Welcome to Second Grade

What Every Second Grader Should Know
and Be Able To Do!


En Español


This curriculum brochure is an overview of the Mesa School District expectations of what 2nd grade students are expected to know and be able to do in the major subject areas of reading, writing/language, mathematics, science, and social studies in order to be prepared for the third grade.

The expectations listed are summarized from the Mesa Public Schools curriculum, which is aligned with the Arizona Academic Standards. These performance standards reflect the goals of the educational community to ensure all students an education essential to success in our local and global communities.


Social Studies





The goal of MPS is for every child to be a successful and independent reader. Recognizing the importance of reading practice, it is necessary to read with your child, read to your child, or allows your child to read independently every day.

Students should know and be able to …


Phonemic Awareness


• orally blend and segment two-syllable words


Phonetic Skills


• decode words using knowledge of phonics, syllabication, and common spelling patterns (su-per; sup-per)




• learn and use new vocabulary, including sight words

• read and understand meaning of words using prefixes and suffixes

• determine meaning of compound words, abbreviations, and contractions




• read grade-level material with 90% accuracy


Comprehension – Literary Text (fiction: stories, poetry, plays)


• identify story elements (characters, setting, plot)

• restate story events in order

• identify cause and effect


Comprehension – Informational Text (nonfiction)


Students are required to understand and use the wide variety of informational materials that are part of our daily life: charts, diagrams, magazines, maps, tables, and timelines.

• identify main idea

• follow multi-step written directions

• locate facts to answer questions



Writing Process


Through use of the writing process, students will continually develop and improve their writing.

Students should know and be able to …

Prewriting use strategies to generate, plan and organize ideas for specific purposes

Drafting incorporate prewriting activities to create a first draft

Revising evaluate and refine the rough draft for clarity and effectiveness

Editing proofread and corrects the draft for conventions

Publishing format and present a final product for the intended audience


Writing Elements


Through daily writing activities, students will develop the elements/traits of beginning writing.

Students should know and be able to …

Ideas express a clear message; include details that add interest

Organization organize writing in the appropriate format such as letter, narrative, or report; include a beginning, middle, and end; use transition words to connect ideas

Voice express a sense of personality in the writing

Word Choice use a variety of words, even if not spelled correctly, to get across the intended message and create a picture in the reader’s mind

Sentence Fluency use a variety of sentence beginnings and lengths so writing sounds natural when read aloud idea, and supporting details using informational sources such as books or videos

Conventions follow simple rules of capitalization and punctuation; spell high frequency words correctly; use patterns and rules of phonics to spell words correctly; use grammar (parts of speech) correctly


Writing Applications


Through a variety of writing applications, students will develop their written communication skills.

Students should know and be able to …

• write narratives, stories and simple poems

• create lists, observations, or journals through drawing and writing

• write friendly letters, thank-you notes, messages and directions

• write a response to a literature selection that makes a personal connection

• write a simple report with a title, main idea, and supporting details using informational sources such as books or videos


Top of Page




The goal of MPS is for every child to be successful in developing the concepts and understanding of mathematics and to recognize the connections between mathematics and everyday life.

Students should know and be able to …

• count, read, write, model, order and compare numbers to 1,000 using place value concepts (e.g., 357= 3 hundreds, 5 tens, and 7 ones)

• identify odd and even numbers through 1000

• memorize addition facts through 10 + 10 and the related subtraction facts

• demonstrate the concept of multiplication of 1’s, 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s

• count, add, and subtract money to $1.00

• add and subtract two-digit numbers with regrouping (e.g., 47 + 28 = 75, 64 – 35 = 29)

• create and solve addition and subtraction word problems with two-digit numbers

• use estimation to determine if sums of 2-digit numbers are more or less than 20, more or less than 50, or more or less than 100


Data Analysis and Discrete Mathematics


• collect, organize, record, and display data from graphs, charts, and tables

• create and answer questions and collect data

• determine the number of different possible combinations between sets (e.g., How many different types of sandwiches can be made with three types of fillings and two types of bread?)

• color simple maps using the least number of colors

• build vertex-edge graphs


Pattern, Algebra and Functions


• recognize, describe, create, extend and find a missing term in a variety of patterns

• describe the rule that explains simple patterns or the relationship between two quantities

• identify the value of an unknown number in an addition or subtraction fact

• represent an addition or subtraction word problem through 100 using an equation

• compare expressions using <, >, =, ≠


Geometry and Measurement


• describe and compare attributes of two-dimensional shapes with up to six sides

• tell where a line of symmetry divides a two-dimensional shape into mirror images

• compare and measure using length, capacity, and weight (inches, feet, cups, quarts, ounces, pounds)

• demonstrate unit conversions of U.S. Customary measurement

• tell time to the nearest minute on standard and digital clocks

• read temperatures on a thermometer using Fahrenheit and Celsius




• use the problem-solving process and strategies to solve mathematical problems

• explain mathematical thinking and evaluate the reasonableness of solutions

Top of Page  



Students should know and be able to …


Inquiry Process


• formulate questions and predict results

• participate in guided investigations

• follow safe science procedures

• use simple tools to collect data

• record data in an organized format

• construct reasonable explanations

• compare results to predictions

• generate further questions

• communicate results of observations


History and Nature of Science


• understand that all people can and do participate in science

• identify science-related careers

• identify parts and characteristics of a familiar system


Personal and Social Perspectives


• analyze how technologies impact lives

• describe technological contributions past and present

• identify a simple problem that can be solved with a simple tool


Life Science


• identify and describe major parts and functions of the digestive, respiratory, and circulatory systems

• describe and compare life cycles of insects, mammals, and organisms

• identify animal structures that serve different functions


Physical Science


• classify materials as solids, liquids, or gases

• demonstrate water can exist in various forms


Earth and Space Science


• measure and record weather conditions

• identify cloud types

• analyze the relationship between clouds, temperature, and weather patterns


Top of Page

Social Studies

Students should know and be able to …


American History


place life and historical events on a timeline, and retell stories to describe past events*

use primary and secondary source materials, and connect current events with historical events*

• recognize prehistoric Native American mound-building cultures

• describe how colonists demonstrated their discontent with British Rule

• discuss key people in gaining independence

• discuss what led to the Constitution and Bill of Rights

• identify reasons for immigration and westward movement, and experiences of moving west

• discuss effects of Westward Expansion on Native Americans

• recognize current Native American tribes in the U.S.


World History


• recognize that civilizations developed in China, India, and Japan and their contributions

• describe the effects of expanding trade

• recognize that people challenged their form of government




• identify national symbols, icons, songs, and holidays

• recognize U.S. Constitution provides common laws and protects rights

• identify three branches of government

• identify current President, Governor of Arizona, and local leaders

• identify examples of responsible citizenship and its rights and responsibilities




• recognize different types of maps

• interpret political and physical maps

• construct maps of a familiar place with key map elements

• discuss human settlement patterns, economic activities, and land use of areas studied

• discuss elements of culture in area studied




• discuss scarcity and opportunity cost of a choice

• identify differences among natural, human, and capitol resources

• recognize people trade for goods and services

• compare use of barter and money

• discuss costs and benefits of personal savings


* These skills are repeated in World History


Mrs. Goldhirsch, Mrs. Pomeroy, Mrs. Joerz (Top of Page)