Lower School (Jr. K-4)

Grade 2

Second Grade at US

Second grade students explore themes that are broad in scope and basic core disciplines are readily and logically integrated. Throughout the year, the theme-concepts explored are patterns, survival, adaptation, and creations. Themes include Communities Around the World and Creations Through the Lens of Africa. Second graders gain an understanding of how changes in the political, industrial, and social atmosphere of a culture impact a society.

Core Curriculum

In an environment that encourages exploration and risk taking, boys are able to deepen their mathematical understanding. Using the Bridges curriculum, instruction includes the exploration of fractions, linear measurement, number sense, estimation, place value to 1,000, number lines and hundreds charts, coin values, multi-digit addition and subtraction, congruent and symmetrical shapes and 3D figures, and creating numerical and geometric patterns. Second graders explore creative problem solving, and learn different strategies to solve for an unknown. 

In second grade, boys extend their skills and are increasingly able to read independently and comprehend longer and more complex materials. Boys use experiences and context clues to gain a deeper understanding of fiction and non-fiction within our reading groups and reader’s/writer’s workshop instruction. The language arts program emphasizes transitions from concrete understanding to inferential thinking through written response. Writing becomes longer and contains more complex story lines. Using the Fundations program, instruction includes paragraph writing and editing and continues in phonics, spelling, sight words, accuracy and fluency. Cursive writing is introduced.

In second grade, boys meet with the science specialist and engage in interactive science activities that connect with their classroom theme. The science teacher's role is to plan experiences that enable students to ask questions, make discoveries, and practice skills necessary for inquiry-based science investigations. Boys keep a science journal where they record observations and reflect on their experiences. Investigations include regional and comparative natural history and resources, Ohio geology, fossils, astronomy, light reflection and refraction, estimating and measuring, patterns in nature, mapping, and outdoor explorations. They design an experiment and participate in STEM activities.

Co-curricular Disciplines

Speaking and reading in Spanish gives boys the opportunity to expand their thinking and comprehension. Second graders study Spanish six of the seven days in our rotating schedule. They build on Spanish basics, creating more complex sentences, and move into more production of the language in oral and written forms. Boys practice reading, pronunciation and expression, and explore cultural Hispanic topics.

Second grade boys learn through play, experiencing musical concepts and gaining skills through their own active involvement. Listening acuity, expressive performance and considerate participation are stressed in every lesson. Boys engage in creative holistic music making using the Orff-Schulwerk approach to music education. Second graders learn tuneful singing within an octave melodic range and simple canons. They learn beat, and rhythmic understanding of simple notation including instrumental accompaniment patterns. They explore reading and writing rhythmic notation and simple melodies. They consciously recognize and implement fast/slow tempo, loud/soft volume, smooth/rough timbre, high/low pitch, and form. Movement is more complex with games, folk dances and play parties.

Art is a place where the boys discover that art is everywhere. We explore the theme-based curriculum and dive a little deeper into cultural art forms. Introductions to artists and traditional cultures play a key role in learning, but it is the student who makes that technique his own. In second grade, we explore the use of color in layout. We learn about artists who have changed the way we see things. Focusing on feeling and simplicity, boys learn to work with sketching as a base. They experiment in clay, texture, forms and portrait drawing.

We provide successful physical experiences for all boys through a curriculum designed to foster and develop the knowledge and values, physical skills, and practices necessary for personal physical fitness and lifetime wellness. Boys learn body control, with an emphasis on balance, coordination, and spatial judgments. Rhythms, games, tumbling, large apparatus stunts, and swimming are taught.
Young boys have boundless energy and a natural tendency to explore and discover.

The Second Grade Curriculum at a Glance

Communities Around the World
Creations Through the Lens of Africa


  • How do people around the world establish patterns in their ways of living? 
  • What do children have in common? 
  • How do the history, governments, traditions and cultures of groups of people influence the way children are raised and educated?  
  • Why have humans always felt the need to explore the unknown? 
  • How does exploration give humans new knowledge? 
  • For a culture to survive, why must people adapt to new ways of thinking and living?
  • How does history provide us with a rich legacy from which we can still learn today?
  • How do people and cultures develop ways to express their understandings of the world?
  • How does adaptation lead to changes in the way we view the world around us?


Boys learn to love reading, researching, and expressing themselves through literature-based activities. In second grade, boys continue to come to the library in small groups and visit for individual research as well. They learn about the organization of libraries and are encouraged to be more independent. In exploring theme-related literature, they improve listening skills with chapter books and study authors more in-depth. They express themselves in poetry, design board games, fold origami, and participate in an array of creative projects.


Shaker Heights Campus JUNIOR K – GRADE 8

20701 Brantley Road, Shaker Heights, Ohio 44122
Phone: (216) 321-8260

Hunting Valley Campus GRADES 9 – 12

2785 SOM Center Road, Hunting Valley, Ohio 44022
Phone: (216) 831-2200