Grade 2 Curriculum
Students build on their grade one foundation, using folktales, saint stories and fables and retelling these stories more accurately. Students take part in the daily recitation of poetry, tongue twisters and alliterative verses, often accompanied by gesture and movement to form a solid foundation for the acquisition of reading and writing skills. This leads to increasing focus on pronunciation and enunciation. Students continue to practice correct pencil grip, careful formation of letters and proper posture, with writing upper and lower case letters supported by form drawing. They free write phonetically, copy known material from the board and participate in class compositions. Simple grammar, punctuation, vowel sounds, consonant blends, word families and syllable clapping is studied. Grade 2 students participate in the Michaelmas play, St. Martin play and often an additional class play. Educational Support assessment is offered to observe their developmental progress.
Students study number bonds 1-20 and will recognize numbers up to 1000, knowing the difference between odd/even numbers. Students will take part in visual/rhythmic patterns in their times tables and use place value to 4 places. They will carry numbers across columns in addition and build their knowledge of tables from 1-12. They will also be exposed to simple mental math in narrative form.
Students in the first two grades participate in regular nature walks where they learn about the complexities and richness of plant and animal life. In these early grades the students have experiences and hear stories that engender enthusiastic involvement and respect for the world around them-an important basis for later studies in biology, physics, chemistry and the other sciences.
Stories of the Saints give students images of human beings who have devoted their lives for the good of humanity. Fables highlight the foibles of humanity.
French & German
In Grades 1, 2 and 3 the foreign language teacher works strongly with the element of imitation. The French/German language is introduced through group recitation, singing, verses, finger games, movement, dances, and circle games. The content is understood through gestures, props and imitation and deals with weather, festivals, colors, numbers, parts of the body and clothing.
Much of the material is learned by heart and learning is very much a group activity. Individual children will gradually start speaking on their own as it reflects their comfort level with the new language. In the early Grades the emphasis is on having the children experience the sounds, gestures and mood of the foreign language.
In Grade Two, the children continue learning to sing a wide variety of beautiful and fun songs, many with coordinated movements and actions. They learn to echo rhythms, pitch and dynamics as well as the musical alphabet. The class plays many songs on the Pentatonic Recorder. These songs are still learned by rote, often with coordinated actions and movement.
The main Lesson teacher takes the class for one movement class per week, along with a nature walk for two periods a week. Starting in Grade 2 and continuing until Grade 4 the students participate in two 45 minute periods of ‘movement” classes a week with the Movement Teacher. The classes are held outside unless the weather is extreme then the classroom is used. Activities and games are chosen that strengthen the students sense of movement in space, their sense of balance and their sense of others around them. Consideration is given to activities that engage their gross motor muscles in a coordinated way, and balancing games that improve fine motor movements. Each class consists of bean bag or ball work, a running/tag game, then a group/circle game, and skipping. In addition, Audrey McAllister’s Zoo Exercises are incorporated into the lesson depending on the needs of the students.
The presentation of activities and games in these grades is made vivid and alive with appropriate images, poems or even a story. A ‘walk through’ of the game is completed before the real play begins. Weaving nature, the seasons, animals, and fairy-tale themes in this way into the activities engages the students’ imagination and helps to keep them involved.
Students have access to free drawing with coloured beeswax crayons and the teacher models reverence for the task which the children imitate. The children are given the three primary colours with which to paint, out of which they will also experience the secondary colours. Students have an art class once per week with their class teacher doing wet-on-wet painting and reflecting the subject matter of the main lesson. They will then create main lesson books with beeswax crayons and/or coloured pencil crayons, before form is gradually introduced.
Practical Arts: Handwork
Introduction to crochet and completion of practice square and seat cushion; emphasizes one hand over another (differentiating L and R); deepening concentration and awareness; rhythmical, repetitive activity with the hands strengthens the will and brings clarity to thinking – requires effort and perseverance; powers of observation strengthened (different from knitting).
Students might make a day trip to an apple orchard in the fall.