Lessons & Classroom Games for Teachers
The second grade language arts curriculum often revolves around developing reading and writing skills. Students are ready to incorporate a higher level of comprehension in their reading, and place expression into their writing. Lesson plans that include comprehension, creative writing and sequencing are important components of language arts for second grade.
A strategy that can be used in the language arts classroom is to have students show understanding through illustrations and sentences. After reading a second grade literature book, students can be asked to illustrate their favorite scene from the book. Having the students include two or three sentences with their drawings will allow them to make a connection between what they remembered and how well they can explain it. There are a variety of ways to alter this assignment. Instead of just having students illustrate a favorite scene, they might be asked to illustrate the most important part of the story or who the main characters were. The combination of reading, writing and illustrations gives students a chance to practice key skills of communication.
In relation to comprehension, it is important for second grade students to practice sequence of events. This skill ensures that students understand the order in which events took place in a story. One way to practice this is to have students read aloud and then draw on a graphic organizer that shows what happened first, second, third, etc., in the story. Another variation on this assignment is to give students flashcards that show different parts of a sequence. For example, a group of four flash cards might show the steps in making a peanut butter sandwich. Students would then be asked to arrange their cards to show what needs to happen first. Once students have mastered this skill, review their progress by having them write their own sentences that show the order of events. "If You Give A Mouse a Cookie" is a book title that would work well with this lesson.
In addition to knowing how to explain events and recall sequence, students should know how to describe. Descriptions of people, places and things are a starting point for second graders to learn about nouns and adjectives. One way to introduce nouns and the adjectives that describe nouns is to have students describe objects in the classroom. Allow students to find any object in the room they want to write about. Students might choose the classroom flag, the pencil sharpener or a bean bag. The instructor asks the students to write words that tell how the object looks, feels and sounds. The students can use words they know or use beginner dictionaries kept in the class as resources.