2nd Grade Science and Social Studies
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In this second grade course, students explore and grapple with a wide variety of social studies and science topics while building their skills in informational reading and writing. While this course can be used to teach science and social studies, it is also an important component of Match’s second grade English Language Arts program.
In social studies, students begin by studying early and recent immigration, exploring why people choose to leave their homes and immigrate to a new country and the hardships and challenges they encounter along the way. Second graders then learn about a diverse collection of individuals who changed the world by either thinking of new ideas and inventing things, overcoming obstacles and standing up for what they believed, or fighting to make the world and environment a better place. Students end by exploring ancient Greek civilization and how daily routines, rituals, and structures show what a civilization values. It is our hope that all social studies–based units will challenge students to appreciate and value the experiences of others.
In science, second graders start by exploring different habitats and how plants and animals depend on their habitat for survival. Then students learn about the different characteristics of insects and what makes insects fascinating creatures. Finally, students investigate the human body and learn about ways to keep our bodies healthy and thriving. It is our hope that the science-based units will help students develop an awareness and appreciation for the world around them.
At Match Elementary School, we structure our 60-minute social studies and science block so that over the course of a week students have a chance to grapple with a variety of nonfiction texts as well as the content and themes of the unit. We aim to ensure that students spend the majority of class time deeply engaged with informational texts, either individually or as a class, writing and discussing key themes and questions. Target tasks are a central part of each daily lesson and offer opportunities for writing and discussion that both deepen students’ understanding of the content and build their writing and discussion skills. Reading, writing, and discussion strategies learned during the science and social studies block are practiced and supported by other reading blocks during the day (word study, writer’s workshop, guided reading, independent reading, and literature).
We also believe in the power of hands-on learning in all science and social studies units; therefore, labs and projects should be included in every unit. While directions for labs and projects are not yet explicitly written into unit plans, we encourage all teachers to include at least three or four days of exploratory learning over the course of the unit to help bring the content to life.