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History-Social Science in Second Grade

Parents - what your child is supposed to learn in second grade

What You Need to Know: 

The world for second-graders is still student-centered, but it has grown slightly larger than in earlier grades.  Second grade is also the first time that students’ communities involve studying about different facets of their community – both today and in the past.  Students learn about diverse family structures (this is the first time, for example that the FAIR Act, California’s law calling for an inclusion of LGBTQ individuals and people with disabilities, is included).  As students learn about different family structures, they study not just single-parent, grandparent-led, two-parent, or foster-parent households, for example, they also learn about families with same-sex parents.  Students in second grade learn about the important roles that people play in their communities today and in the past; they often do projects about heroines/heroes that are relevant to students’ understanding of greatness.

Between April and June:  

Between April and June, second grade students might: 

  • Look through this set of sources about how people remember their pasts (2.1)
  • Look through this set of sources about why people move (2.2)
  • Read a biography about a person that the student deems important and then creatively display how the person displayed heroic characteristics (through writing about ways that his person helped, led, or did something notable).
  • Interview someone in their own lives who was born at least four decades before them.  Students can compose their own questions to find out ways that the interview subjects’ life was different from and similar to their own.
  • Learn about their own community through photographs that are easily accessible through Calisphere, a massive collection of well-organized materials from California’s libraries.

Lessons and Source Sets:

Heroes (2nd grade primary source set)
People Remember the Past (2nd grade primary source set)
Why do People Move? (2nd grade primary source set)

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