The eight-year-old child begins to approach the world with sharper perception. Children at this age are not yet objective, as their perception is still mediated by their strong feelings. However, they begin to notice inconsistencies and differences more acutely. They awaken to their own and others’ gifts and imperfections. As the second graders begin to experience the different shades of human nature, they hear fables that reveal our weaknesses and legends that exemplify our most noble strengths. Through their imaginations, the children arrive at the important life lessons contained within these stories.
The children are now capable of more writing. In first grade the children learned how to retell a story in sequence. In second grade that skill is expanded as the children learn how to summarize and write a story on their own. While the children continue to read from their own work, they also begin to read a book as a class, each taking a turn. Recitation of poems, rhymes, and tongue twisters continues to build a love for language, phonemic awareness, and clear speech. The children learn how to read and spell words in various word families.
In mathematics, the children are introduced to place value through story and concrete experience. They learn how to read numbers to one million. They are introduced to problems in vertical form, regrouping, and strategies for mental arithmetic. Circle games and exercises help the children learn and remember their multiplication tables. The children discover number patterns, and are deeply satisfied at this age by the order within the number system. Factors, common multiples, and prime numbers are explored preparing for the understanding of fractions in fourth grade.
The children continue to learn about the natural world through visits to the park and gardening. The children may begin to reflect on their experiences on nature walks, by writing in a nature journal. Through the animal fables, the children discuss the characteristics of various animals.