A large part of the social studies curriculum throughout the primary grades consists of learning about families, neighborhoods, cities and towns, and countries. Second graders focus their attention on the own neighborhoods - on landmarks, architecture, history, changes over time, commerce, distinctive features, and similarity to other neighborhoods. They also learn about and celebrate various local, state, and national holidays and festivals. They read biographies of important Americans.
The concept of citizenship is emphasized, usually in ways that promote responsibility, such as helping others and learning about rules and how rules are used to resolve conflict. Children will be asked to talk with their parents about voting and governmental functions. They will also interview their parents and grandparents about their cultural heritage. Maps will become more familiar, and children will be able to use map coordinates, read map symbols, and locate oceans, rivers, cities, and towns. One key aspect of second grade social studies is that children will show increased understanding of historical time.
Reprinted from 101 Educational Conversations with Your 2nd Grader by Vito Perrone, published by Chelsea House Publishers.
Copyright 1994 by Chelsea House Publishers, a division of Main Line Book Co. All rights reserved.