• Second Grade English/Language Arts 

    Dear Second Grade Families;
    Welcome to the Ann Arbor Public Schools Family Pages. We hope the information you find here assists you in supporting your child while s/he is learning important skills and concepts throughout the second grade year. The information provided below is meant to outline some of the specific learnings your second grader will be engaged in this year. This guide offers highlights of second grade learning, rather than an exhaustive list.
    Balanced Literacy addresses K-5 Michigan English Language Arts Standards through Reader’s Workshop. Reader’s Workshop includes five key literacy practices: (1) Interactive Read-Aloud, (2) Mini-Lesson, (3) Guided Reading, (4) Literature Study, and (5) Independent Reading. The K-2 resource is Guided Reading by Fountas and Pinnell and Literacy Continuum by Fountas and Pinnell.
    The K-5 writing program is based on the Writer's Workshop model.  It includes whole group mini-lessons, time for children to write individually, and time for writers to share their writing with each other. The Ann Arbor Public Schools uses Units of Study by Lucy Calkins and Ann Arbor-created Genre Studies as it’s core writing resources.                                                                                              To take a deeper look at each unit go to:     Atlas: Second Grade ELA 
  •  Reading

    Key Ideas and Details (Fiction and Nonfiction)
    • Ask questions to deepen understanding of text
    • Refer to important information and details and use as evidence in discussion to support opinions and statements
    • Relate text to their own lives
    • Learn new concepts and ideas from listening to fictional texts
    • Relate important ideas in the text to each other and to other texts

    Story Elements (Fiction)

    • Setting
      • Recall important details about setting after a story is read
      • Recognize and understand that texts may be set  in different places and that customs and people’s behavior may reflet those settings
      • Notice and understand settings that are distant in time and place from student’s own experience
    • Plot
      • Follow a plot with multiple events or episodes
      • Include problem and its resolution in telling what happened in a text
      • Give opinions about whether a problem seems real
      • Predict story outcomes
      • Recognize and discuss story structure: beginning, series of events, high point of the story, problem resolution, ending
    • Character
      • Recall important details about characters after a story is read
      • Follow multiple characters, each with unique traits, in the same story
      • Infer characters’ traits through thought, dialogue, behavior, and what others say or think about them and use as evidence to describe them.
      • Make predictions about what a character is likely to do
    • Messages and Themes
      • Infer simple messages in a work of fiction
      • Notice and understand obvious themes: e.g., friendship, family, growing, feelings
      • Understand that a book can have more than one message or big idea
      • Notice recurring themes in literature: e.g. struggle between good and evil, magic, wishes, trickery, transformations.

    Book and Print Features (Fiction)

    • Notice, use and understand the purpose of some organizational tools: e.g., title, table of contents
    • Notice, use, and understand the purpose of some text resources outside the body: e.g., dedication, acknowledgments, author’s note

    Organization (Nonfiction)

    • Understand that some nonfiction books tell information and are not like a story
    • Notice that a nonfiction writer puts together information related to the same topic (category)
    • Understand that a writer is telling information in a sequence (chronological order or temporal sequence)

    Vocabulary (Fiction and Nonfiction)

    • Notice and acquire understanding of new vocabulary from read-aloud content
    • Use vocabulary in discussion of a text
    • Aquire new content words from texts and graphics 
  • Writing


    • Understand that writers may tell stories from their own lives
    • Draw a picture or series of pictures and tell or write about the pictures
    • Use dialogue as appropriate to add to the meaning of the story
    • Provide some descriptive details to make the story more interesting
    • Explain one’s thoughts and feelings about an experience or event


    • Understand that writers of nonfiction texts have many ways to show facts: e.g, text, labels, drawings, photos
    • Write short pieces of writing that are enjoyable to read and at the same time give information to readers about a topic
    • Think about the readers (audience) and what they need to know
    • Select interesting information to include in a piece of writing


    • Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic, state an opinion, supply a reason for the opinion, using linking words (e.g., because, also) to connect opinion and reasons, and provide concluding statement.
  • Partnering With Your Child’s Teacher

    When you have questions or concerns, reach out to your child’s teacher—you are an important part of your child’s education. Ask to see a sample of your child’s work or bring a sample with you. Ask the teacher questions like:
    • Is my child reading on grade level? 
    • How is my child doing in writing?
    • What are my child's strengths and weaknesses?
    • What can I do at home to make sure that my child is successful?

    Helping Your Child Learn Outside of School

    1. Provide time and space for your child to read independently. This reading time should be free from distractions such as television.
    2. Ask your child what topics, events, or activities he or she likes. Then look for books, magazines, or other materials about those topics that would motivate your child to read.
    3. It is also helpful when your child sees other people reading at home. You could share what you have read.
    4. Start a family book club. Let different members of the family pick the book. This could be a good way to enjoy quality family time while experiencing the joy of reading together!
    5. Be sure your child has a library card. Children should select books in which they are interested to develop a passion for reading. Many libraries have book clubs and family activities that make reading fun for the entire family.
    6. Use technology to help build your child’s interest in reading. There are several websites where students can read books or articles online. The computer will help with words the student cannot read independently. Libraries also have computers students can use to access those sites. Feel free to ask a librarian or teacher for suggestions.