Heroic Tales & Ethical Fables
Developmental Picture of the Student
By second grade, children have a depth of imagination, interest and focus that is strongly attuned to learning. They become increasingly aware of their experiences in the larger world and the values and perspectives of others. Their sense of community deepens even as they extend the security of “family” to classmates and teachers.
How the Curriculum Meets the 2nd Grader
Through oral storytelling and the act of turning stories into writing, students work with daily practice on their developing language skills. An emphasis on language arts, form drawing and nature stories prepares the 2nd graders for writing and reading. The core stories involve heroic people from around the world juxtaposed with fables. The contrast between these two types of stories engage children with a strong picture of morality.
In written work and rhythmic movement exercises, students practice mastering the times and division tables as well as advanced addition and subtraction processes including transferring and place value.
Form drawing (creating simple geometric shapes) is taught to bring balance and control to handwork and prepare the children for cursive writing. These challenging exercises develop the child’s cognitive ability and flexible thinking.
The 2nd grade curriculum focuses on stories of heroic people around the world and juxtaposes these with fables that engage children with a strong picture of morality and responsibility.
Nature stories provide the basis for later studies in science, geography, geology and more. Students also engage in regular musical and artistic practice each day.
2nd GRADE CURRICULUM COMPONENTS
- Storytelling – Teachers use customized tales to demonstrate learning concepts and academic principles as well as sharing traditional fairy tales and folk tales from around the world.
- Language Arts – Practice spelling, phonics, punctuation, reading, sentence structure, capitalization, distinguishing upper and lower case, poetry, rhyming.
- Mathematics – Continuation with the four arithmetic processes includes a strong focus on the memorization of times tables. Place value is introduced and practiced in multi-digit problems employing carrying and borrowing.
- Preparation for the Sciences – Teachers use nature stories to personify natural and elemental principles. Class field trips to local arboretums and nature centers bring the environmental sciences and zoology alive for the students.
- Movement – Our specially trained movement teacher provides many, varied opportunities for physical movement. In the early grades, students play imaginative games which include running, jumping, skipping, and dancing and provide both exercise and good lessons in social interaction.
- World Languages – Alternating lessons of German and Spanish provide cultural exposure, develops memory, language, translative thinking and vocabulary skills.
- Art – Daily practice with drawing (form drawings) and weekly wet on wet watercolor paintings are created for developmental and artistic capacities.
- Handwork – Knitting and Purling for coordination, focus and understanding patterns.
- Music – Daily singing and pentatonic flute playing with class teacher.
- Eurythmy – Weekly Eurythmy lessons establish timing, coordination and spatial awareness.
- Field Trips & Community Events – Local field trips begin in second grade. In addition to special field trips, each Friday when weather cooperates, the grades children enjoy going on a vigorous nature walk. Coupled with the telling of nature stories, this familiarity with and observation of the natural world in the lower grades helps to form an introduction to the world of Science for the young child. The 30-minute walk takes the children along the grassy bank of a bayou and on to a large park, surrounded by woods. The walks also inform a growing sense of Geography, which is a main focus in the intermediate grades and middle school grades. When put together with access to the garden and the forest, Great Oak Grades children have tremendous access to the natural world around them through our program and it shows in their energy, their rosy cheeks, and their interest in the world.
LIFE SKILLS EXPERIENCED IN 2nd GRADE
- Conducting responsible tasks and class/group dialogues
- Experiencing stories and texts (via songs, poems, and plays) that envision themes, situations and outcomes
- Accepting responsibility for clean-up duties and regular chores. Offering assistance with weekly classroom tasks