Manchester Public Schools
Office of Equity and Partnerships
Grade 2 English Curriculum Information
Here are the things your child will be expected to accomplish during the school year…
  • In this unit readers need to take charge of their growth. Readers choose not only what to read, but also how to read. This unit highlights the importance of goals and the magical combination of fluency and comprehension. Students will draw on strategies to help them tackle hard words. As students progress towards reading more complex texts, they’ll be working with texts that contain longer parts (chapters, sections, paragraphs) and this will require more retention across the entire book. The number of polysyllabic words increases dramatically, requiring readers to read across the word, breaking the word into syllables, in order to use parts of words they know to figure out the difficult words. This unit also encourages readers to read like writers. Emphasizing to students that every time they react in their books—every time they giggle or gasp or sigh—it’s because the author did something special in the writing to evoke that reaction. Each time they have a reaction, they can ask themselves, “How did the author do that?” The unit focus is on fluency and comprehension, word solving, reading like a writer, and making reading­writing connections. It will be critical to make reading as social as possible this year. Second graders are, in a way, like a young version of adolescents.   
  • In this unit students will learn to find small moment ideas in their own lives. They will stretch out and magnify their moments, writing these with great attention to detail. Students will learn to write powerful beginnings and endings. Next, students will learn to write with intention and will learn from author's’ craft. Students will try out craft moves in their own writing. As the unit progresses, the emphasis shifts to understanding why an author would use a particular craft move. Children will revise with that in mind, also paying attention to word choice and language. Finally, students will learn to make reading and writing connections, drawing on everything they have learned up until this point to discover craft moves in books they are reading on their own to apply these to their own writing. Students will work with increasing independence and will pay attention to revision and editing, aiming to make their writing as clear and as powerful as it can be.
  • In this unit readers will read lots of different books on different topics. They will be challenged by setting themselves up to learn more about topics that are in their schema, as well as allowing books to take them to whole new topics. The books the children are reading will be far more challenging than those they used to read, and they’ll definitely encounter unfamiliar vocabulary words that will pose challenges for them. Readers need to monitor for sense and to stop at the point of error, rather than just skipping past or mumbling over the tricky words. As readers do this work, one of the challenges will be for them to zoom in and pause to solve a challenging word, while not dropping their grip on the larger content that is being taught in the book. Students will begin to read from text sets, choosing a topic to read about and connecting, comparing, and contrasting information inside and across texts. Students will discover that they can actually learn about a topic in the world without needing a teacher. Books can be their teachers. 
  • In this unit students write about a shared science topic. In the opening of this unit children conduct an experiment, jotting and sketching as they do so, and then write a four­page lab report—their hypotheses on one page, procedures on another, results on a third, conclusions on a fourth. Students will be reminded that scientists participate in scientific conversations and that they too need to join the scientific community of their school by communicating clearly all they have learned. Students will be introduced to mentor texts so that they can revisit and improve lab reports already in progress. They’ll learn to write with domain­specific vocabulary and to elaborate as they write new lab reports and revise previously written ones. Students will write an information book that teaches readers all about a topic that the writer knows well. Students will learn to apply their knowledge to these subjects and learn from one another’s work. Students will learn to read these texts closely, studying techniques the authors have used and thinking about the reasons the authors made the choices they did.
  • This unit supports important foundational reading skills; fluency, figurative language, comprehension strategies, and tracking longer texts. Students will learn phrased reading and rereading, as well as fluent expressive reading. As students move into more sophisticated texts, the language becomes more complex. Students will learn to read closely and to monitor for sense. They will learn to stop to ponder over what the author may have wanted them to think and feel by choosing those images. Students will learn that comprehension strategies can help them capture what has happened in one part of a text and carry that forward as they read on. Children will choose goals for themselves from all that they have learned.
  • Students begin this unit by writing letters about the books they are reading to other potential readers of these books. Students will draft letters about the characters they’ve met in their books, formulating ideas and opinions, providing reasons for these ideas and opinions, and using details and examples from the text to support their claims. Students will be invite to write about favorite scenes and illustrations and lessons learned. Students will state opinions clearly, retell their stories so that their opinions make sense to readers, and revise their letters before sending them out into the world. Before students send their letters about their books out into the world they will also participate in a punctuation inquiry and then incorporate the conventions they are noticing in published books into their own writing. Students will shift gears, moving away from persuasive letters into persuasive essays as they write to convince others that their favorite books are worthy of awards. They will lift the level of this writing as they learn to incorporate quotations to supply further text evidence, make comparisons between books and collections of books, and develop strong introductions and conclusions, all in the service of teaching and persuading others.
  • This unit provides many opportunities to engage readers in looking at the text carefully, thinking about what the text is saying and about how the writer is saying it. Students will begin reading a series with their partners, collecting information about the main characters of their books. Students will be encouraged to think and talk together about the similarities and differences that they find across the series. Then, book clubs will be formed to continue to study the series together. Students will become far more adept at the foundational skills upon which all fiction readers rely: previewing, envisionment, prediction, monitoring for sense, inferring, and understanding characters and other story elements. Students will start rereading a book in their series and engaging in inquiry, thinking about the craft the writer uses. They will study ways authors use word choice, figurative language, punctuation, and even patterns to construct their series. Students will uncover the craft that the author uses to hook readers into the series and link the books together. Then they will come together in their book clubs to read parts aloud, and to talk across the series, comparing similarities and differences from book to book.
  • Students will begin this unit by being immersed in poems—they’ll read poems aloud as a class, in groups, with a partner, or even alone. Students will learn ways poets write about the world, making comparisons and experimenting with line breaks. They will soon move on to write about their own topics, just as they have in all the previous units, learning that their own stories and wonderings can be shaped into poems too. Students will see that spelling counts in poetry too, and they will learn strategies for editing their poems. Students will focus on ways poets choose and use a variety of poetic structures. Students will be encouraged to experiment with common poetic forms. At the end of the unit children will revise and edit their poems and celebrate by sharing them in a variety of ways.
  • Students will become more familiar with fairy tales, folktales, fables and fantasy. They will read in partnerships and book clubs. Students will bring books to life by role­playing the characters. They will make sense of the complex language and literary devices common to the genre and they will discover predictable roles characters play. Then, students will read across stories with similar themes or messages, considering similarities and differences across the books they have read.
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