Second Grade

Children in second grade are at an age where they are driven by curiosity and a strong desire to discover and invent. They begin to feel a sense of competence with skills. Second graders are engrossed in activities and love to socialize at the same time. They love the routine and structure of school and appreciate their relationship with their teacher. Friendship groups often include more children. They love to work cooperatively. The second grade at Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill School strives to promote community as a Christian Value (Goal IV) and personal growth (Goal V) as appropriate for their developmental stage.

The second grade curriculum involves a variety of project and presentation opportunities. Some examples include being the special person of the week, Flat Stanley, President reports, Johnny Appleseed Day, Colonial Craft Day, the One Hundredth Day of School, and weekly poem recitations. The students attend a field trip to the Magic House to learn about American symbols and government. The most special highlights of second grade include receiving the sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion.


Language Arts



Literature Sets                       Modern Curriculum Press- Phonics
Houghton Mifflin Spelling and Vocabulary
eBooks using iPads
Step Up To Writing Program

The second grade language arts curriculum helps students develop proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, vocabulary, phonics, and oral communication. Our course components consist of reading, spelling, phonics, writing, language, and vocabulary. Reading strategies are presented through both small and large group instruction. The McGraw-Hill series is used for scope and sequence of skills. Students are exposed to a variety of genres. The McGraw-Hill textbook is used in addition to leveled chapter books. Students are engaged in rich activities including author studies, reader’s theatre, and book clubs. In addition, second graders use iPads to read eBooks. Students are engaged in weekly guided lessons that enable them to identify main idea, character traits, point of view, plot, and setting.  

Students learn necessary grammar skills to enhance and enrich their writing.  These topics include knowing different types of nouns, verbs, and adjectives.  Students learn how to edit sentences and paragraphs.  Grammar skills are taught through hands-on activities and skills are incorporated into writing projects across the curriculum. Writing skills are taught using the nationally-recognized, research-based Step Up to Writing program. The spelling curriculum is differentiated to meet the needs of individual students. Word lists are organized by sound, pattern and word parts. Students will leave second grade with the knowledge and skills that are required for third grade.


MacMillan/McGraw-Hill – 2nd grade
MacMillan/McGraw-Hill Problem Solving Workbook
Simple Solutions

The second grade mathematics curriculum builds a strong foundation and understanding of basic mathematical concepts.  The curriculum includes an emphasis on critical and analytical thinking and communication skills.  Students will use problem-solving and estimation strategies, develop number sense using addition and subtraction with and without regrouping, understand time and money skills, and apply mathematics to their daily life. Reading, interpreting, and creating graphs will help students understand that data helps explain their world.  Students will explore measurement, geometry, shapes, and their attributes.  By using manipulatives, hands-on activities and appropriate technology, students will demonstrate their knowledge of concepts taught in class.  As they make connections, students will build mathematical understanding in a broader world.      


God’s Gift Reconciliation- Loyola Press
God’s Gift Eucharist- Loyola Press
Apostolic Works: St. Francis Cabrini Book Drive

Jesus nourishes and strengthens God's life of grace within us through the Sacraments
and the Mass.  Students will learn church teaching and Scripture.  The curriculum will include church teachings, such as, in God, there are three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, known as the Trinity.  Jesus is the Son of God.  Jesus suffered and died for us on the cross to save us from our sins.  He rose from the dead (Resurrection) to bring us new life.  The Bible consists of the Old Testament and the New Testament.  The Old Testament is about people before the birth of Jesus.  The New Testament tells about the life and teachings of Jesus.  The children learn the value of social awareness as they participate in an apostolic work project.  The central focus of second grade religion is learning about Reconciliation and the meaning of the Eucharist.


Scott Foresman Scence- Grade 2

In second grade scientific investigation focuses on the students’ questioning, observation, and communication skills. Students need time to examine different ideas, ask questions, observe patterns, make predictions, use simple equipment and tools and discuss what they see with others. In physical science, second grade students learn about forces (pushes and pulls) and the phenomena of gravity, magnetism, sound, and matter. In life science they learn about the life cycles of animals. In earth science, students learn that rocks are composed of different combinations of minerals, that smaller rocks and soil are made from the breakage and weathering of larger rocks, and that soil also contains organic materials.

Social Studies

Macmillan/McGraw-Hill Social Studies – Grade 2

The second grade social studies curriculum is designed to reinforce the social studies concepts of history, geography, economics, government, citizenship, culture, science technology and society, and social studies skills.  The children will learn geography by identifying the continents, oceans, and various landforms.  The economic concepts of needs, wants, goods, and services are introduced.  An important aspect of the second grade curriculum is America: famous Americans, national holidays, and landmarks.  History and culture will be addressed as children discover the reason people came to America and the contributions those people made to our society.  Students will do an in-depth study of United States presidents and be introduced to citizenship.  Children will participate in a service-learning project to understand how to become active citizens.  Throughout the year, students will be applying the skills of social science inquiry by thinking, reading, writing, speaking, listening, discussing, researching, and utilizing technological skills.

The second grade art curriculum introduces students to the different genres of painting while exploring the elements and principles of color, value, space, and rhythm.  Students examine the art of Japan, Haiti, and the Navajo during lessons in printmaking and weaving. While constructing blessing cups for first communion, students add the techniques of coil, slab, score, and slip to their ceramic skills. Students explore the various art careers of the painter, ceramicist, illustrator, and weaver.  At this level, students are challenged to use Cubist techniques to abstract a face and choose subject matter and media to illustrate a poem. Fine artists studied include Picasso, Ringgold, and Cezanne.


Symtalk Language Systems:  Mes Copains et moi Level 2

In second grade, French students continue to use, practice, and build on their vocabulary of numbers, animals, and polite expressions. They also learn to follow simple classroom directions in French. Their vocabulary will continue to grow, learning everyday objects as well as classroom objects, some foods, and basic clothing items. Second graders also have the opportunity to connect with their Sacred Heart (French) Heritage when they learn and recite the sign of the cross and the Hail Mary prayer in French. French culture and holidays are also part of their curriculum.

During the second grade, students will continue to learn to match pitch through solo or chorus singing, musical games, and movement exercises.  Students will learn to discern the difference between beat and rhythm.   All second graders will learn folk dances from a variety of cultures.  They will learn pentatonic scales and ostinato patterns to accompany class songs on the Orff instruments.  In music theory, the students will identify more note names, rests, and a variety of musical symbols.  During the second semester, a musical will be performed by all first and second graders.

Physical Education
Second grade students continue to work on the sports they began in first grade. These include: soccer, jump rope, gymnastics, tee-ball, track and field, and pillow hockey among other shorter units. We further develop the students’ skills and strategies in each sport by adding new drills and adapting drills done previously to a more complex level. In addition, this is the first year we begin our Swimming Unit where we work on the different strokes and water skills and also discuss water safety.

A wide variety of instructional strategies are incorporated into each school day.  Students are given opportunities to develop their ability to work within cooperative learning groups when completing science investigations, reading in book clubs, and completing center work in math and language arts. In math and science, students work with manipulatives in order to understand abstract concepts. Students develop their ability to listen and participate in whole class instruction as well as work independently. Across the curriculum, differentiated instruction is implemented. Students are provided with project choices that meet their individual learning styles.

A variety of assessments are used throughout the curriculum.  Assessments such as observation, in-class projects, unit tests, weekly writing assignments, story comprehension activities, informal assessments, and homework (Simple Solutions and weekly spelling lists) are used frequently and throughout the school year. One-on-one teacher/student conferencing is used in reading, writing and math on a weekly basis.  The following grading scale is used in 2nd grade: DV – Developing, ME – Meets Expectations, AS – Area of Strength, NA – Not Assessed at this time. Parent-teacher conferences are held twice a year in October and March.

Technology is infused throughout the curriculum in all subjects. SMART Board activities and lessons engage students in the learning process. Students use iPads to read eBooks, conduct research, and play educational games that reinforce grade level objectives. They work in the technology lab to complete PowerPoint presentations, use internet resources, and participate in collaborative activities using the SMART Table.

Students are taught how to write their weekly homework assignments using an assignment sheet. This assignment sheet comes home every Monday in their home folders. Most homework will consist of nightly Simple Solutions, studying for weekly spelling tests, memorizing a poem each week, semester book reports, and weekly edits throughout the second semester. Students are required to read fifteen minutes nightly and turn in a reading log each Friday.  We encourage parents to be active participants with their child’s homework.  This may include reviewing for spelling tests, helping with poem memorization, and checking for completion on Simple Solutions, and weekly edits.

Second grade students start each day with prayer, sharing special intentions, and reciting the pledge. Morning work is given daily. Students are given the responsibility to use the restroom and get a drink when needed. We pray before lunch and at the end of each school day. Second graders attend Mass every Thursday. Throughout the day, students earn tickets for positive behavior. At the end of the day, one ticket is drawn and that child gets to go to the treasure box.

Teachers’ web pages communicate class activities, upcoming events, homework and resources. This page is updated weekly. In addition, emails and phone calls home are used when needed. Thursday envelopes contain the children’s written work from the week.  Papers and envelopes should be returned on Friday with the envelope signed.  All papers will be returned to parents at the end of the quarter.  Open communication between teachers and parents is valued as we work together on behalf of our students. 

"The word that comes to mind is 'home.' I feel like no matter how much time it’s been, I return here and it is like coming home."

~ Oak Hill Alum

  • Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill School
  • 801 South Spoede Road
  • Saint Louis, MO 63131-2699
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