English Language Arts

2nd Grade

Course Summary

Our 2nd Grade English Language Arts curriculum is made up of three main components: Literature units, Science and Social Studies units, and independent reading. Together, these three components build students' knowledge and understanding of the world, and support student mastery of all literature, informational, writing, speaking and listening, and language standards. Our 2nd Grade curriculum does provide instruction in fluency, but does not include a comprehensive foundational skills block. We recommend using a structured phonics program alongside these units. To learn more, see the Pacing Guide for this course.


In 2nd grade Literature, students explore what it means to be a strong member of a community. In the first half of the year, students explore the lessons of classic fairy tales and how those lessons connect to their own lives and communities. Students will also develop a deeper understanding that it is okay to be different, that it’s important to always be proud of who you are, and that friendships can come in many different shapes and sizes. In the second half of the year, students grapple with what it means to be honest, why honesty is important, and the idea that working together and showing teamwork helps solve problems. 

Science and Social Studies

In 2nd grade Social Studies, students are challenged to appreciate and value the experiences of others. Students first study immigration, exploring why people choose to immigrate to a new country and the challenges they encounter along the way. Then, students learn about a collection of individuals who changed the world by thinking of new ideas, overcoming obstacles and standing up for what they believed, or fighting to make the world a better place. Finally, students explore ancient Greek civilization and how daily routines, rituals, and structures show what a civilization values. In Science, students explore different habitats and how plants and animals depend on their habitat for survival. Then students learn about what makes insects fascinating creatures, and then build a deeper understanding of how their bodies work with a deep dive into the digestive and urinary system.

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Literature Units

Unit 1

28 Lessons

Cinderella Around the World

Students read multiple versions of the fairy tale Cinderella, challenging them to think about how the culture, or setting, of the story influences the plot, and examining the setting and characters.

Unit 2

22 Lessons

Lessons from Anansi the Spider

Students read, discuss, and write about spider — or Anansi — folktales from West Africa, which have been used for generations to teach lessons about human nature and the consequences of good and bad behavior. 

Unit 3

22 Lessons

Belonging and Friendship: Pinky and Rex

By connecting with the characters from the easily relatable series Pinky and Rex, students learn that it's okay to be different and consider what it means to be a good friend.

Unit 4

22 Lessons

Finding Your Power: Freddie Ramos

Students continue to build reading and writing skills by engaging with the beginning chapter book series Zapato Power.

Unit 5

26 Lessons

Learning From Mistakes: Keena Ford

In this unit students explore the concepts of honesty, forgiveness, and friendship by reading Freckle Juice and Keena Ford and the Second-Grade Mix-Up.

Unit 6

21 Lessons

Solving Mysteries: The Fenway Foul-up

Students explore the characteristics of a mystery, and how an author uses those characteristics to develop the plot, while reading about the American pastime of baseball in the text The Fenway Foul-Up.

Science and Social Studies Units

Unit 1

27 Lessons

Exploring Habitats

Students explore various habitats (forest, desert, water, rainforest, and wetland), investigating how plants and animals survive within them, and compare and contrast the information that they gather.

Unit 2

23 Lessons

Awesome Insects

Students learn about insects and their impact on the natural world by asking and answering questions about informational texts in order to become inquisitive, active readers.

Unit 3

30 Lessons

Stories of Immigration

In this unit students explore immigration by reading a series of narrative nonfiction and fiction texts that highlight the experiences of early and recent immigrants.

Unit 4

32 Lessons

People Who Changed the World

In this unit, students improve reading and writing standards and skills as they explore biographies of famous leaders and change agents.

Unit 5

19 Lessons

Inside the Human Body

Students study two important body systems, the digestive and urinary systems, through a variety of informational texts and hands-on projects.

Unit 6

23 Lessons

Exploring Ancient Greece

In this unit, students explore ancient Greece, learning and exploring the different characteristics of ancient Greece and its values.

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