Second Grade

Second graders cultivate their curiosity and build autonomy in a safe, motivating environment.

Students study early pioneers and apply their knowledge on Pioneer Day with hands-on activities and demonstrations. Budding entrepreneurs collaborate to create math stores using learned math concepts. Book characters come to life in second grade book reports with character presentations. French language and culture are studied with connections to homeroom activities.

Our second grade homeroom teachers provide instruction in Language Arts, Math, and Social Studies.



Language Arts

  • Reading for understanding and fluency
  • Genre: Novels, fairy tales, biographies and early American history
  • Phonemic awareness, phonics, spelling and vocabulary, grammar
  • Writing: Creative and non-fiction
  • Book reports with presentations


  • Place value: 1-1000s
  • Addition and subtraction
  • Regrouping
  • Simple fractions
  • Measurement
  • Money, weight, volume, time
  • Estimation/approximation
  • Introduction to multiplication as repeated addition

Social Studies

  • Family, community, and citizenship
  • Calendars and timelines, using references and other sources
  • U.S. and world geography, mapping
  • Food production, economics
  • National symbols, government
  • Discovering our past (early U.S. history) people, places and holidays

Pioneer Day
In conjunction with their Social Studies explorations, second grade students experience life as a settler in the Old West during the annual Pioneer Day, a re-enactment of a typical day in early American history. From making butter and home-made ice cream, to taking a lesson from a strict and demanding schoolmistress, to sewing a leather purse and weaving, the day is filled with laughter, hands-on learning, and good ole’ fashioned fun.



Students learn the fundamentals of performance with the drama teacher during 4 weeks of rehearsing a full- length musical theater performance. Each student gains self-confidence by actively performing on the stage. The students' efforts culminate in a final production with two live performances for students and parents.

  • Learn memorization, characterization
  • Develop acting and performance skills including music and singing, timing and choreography
  • Learn costuming, set design, stage balance and stage directions


Music at ACDS incorporates tonal instruments, dance, and voice in the Orff Program.

  • Basic music theory as a foundation for reading music
  • Integrate movement and dance while developing their voices and discovering the joy of singing
  • Learn the songs of our country and other cultures
  • Experience the beauty of great works of music and learn about the composers who wrote them


Students explore their unique creative abilities while they experience and develop artistic skills using a variety of media and subjects; student artwork is displayed in ASSETS, our school-wide talent show, and in a variety of local art exhibitions.


  • Exposure to French history, culture, and cuisine
  • Oral practice, role-play and traditional French songs
  • Introduction to elementary vocabulary and grammar
  • Conversation with simple sentence structure
  • Use of thematic units and integration with Social Studies

French teacher, 2 classes per week


  • Ants
  • Sink and Float
  • Plant Cycles
  • Lego experiments*
  • Marbles Ramps*
  • Finding the moon, including visits to the Star Lab
  • Pollinators
  • Second grade students create scarecrows in partnership with third grade students as part of their Fall science unit. The completed scarecrows are scattered throughout the garden and used as decoration during the annual Pumpkin Carving school-wide family party.
  • All elementary science units contain STEM elements and activities; however, those with asterisks have a particularly strong STEM focus.

Elementary science teacher, 2 classes per week


An interactive whiteboard, projector, laptops, and iPads are available in the classroom for small group work and collaboration. Students develop logical thinking, problem-solving, and sequential-patterning skills which are the building blocks of programming through a comprehensive puzzle-building interface that preps them for learning how to code.


Second grade students visit the library once a week. Our full-time librarian reads stories to the class, and students are encouraged to check out books to bring home. Second graders do various research-based projects and use the library to find books to support their project.

Physical Education

Regular weekly P.E. instruction builds fitness, coordination and skill progression, while increasing students' readiness to learn in all subjects.

Field Trips

Second grade students have multiple offsite field trips during the year. In recent years, they trekked to the Seymour Discovery Center at Long's Marine Laboratory, picked apples at Gizdich Apple Farm and drank tea after their tour of the Campbell Historical Museum.

Big Buddy Program

Each second grade student is paired with a Big Buddy from the Upper Elementary or Middle School grades. Throughout the year, the Big Buddies meet to work, play and learn together in a variety of activities. The beloved Big Buddy Program is a highlight of the ACDS experience for younger and older children alike.