Grade 2 Highlights (Learning in Action!)

Mr. Kevin's Grade 2 Class (April 2019)


Learning about Reptiles


The students began their theme unit on animals by getting together with a partner and completing a cut and glue sorting activity. The challenge was to sort a number of animals into groups based on similarities and differences. Some students sorted animals based on size, number of legs, diet, or how they move. Students then had a chance to present their ideas to the class. In the next class, students learned that the scientists who study animals divide them into groups based on common characteristics. These groups are mammals, reptiles, fish, birds and amphibians.


Students then learned the common characteristics shared by all reptiles. For example, all reptiles have scales and all reptiles lay eggs. We then looked at a number of animals and students were asked to explain whether or not the animal was a reptile. Students gave answers like, “A frog is not a reptile because frogs to not have scales” or “A snake is a reptile because it moves along the ground, lays eggs and has scales”.


Lastly, students worked alone or with a partner to create a reptile poster. Students listed all the characteristics common to reptiles and also gave some examples of animals that are reptiles. All of the students had a great time learning about reptiles!

Ms. King's Grade 2 Class (March 2019)


Let It Rain!


The students in our class have been learning about the water cycle this month.  The students demonstrated what happens in rain clouds using shaving cream and blue food coloring.


First, the class discussed different types of precipitation (rain and snow) and our vocabulary for the water cycle (evaporation, condensation and precipitation).  Then, the students practiced dialogues about the weather and made posters in class about the water cycle.


The class was ready to demonstrate what happens in the clouds before it rains! In our classroom demonstration, when the shaving cream “cloud” can no longer absorb the blue water, gravity pulls the blue water down and it starts to “rain”. The students also had to estimate how many drops of blue water their cloud would hold and then determine how many drops the cloud actually held.


First, the students made a cloud using shaving cream.  Next, they estimated how many drops of blue water their cloud might hold.  The students used a paintbrush to add blue water to the shaving cream “cloud”, counting the drops as they were added.  Once the “cloud” was saturated, the blue water drops started to “rain” in the cup. The students wrote down the actual number of drops their cloud held. 


Some students noticed that the larger shaving cream “clouds” needed more drops of blue water to start the “rain”. Finally, the students discussed the cloudy weather outside and predicted that it would rain soon when the clouds had more water droplets and were “full”. It was a fun time experimenting and learning about how rain is formed.

Mr. James' Grade 2 Class (March 2019)


My Family & Me - Teaching Family Members Vocabulary


In Grade Two, most of our students know the words mother, father, sister, brother, grandfather and grandmother, but they have not learnt others such as aunt and uncle, grandson, granddaughter and cousin. The aim of the class is to ensure that they are familiar with these terms, so that they can use them in their speaking and writing. As an engaging opening to the class, we sang some family songs together. The students then shared all the family members they knew, and drew pictures of them on the board. This was good fun!


As an added layer of difficulty, students were asked to describe the family members using adjectives. Students then drew their own family members in their books, and wrote sentences about them. Once the children were comfortable with the vocabulary, they were asked to create family trees. We first looked at the teacher’s family tree online and discussed the relationships. Then we reviewed the vocabulary with a Simpsons family PowerPoint. The students used this to help them create their own family trees in their books.


To conclude the class, we played a Question and Answer PowerPoint Game to test their knowledge. We also played a fun game of family charades. Later in the week, we read the story “Dracula and his Family” by Gaia Lerace. The students answered questions about Dracula’s family and described the monsters they saw. The lesson was a success, and students who struggled with the family members vocabulary beforehand, are now comfortable using them in their work. 

Mr. Mock's Grade 2 Class (March 2019)


Graphing Fun


Our students have been making bar graphs to work on their English mathematical skills. The goal was for students to complete their own bar graph independently.   


First, the teacher explained we would be learning about bar graphs. Then we watched a short video about them.  Next, the teacher made a bar graph for the students and showed them the proper way to make the graph. Then the students chose their favorite season and asked questions related to the season graph.


Next, we made a bar graph together asking student what color flower they liked the most. The teacher filled in part of the bar graph with the students and then they finished the bar graph independently.  To review, the teacher asked questions about the graph. At the end of this part of the lesson, several students showed the class their completed bar graph.


After that students made their own graph from two options. The students could choose to make a bar graph about the weather or their favorite specials class. They started by making a tally chart to record their data. After that, they asked other students in English their question and recorded their answers on the tally chart. Next, they used the date from their tally charts to complete their bar graphs.


When students were finished, some of the students presented their graphs to the class. The bar graph process is complete! Whilst learning about graphing, the students were also practicing a lot of day to day English and learning some new English vocabulary and having fun! 

Ms. B's Grade 2 Class (March 2019)


Fun with Phonics


This semester we are learning about digraphs. This week, we learned about the digraph /ch/. On Monday, we sang a song to introduce the new sounds. We made a list of words with the /ch/ sound the students heard in the song. Then, we read the story Chip the Chimp together. The students were able to find and decode words in the story with the /ch/ sound. Throughout the week, they looked in this book to underline the words with this sound so they can decode them for homework.


Later in the week, we read the story together again to make sure that all of the students have found all of the words. We also practiced decoding words with the new sound throughout the week. We read them together first, and then practice decoding them. Every student gets to try decoding new words individually every day. They then write the new words in their phonics notebooks so they can read them for homework. We also played computer games that help students practice the /ch/ sound. Students enjoy participating in these games and showing off their knowledge of new sounds. 

Mrs. Palfreyman's Grade 2 Class (Nov 2017)


Introducing the Four Seasons


First, the teacher explained the different seasons in a year and which months belong to which season.  The students were asked to identify and repeat the names of each season and the teacher recorded them on the whiteboard for later use. The students then listened to the teacher read a children’s story book called “The Fourteen Bears in Summer and Winter” by Evelyn Scott.  Throughout the book the teacher would ask “What do you see the bears do in summer/winter?” The children took turns pointing out things they saw the bears doing in each season.


After reading the story, the class viewed a power point illustrating each season through multiple pictures. The teacher also used flashcards to introduce different activities people can do during that season. The students were asked to identify activities they liked, what the weather was like, and things they saw in that particular season. Students used this time to practice the dialogue “What can you do in __________?” “In _____ I can ______.”


After the class examined each season through pictures and flashcards, we did a power point activity. This power point showed only a small section of a picture. The students had to try and guess which season was hiding. Lastly, the students were given a whiteboard and marker for an activity called “Name the season.”  For this activity the teacher would say a phrase such as “In this season I can build a snowman.” or “In this season I see many baby animals.” With the help of the names of the seasons written on the board the students wrote the name of the correct season on their whiteboard. The first table with each student writing the correct answers received a point. This activity was a great introduction to the seasons and a way for the teacher to identify the previous knowledge the students had of the seasons in the year. 

Mr. James' Grade 2 Class (Oct 2017)


Halloween Question Words: Who? What? When? Where?


Questions words such as whowhat, when and where are different from yes / no questions because they ask for specific information. We use who to ask questions about people. We use what to ask about things or actions. When is used to ask about times which can be specific or general. Where is used to ask about places.


Halloween is a great opportunity to teach the question words!

As an engaging opening to the class to grab the interest and attention of the students, we reviewed Halloween characters using the GENKI Halloween application. The children were very excited about the witches, wizards and werewolves on screen! We then sang the GENKI Halloween song, which we have been learning in class.


To refresh the students’ minds, we reviewed the WWWW questions to ensure we understood the meaning. Then the teacher and the students asked some questions about the Halloween characters, such as ‘What is it?’ and ‘What does it look like?’ Teacher modelled selecting a character and writing and answering WWWW questions about that character. The teacher selected the vampire, and wrote questions such as ‘Who will it eat?’ and ‘Where does it live?’, then answered the questions ‘It will eat students!’ and ‘It lives in a castle’.


Students then selected their own characters and wrote and answered their own questions about those characters.  The teacher visited tables in turn and supported their writing and understanding.  The students produced some excellent work, writing questions with correct punctuation and answering using imaginative thoughts.


Randomly selected students were chosen to present their work to the class in order to finish the class and review what they had learnt and practised. Students’ names were called using a deck of cards with their names. Those students asked their questions to the group, and the group answered them accordingly. The lesson was a success, and even students who struggled with the WWWW questions beforehand, are now comfortable using them in their speaking and writing. 

Ms. B's Grade 2 Class (Oct 2017)


Phonics - Reviewing Short Vowel Sounds


At the beginning of the school year, we review one short vowel sound the students learned in grade one every week. This week, we were at the point where we reviewed all of the short vowel sounds. First, we sang a song called Vowel Bat which practices all five short vowel sounds. The students enjoy singing it, and it compels them to differentiate between these five challenging sounds. Then, we read a story on called Peg and the Box which incorporates all of these sounds. We listened to the computer read the story first. Then, the students repeated the sentence together. Lastly, students read each sentence in small groups and individually.


This allowed the teacher to correct pronunciation when necessary. Every student had a chance to read at least one sentence by the end of the lesson. Then, we looked for specific sounds in each sentence. Students were invited to find the words on the page which make the short vowel sounds. When a student identified a word correctly, we would sound it out together. After we had finished reading the story, the students did some independent work. They looked for words with the short vowel sounds they had practiced and wrote these words on their whiteboards. They had ten minutes to find as many words as they could. When they were finished, several students shared their work with the class. We found mistakes together and students with errors erased them from their board.  The class cleaned up while listening to one of the short vowel songs they have practiced. This is a great way to practice and review Grade 1 phonics!