Second Grade Science

Our science curriculum is based on the system wide goals for content, attitude, and skills. It is a citywide expectation that students become proficient in the scientific process. Students are given the opportunity to work on hands-on experiences so that they can build their knowledge of science through direct experiences with the natural and human-made world. We foster an inquiry-based approach where students are encouraged to formulate honest questions and are provided resources to answer their own questions.

The first semester we study SOILS & COMPOSTING using the kit provided by the school system. In this unit, students discover that soil contains both inorganic and organic material. The organic component is humus, which is composed of the decayed remains of plants and animals. The inorganic component is composed of fragments of rocks and minerals of different grain sizes. It includes gravel, sand, and clay. Each of the components of soil has unique properties, which can be identified by observing soil samples closely and by performing simple tests.

Next, we begin our unit on LIQUIDS. Students begin the module by creating a "web" about liquids: what kids there are, how they are used, and how they behave. Students then explore three liquids - water, oil and corn syrup. They determine how these liquids behave in isolation, how they compare, and how they interact when mixed. The module concludes by challenging students to apply the knowledge gained from the previous learning experiences to design and make a water toy, a boat, or a water game, and then share their creations with the class.

The final unit introduces students to BUTTERFLIES, introducing students to the concept of the life cycle by inviting them to investigate one organism - the Painted Lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui). They observe that the caterpillar forms a chrysalis, from which a butterfly emerges. They may see the butterfly lay eggs. Some of the butterflies may die, thereby completing the students' observations of the life cycle. Students compare the stages of the butterfly's life with those of other organisms, including humans.