Teaching Literacy in Second Grade

Teaching Literacy in Second Grade

Teaching Literacy in Second Grade

Teaching Literacy in Second Grade


Second-grade classrooms are exciting places to visit. Children are consolidating their growing reading and writing expertise, exploring new genres, and becoming more effective communicators. This book takes the reader into several exemplary second-grade classrooms to demonstrate what teachers can do to optimize literacy learning for their students. Highlights include how to set appropriate short- and long-term goals for individual students, ways to plan instruction to meet those goals, and innovative ideas for partnering with parents.


In a visit to Vickie Kagan's second-grade classroom, we discovered the writing of a child named Will displayed on a wall in the writing center (Figure 1.1):

The Sloth and the Monkey

Once upon a time there was a sloth and a monkey. They were good friends
with each other. Then the next day the Sloth got captured by the hunters.
Then the Monkey tried to help his friend the Sloth by cutting the rope with
a sharp rock.

Moral: Good friends help each other.

In another writing piece, this time as a statement of resolutions for the new year, Will wrote (Figure 1.2):

Eat more food.
Focus on the teacher.
Make mom & dad proud.
Be nice to my sister.
Make new friends.

In many ways, Will is typical of most second graders. Even in just two samples, we get some sense of what interests him as a 7-year-old. in fact, themes that child development theorists identify as central to children Will's age are evident in his writing: He cares deeply about his family, and even though he fusses a bit with his older sister, he wants to be nice to her. He, like other second graders, wants . . .

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