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.
How to Use This Course
Science and Social Studies at Match
At Match Education we have ambitious goals for our students. Through our teaching, we strive to transform our scholars into critical readers, writers, and thinkers, and we seek to widen our students’ perspectives and deepen their character so that they can better understand themselves and the world around them.
In grades kindergarten through five, our science and social studies curriculum does double duty. It exposes students to the core knowledge, skills, and habits of thinking needed to be successful in science and social studies, while at the same time honing students’ ability to read and write about complex informational texts. In this way the science and social studies curriculum in the elementary grades is a core component of Match’s overall approach to English language arts instruction. Through daily science or social studies instruction centered on reading, discussing, and analyzing nonfiction texts, combined with daily reading and writing instruction focused on literary texts, we help our students build the skills to become strong readers and writers.
Our elementary science and social studies curriculum is also under development. In this first phase of its development we have focused heavily on the skills and standards involved in reading and writing about informational texts. Over the next year it will evolve to include more detailed hands-on projects, labs, and activities in order to more deeply engage students in the content and teach important thinking and problem-solving skills.
For more information, view our full Science and Social Studies Program Overview.