adobe pdf icon

These curriculum summaries have been developed by teachers and administrators to serve as another way of communicating with parents. They highlight the core curriculum and expectations for student learning at each grade level.

The curriculum summaries describe what most students at a grade level are expected to know and be able to do by the end of the school year. They also reflect the goals of the various Massachusetts curriculum frameworks. It is important to note that although children may learn and grow at different rates and through varied styles, all should make regular progress.

While we have high expectations for all students and encourage each student to work to their capacity, parents and teachers recognize that some students have more difficulty in school. Others will progress more rapidly and move well beyond these core expectations. It is the joint responsibility of school and home to provide support, challenge, and encouragement for all students.

Reading/Language Arts

The second grade reading/language arts program stresses a continuum of skills and strategies to further develop the literacy skills and strategies introduced in first grade. Core instruction is delivered through the 2017 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Journeys reading program, key components of which include instruction in phonics and decoding, fluency, comprehension vocabulary, study skills, and writing (including grammar, usage, mechanics, and spelling.) Continued attention is given to skills in listening, speaking, viewing and representing. The core anthology is supplemented by numerous print and digital resources that assist students in the development of close reading and analysis skills. Teachers also integrate reading with content areas such as science, math, and social studies. Key concepts are presented to students in whole-class format while Response to Intervention (RTI) practices allow individual needs to be met in small skill-based groups. Students are assessed using DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) in order to identify necessary and appropriate intervention techniques. A district-wide literacy portfolio plan assesses student progress in skills indicated by both the Common Core framework and the core reading program. The writing process is taught through direct instruction in the Empowering Writers program in order to meet state and local standards for writing in the expository, opinion, and narrative modes. In the fall grade 2 students will review manuscript letters. After Thanksgiving teachers will begin to introduce cursive writing with primary focus on lower case letters.

Social Studies

The grade 2 social studies curriculum is aligned with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for History/Social Science, as well as the English Language Arts and Literacy. The chief purpose of the grade 2 curriculum is to help students understand that American citizenship embraces all kinds of people, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and national origin. Second graders learn world and United States history, geography, economics, and government by studying more about who Americans are and where they came from. They explore their own family’s history and learn about distinctive achievements, customs, events, places, or landmarks from long ago and from around the world.  Physical, economic, and human geography are integrated into the course to provide a basic understanding of how transportation and communication systems help bring people together at local, national, and international levels. Class time may be used for teacher presentations, student sharing, videos, hands-on activities, experiments, and interest-centered experiences.  Guest speakers and special field trips also provide incentives for special projects.  Whenever possible, social studies will be taught in an integrated manner with science, mathematics, language arts, and reading. Teachers will utilize picture books, historical fiction and other trade books to thematically connect literacy to social studies.


The grade 2 science program follows an inquiry and constructivist approach. Class time is typically devoted to hands-on activities followed by discussions to help students gain an understanding of important concepts. Science at this level is often integrated with literature, social studies, and health. Specific objectives include: observing and describing soils (humus, sand, and clay); performing tests to characterize and identify soil parts; developing an awareness of how soils, plants, and animals interrelate; interpreting tests on basic soil samples to draw conclusions about soil composition; and performing simple experiments to explore principles of balance and motion. Grade 2 students also engage in a science literacy unit focusing on animal classification, in which students identify the distinguishing characteristics of each vertebrate group, including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Class time may be used for teacher presentations, student sharing, videos, hands-on activities and experiments, and interest-centered experiences. Engineering design challenges are integrated to provide opportunities for students to apply science content. Student assessment is based on participation, task completion, and the articulation of ideas through writing and drawing of observations in a science journal.


The curriculum of the Hingham Public Schools is aligned with and based on the 2011 Massachusetts Curriculum Framework for Mathematics, based on the Common Core State Standards.  Hingham uses the Everyday Mathematics program (Wright Group) as its primary tool to teach the mathematics curriculum.

Second grade Everyday Mathematics content emphasizes the following:

Numeration – counting; reading, writing & modeling whole numbers; place-value; comparing numbers; working with fractions; using money to develop place-value and decimal concepts.

Operations & Computation – addition and subtraction facts; adding and subtracting with tens and hundreds; making estimates; beginning multiplication and division; calculating values of coin and bill combinations.

Patterns, Functions & Algebra – exploring patterns and rules; relations between numbers and attributes. Geometry – exploring 2- and 3-dimensional shapes; classifying polygons.

Measurement – using tools to measure length, weight and temperature; U.S. customary and metric measurement units; clocks & calendars.

Data & Chance – collecting, organizing and interpreting data using tables, charts, line plots and graphs.

Hingham believes that concept mastery comes over a period of time, first through informal exposure and then through more formal and directed instruction.  Teachers utilize a combination of whole group instruction, small group activities and individual learning experiences.  Student progress is assessed using ongoing and formal unit assessments. Students have the opportunity to participate in Continental Math League (CML) contest exams.

Foreign Language

The elementary foreign language program is a student-centered interactive approach to learning Spanish. Students are taught basic communication skills through function-based thematic units. They include such topics as greetings and responses, counting, colors and shapes, days of the week, months, weather expressions, clothing, animals, members of the family, etc. Initially, instruction is implemented via oral language with a gradual transition to written language. Cultural aspects of the Spanish speaking world are interwoven throughout the lessons as applicable. Use of the creative arts such as music, storytelling, rhyme, and drawing promote learning in an enjoyable as well as meaningful environment. Students in grades K-5 participate in the elementary foreign language program once in a six-day cycle.


Second grade students are scheduled for art at least once in each six-day cycle.  The focus of the curriculum is on practicing skills introduced in first grade by using a variety of two and three dimensional materials and media.  Students continue to use the elements and principles of art and design.  They cultivate experiences in primary and secondary colors, line qualities, varieties of textures, and pattern while continuing to use shape, space, and composition.  Visual rhythm and movement are introduced.  Students create artwork from observation and imagination and begin to explore abstraction.  Students continue to respond critically by comparing and contrasting similarities and differences in works of art, materials, and techniques.  An emphasis is placed on integration with classroom themes and core curriculum objectives.  Evaluation is based on students’ level of independence in completing art objectives.


Students in grade 2 are scheduled for classroom music at least once in each six-day cycle.  Instruction is interactive and students will learn to: sing as a basis for the curriculum; move to a beat; dance to music; understand simple music notation; appreciate all styles of music; participate in music-related games; and learn to match pitch on a consistent basis.  Wherever appropriate, instruction will provide opportunities to make connections between music and literature, science, mathematics, and other disciplines.

Physical Education

The physical education curriculum is an activity-based program designed to promote the proper skills and attitudes that are associated with sport, recreation, and good health.  The curriculum is presented through individual, partner, group, and team experiences.  Major themes for study include: movement; games; recreational or leisure time activities; sports; and physical fitness.  Primary grade (K-3) instruction is presented through one or more 40 minute classes in each six-day cycle.  Topics for study include: locomotor skills (run, skip, hop, etc.); low organization games; lead-up sports; health; and sportsmanship.  Students are expected to show age-appropriate development in both skill and understanding.

Computer Science

Students will continue to develop skills necessary to use age-appropriate technologies as they begin Internet use for research and critical thinking. Responsible use of technology through school rules for safe and ethical Internet use will be addressed. In addition, students will continue to expand their basic programming and coding skills and work to learn introductory keyboarding skills using two hands, then beginner word processing skills will be introduced.


Students in grade 2 visit the library regularly for both formal instruction and book selection which includes read-aloud, discussion sessions, and peer sharing opportunities.  The library media objectives include: review and reinforcement of skills learned K-1; introduction to fiction shelving scheme; exemplary authors and illustrators; understanding the difference between fiction and nonfiction books and call numbers; introduction to fairy tales, easy reader chapter books, and age-appropriate book selection; using basic reference skills and resources such as dictionaries and encyclopedias; introduction to using electronic references and the library’s online catalog.


Primary grade instruction (1-3) involves formal classes as well as informal responses to incidents or related curriculum references (“teachable moments”).  Typical subjects for study include: daily hygiene; disease prevention; safety and injury prevention; and physical, social and emotional health.  Social and emotional health is taught using the Second Step program which includes lessons on empathy, impulse control and problem solving, and anger management.  The major themes are: health habits; safety; nutrition; drug safety; and social and emotional health.  Class time is used for teacher presentation, class discussions, and  student projects.

Suggestions For Parent Assistance

  • Develop good nutritional, rest, exercise, and safety habits.
  • Work with the school to develop good study skills and self-discipline.
  • Show an active interest in your child’s daily school activities.
  • Help your child to select materials and ideas from home which contribute to class activities and discussions.
  • Plan family experiences which support topics studied at school.
  • Encourage your child to pursue individual interests such as hobbies, arts, and athletics.
  • Volunteer in your child’s school and attend individual conferences and school events.
  • Consult with the classroom teacher about specific ways to help your child.
  • Provide a place and time for your child to complete homework assignments comfortably and on time.
  • Assist your child with the completion and review of homework, but ensure the final product is reflective of the child’s understanding of the assignment.
  • Foster an interest in reading by reading regularly to and with your child.


At grade 2, student progress reports are issued twice per year.  There is no standardized testing component at this level, but curriculum and assessment activities do reflect goals that will be evaluated as part of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS 2.0) testing in later grades.  Students are assessed using DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) in order to identify necessary and appropriate intervention techniques to help children achieve given benchmarks.  Literacy portfolios and math folders contain samples of classroom assessments and other student work.

For more information

Questions about grade level curriculum should be directed first to your child’s teacher. The principal or assistant principal may provide additional information.

East Elementary

Foster Elementary

Plymouth River Elementary

South Elementary

Superintendent’s Office

Comments about this document may be directed to Dr. LaBillois at [email protected] or 781-741-1500.