English Language Arts (ELA) Curriculum – Grade 2

The Language Arts-reading literature and informational texts, writing, speaking, listening and language–are a major part of students’ elementary school program. The goal of Guilderland’s Language Arts program is to develop literate students in the 21st century. 

Students read and write every day for various purposes and receive frequent written and oral feedback from their teachers and peers. Instruction occurs individually, in small groups, and in whole class settings. 

Students are expected to read and understand more complex material and write and speak with more sophistication as they progress through the grades. Attention to Language Arts skills and strategies is integrated into student learning throughout the day.


The purpose of reading is to make meaning from written material. It is a highly complex act of communication requiring active involvement.

The overall objective of reading instruction is to develop motivated readers who process written language efficiently and derive meaning from what they read. 

In Grade Two, reading instruction builds upon previous learning and adds focus on:

  • Both literature and informational texts
  • Self-selecting appropriate level texts for independent reading
  • Building reading stamina
  • Recounting stories including central message or lesson
  • Asking and answering questions (who, what, where, when, why)
  • Comparing and contrasting different texts
  • Reading increasingly more complex texts with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension
  • Understanding and applying grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words

Progress in reading is assessed formally and informally throughout the year. 


The goal of Guilderland’s writing program is to develop students who can write competently and with confidence. Guilderland recognizes that writing is a complex process, and its writing program addresses the following student learning objectives:  

  • Students at every level need frequent opportunities to write and to receive a great deal of appropriate instruction and feedback
  • Students need to realize that their lives, ideas and interests are worth writing about
  • Students need to know that audience and purpose will influence decisions they make about their writing
  • Students need to know the qualities of good writing and how to evaluate their own work
  • Students need to increase writing stamina

In Grade Two, writing instruction builds upon previous learning and adds focus on:

  • The Writing Process (with an emphasis on revision and editing) 
  • Informational writing using various text structures
  • Opinion writing
  • Narrative writing
  • Responding to literature
  • Use digital tools with guidance and support to produce and publish writing

Students are expected to produce a variety of writing pieces throughout the year. They will complete their work with attention to the qualities of good writing, correct spelling and mechanics. 

Progress in writing is assessed through individual conferencing and review of the students’ writing folders with attention to specific areas of instruction. 


Students will use uppercase and lowercase letters appropriately and with correct size in a written piece. They will use consistent spacing between words within paper margins.

Using Zaner-Bloser handwriting, teachers will model and review all uppercase and lowercase letters for students. Students improve handwriting through short practice sessions aimed at improving letter formation.


In Grade Two, students are expected to spell a growing number of words correctly and to use familiar spelling patterns to help them write words.

Students will engage in a word study approach that includes the development of phonics, spelling, word recognition and vocabulary.

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