Curriculum Overview: 2nd Grade Science

Curriculum Overview: 2nd Grade Science

Children have hundreds of questions about the world in which they live. At Miller-Driscoll School learning science is something students do. Science is an active process that requires physical and mental activity. In second grade, students develop a pattern for their scientific inquiry. They ask questions, investigate the question, and present the results to others. Students gather information about the world around them through hands on scientific investigation and inquiry. Students do what scientists do: they raise questions and try to answer them as they assess contradictions, evaluate evidence, and search for connections.

The content of second grade science focuses on Magnetism, Sunshine and Shadows, Pebbles, Sand and Silt, Solids, Liquids, and Gases, and Plants. While studying magnetism and sunshine and shadows, students develop fundamental concepts in the physical sciences through inquiry, direct experience, and problem solving. Students quickly discover what magnets can do, how they are used, and how they vary. Students study light sources and identify different kinds of objects that block light to form shadows.

In their study of three states of matter, students realize materials can be classified as solid, liquid or gas based on their observable properties. Students learn that solids tend to maintain their own shapes, while liquids tend to assume the shapes of their containers, and gases fill their containers.

The pebbles, sand and silt unit introduces our young scientists to the fundamental concepts of earth science and emphasizes the development of description to build explanations based on experience. Investigations during this study provide learning opportunities that heighten our students’ awareness of soil and rocks as earth materials. Students quickly develop an understanding that solid rocks and soils are natural resources and their physical properties make them useful in different ways.

In our study of plants, students learn plants are living things with structures, functions, and predictable life cycles. Students learn that plants have needs, food, air, and water, that help them survive in their environment. Through the study of plants, grade two students learn about the habits of mind of a scientist; such as, organizing, communicating, observing, inquiring, and designing experiments.

The Miller-Driscoll second grade science curriculum contains the scientific principles expected by the Connecticut State Science Framework and lays a solid foundation for continuing study and engages students in a challenging, interesting, and meaningful study of themselves and their world.