Elementary School Curriculum

The Primary Years Programme - PYP

Back to ES Curric. page

Grade Two

Programme of Inquiry

Units of study, which meet the criteria of the International Baccalaureate Organization, have been developed for each grade level. Each unit is taught through a structured inquiry method and focuses on key concepts which are international and skill-based. Throughout each unit students have the opportunity to develop an action component in response to what they have learned. Whenever meaningfully possible, other curricular areas are integrated to support an in-depth exploration of the unit. 

The units for Grade 2 are: 


Central Idea:   Learning about our personal histories helps us understand ourselves.

Key Concepts: connection, perspective, form

Related Concepts: chronology, history, artifacts, identity, genetics, family, feelings, similarities, differences

Lines of Inquiry:

  • where my parents and grandparents were born

  • my parents’ and grandparents’ memories of childhood – games they played, clothes they wore, songs they sang

  • things we have at home that belonged to them as children

  • ways of recording and reporting their stories



Central Idea: Our Solar System is part of a larger universe which affects life on Earth.

Key Concepts: function, connection, reflection

Related Concepts: exploration, seasons, space, solar system

Lines of Inquiry:

  • the characteristics of a planet (a body in space)

  • lunar cycles

  • earth’s Atmosphere



Central Idea:  People of all cultures share values and beliefs through folklore.

Key Concepts: form, connection, change

Related Concepts: traditions, communication, classification, patterns, acceptance

Lines of Inquiry:

  • patterns of stories from the oral tradition

  • values, themes and lessons from folklore

  • comparison of folklore across cultures

  • modern versions of folklore



Central Idea:  Organisms change and react to their environment

Key Concepts: change, connection , causation, conservation, evolution, animals, habitat, plants, behaviour, consequences

Lines of Inquiry:

  • characteristics and needs

  • behavioural and physical adaptations

  • connections between habits and adaptations



Central Idea:  Cities share common characteristics to meet the needs of citizens and change over time.

Key Concepts: change, connection, responsibility

Related Concepts: history, transportation, citizenship, networks, geography, energy sources, materials, structures, roles, dimension, sculpture, community

Lines of Inquiry:

  • the systems found in a City

  • the role people play in these systems

  • how have jobs in the city changed

  • what makes one city more liveable than another (the facilities that exist - parks, transport network, etc.



Central Idea:  An ecosystem is a natural unit of plants, animals and micro-organisms (biotic factors) in an area functioning together with all of the non-living physical (abiotic) factors of the environment.

 Key Concepts: form, function, connection

Related Concepts: interdependence, adaptation, ecosystems, organism, plants, growth, animals, environment, rile

Lines of Inquiry:

  • producers, consumers and scavengers

  • the connection between aquatic and terrestrial life

  • differing perspectives on how we use the environment


Language – Aims and Content


The aim is to develop the child’s ability to express themselves in fluent, confident and accurate English within an integrated program of speaking and listening, reading and writing. At the beginning of the grade two year, children will experience a brief revision period.

Oral Communication – Listening and Speaking

Children will continue to learn to develop appropriate listening and speaking skills. They will listen appreciatively and responsibly and be able to listen for a specific purpose. The children will use increasingly complex language confidently and creatively, and with increasing accuracy. They will begin to use a wider range of descriptive vocabulary and be able to participate appropriately in discussions, expressing opinions and asking questions of their peers. The children will be given the opportunity to perform to an audience through classroom activities, assemblies and concerts.

Written Communication – Reading and Writing

Reading – The children will be taught in reading groups and structures best suited to their reading level. There is an emphasis on learning to read through literature based instruction. Selected novels are the core reading materials for independent readers. A variety of reading scheme books are also used, particularly with children who are beginning readers. Students will take home reading books on a regular basis.

Writing – The children, through daily writing experiences, will begin to develop fluency in writing and will write with confidence. They will show a beginning knowledge of the writing process and demonstrate an understanding of a recount, a narrative, poetry, a simple report and a journal. The children will write stories with a simple story structure and with characters, events and a setting. They will use simple and compound sentences and accurately spell many high frequency words and words with common spelling patterns.

Handwriting – Zaner-Bloser printing is used. Emphasis will be on correct formation of lower and uppercase letters, correct spacing between letters and words and writing within a defined space. There will be a continued emphasis on increasing speed while maintaining neatness.


Oral Communication

  • listening – learning to listen to gain information and respond appropriately

  • speaking – using spoken language to communicate effectively; express feelings and state opinions

Written Communication

  • reading – learning about the structure of print and the meaning it conveys

  • writing – using writing to express ourselves meaningfully and creatively using rules and conventions of English

Visual Communication

  • learning to use, understand and construct different forms of visual images

  • experimenting with visual media and its influence on thinking and behaviour

Dramatic Communication

  • learning how to develop creativity, self-expression and empathy

  • participating in drama

Learning Outcomes

By the end of Grade 2 students are expected to:

Oral Communication: Listening and Speaking

  • talk about the structure of text types, e.g. narrative, poetry, procedure, reports

  • begin to paraphrase and summarize

  • listen for a specific purpose in a variety of situations

  • identify and describe elements of a story: setting, plot, characters, theme

  • read independently, accurately, fluently and with understanding

Written Communication: Reading and Writing


  • read own writing to a variety of audiences and respond to questions seeking clarification

  • begin to use dictionaries, reference books, and information technology to find information

  • make inferences and justify them


  • develop sentence structure to include adjectives, pronouns, verbs, correct tense and punctuation in writing

  • write using a plan, draft and final copy and present work in a variety of ways

  • build word families

  • write clearly in straight lines, from left to right using uniform size, shape, slope and spacing

  • have a correct pencil grip and body posture to write legibly

Visual Communication: Viewing and Presenting

  • present information from a variety of media and texts

  • view, analyse and discuss a wide variety of media and relate them to their own experiences

Dramatic Communication

  • plan and perform confidently a role play for the class in small groups or pairs

  • understand how facial expressions and gestures communicate emotions


Teachers use a variety of resources and mathematics schemes in their planning and teaching. The emphasis is on learning mathematics through practical activities, discussion and application.

The aim of the programme is to help students to develop:

  • an understanding of the nature and the purpose of mathematics
  • skills in mathematical thinking with a supporting network of concepts, facts and techniques
  • confidence in using and applying mathematics
  • an appreciation for its challenges and satisfaction from solving mathematical problems
  • an awareness of the place of mathematics in solving the problems of everyday life


The Mathematics curriculum is divided into five strands: Shape and Space, Data Handling, Measurement, Pattern and Function and Number.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of Grade 2 students are expected to:

Mathematics Objectives and learning outcomes are currently in the review cycle. The revised list will be posted by the end of the first trimester.