Understanding the Language Arts Standards for Second Grade


Oral Language

At the second-grade level, students will engage in a variety of oral activities to develop an understanding of language structure and enhance their ability to communicate effectively. They will listen and speak in discussions and

presentations that expand their vocabularies, increase their background knowledge, and enhance both their reading and writing skills.



At the second-grade level, students will continue to be immersed in a print-rich environment. They will use what they have learned about phonemes, decoding, rhyming words, onsets and rimes, contextual clues, and the structure of sentences to figure out text. Silent and independent reading will increase, with some parts of books read aloud for emphasis, clarification, or pleasure. When they read independently, students will understand and enjoy books that are considerably longer and more complex in plot, syntax, and structure. Students will read and reread to build fluency, which provides the bridge between word recognition and comprehension. Fluent readers are able to make connections among the ideas in the text and between the text and their background knowledge. Students will learn and apply the comprehension strategies of identifying main ideas, making and confirming predictions, and formulating questions about what they are learning across the curricula. Students will also use their knowledge of alphabetical order to locate information.


At the second-grade level, students will continue to develop reading and writing together. They will be given daily opportunities to write and will be expected to revise selected pieces and share them with others. Students often pattern their writing after familiar authors. When students write stories and letters, the instructional emphasis will be on having a beginning, middle, and end. At the sentence level, they will be expected to begin to elaborate their ideas and use basic conventions. They will also begin to apply written communication skills across all content areas.

Tips for Parents:

Parental involvement in schooling can lead to academic benefits for students. Parents are encouraged to:

·                set an example by reading daily;

·                read aloud to or with your child;

·                read both works of fiction and nonfiction;

·                discuss what your child has been reading;

·                visit the library in order to learn about outstanding literature;

·                share and define new vocabulary words;

·                read and discuss newspaper/magazine articles and historical/current events;

·                have your child keep a writing journal;

·                review and discuss your child’s writing, making suggestions for revision;

·                limit television viewing.


Grade Two

Reading continues to be a priority in second grade. The student will be immersed in an environment filled with fiction and nonfiction texts, which relate to all areas of the curriculum and interest. The student will expand vocabulary by speaking and listening effectively in classroom discussions, use a combination of strategies when reading, and read familiar selections with fluency and expression. The student will learn comprehension strategies for fiction and nonfiction texts. The student will be asked to identify main ideas, to make and confirm predictions, and to formulate questions about learning in all subjects, with emphasis on materials that reflect the Standards of Learning in mathematics, science, and history and social science. The student will write stories, letters, and simple explanations; apply simple grammatical principles to writing; and locate information in reference materials.

Oral Language

2.1       The student will demonstrate an understanding of oral language structure.

a) Create oral stories to share with others.

b) Create and participate in oral dramatic activities.

c) Use correct verb tenses in oral communication.

d) Use increasingly complex sentence structures in oral communication.

e) Begin to self-correct errors in language use.

2.2       The student will expand understanding and use of word meanings.

a) Increase listening and speaking vocabularies.

b) Use words that reflect a growing range of interests and knowledge.

c) Clarify and explain words and ideas orally.

d) Identify and use synonyms and antonyms.

e) Use vocabulary from other content areas.

2.3       The student will use oral communication skills.

a) Use oral language for different purposes: to inform, to persuade, to entertain, to clarify, and to respond.

b) Share stories or information orally with an audience.

c) Participate as a contributor and leader in a group.

d) Retell information shared by others.

e) Follow three- and four-step directions.

f) Give three- and four-step directions.

2.4       The student will orally identify, produce, and manipulate various units of speech sounds within words.

a) Count phonemes (sounds) within one-syllable words.

b) Blend sounds to make one-syllable words.

c) Segment one-syllable words into individual speech sounds (phonemes).

d) Add or delete phonemes (sounds) to make words.

e) Blend and segment multisyllabic words at the syllable level. English Standards


2.5       The student will use phonetic strategies when reading and spelling.

a) Use knowledge of consonants, consonant blends, and consonant digraphs to decode and spell words.

b) Use knowledge of short, long, and r-controlled vowel patterns to decode and spell words.

c) Decode regular multisyllabic words.

2.6 The student will use semantic clues and syntax to expand vocabulary when reading.

a) Use information in the story to read words.

b) Use knowledge of sentence structure.

c) Use knowledge of story structure and sequence.

d) Reread and self-correct.

2.7       The student will expand vocabulary when reading.

a) Use knowledge of homophones.

b) Use knowledge of prefixes and suffixes.

c) Use knowledge of antonyms and synonyms.

d) Discuss meanings of words and develop vocabulary by listening and reading a variety of texts.

e) Use vocabulary from other content areas.

2.8       The student will read and demonstrate comprehension of fictional texts.

a) Make and confirm predictions.

b) Relate previous experiences to the main idea.

c) Ask and answer questions about what is read.

d) Locate information to answer questions.

e) Describe characters, setting, and important events in fiction and poetry.

f) Identify the problem and solution.

g) Identify the main idea.

h) Summarize stories and events with beginning, middle, and end in the correct sequence.

i) Draw conclusions based on the text.

j) Read and reread familiar stories, poems, and passages with fluency, accuracy, and meaningful expression.

2.9       The student will read and demonstrate comprehension of nonfiction texts.

a) Preview the selection using text features.

b) Make and confirm predictions about the main idea.

c) Use prior and background knowledge as context for new learning.

d) Set purpose for reading.

e) Ask and answer questions about what is read.

f) Locate information to answer questions.

g) Identify the main idea.

h) Read and reread familiar passages with fluency, accuracy, and meaningful expression.

2.10     The student will demonstrate comprehension of information in reference materials.

a) Use table of contents.

b) Use pictures, captions, and charts.

c) Use dictionaries, glossaries, and indices.

d) Use online resources. English Standards of Learning for Virginia Public Schools - January 2010


2.11     The student will maintain legible printing and begin to make the transition to cursive.

2.12     The student will write stories, letters, and simple explanations.

a) Generate ideas before writing.

b) Organize writing to include a beginning, middle, and end for narrative and expository writing.

c) Expand writing to include descriptive detail.

d) Revise writing for clarity.

2.13     The student will edit writing for correct grammar, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling.

a) Recognize and use complete sentences.

b) Use and punctuate declarative, interrogative, and exclamatory sentences.

c) Capitalize all proper nouns and the word I.

d) Use singular and plural nouns and pronouns.

e) Use apostrophes in contractions and possessives.

f) Use contractions and singular possessives.

g) Use knowledge of simple abbreviations.

h) Use correct spelling for commonly used sight words, including compound words and regular plurals.

i) Use commas in the salutation and closing of a letter.

j) Use verbs and adjectives correctly in sentences.

2.14 The student will use available technology for reading and writing.