article has helped clarify. Second grade is an important stepping stone for kids to get comfortable navigating school and mastering essential skills, so provide them with plenty of resources and support to ensure their success!

Second grade can also be filled with many fun activities, as it’s a great time in a student’s educational journey. It’s the perfect opportunity to explore topics that they have yet to fully encounter in previous years while continuing to develop new techniques. Let us know your child’s experiences at this stage by commenting below or reaching out! And remember to check out our other great articles here at The Teaching Couple! We wish you all the best of luck and happy second grading!

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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