In Grade Two, children study animal fables that characterize (often in extreme ways) individual human qualities – such as Anansi the Trickster - and legends of great people who sacrificed for the greater good. Second graders continue to familiarize themselves with the fundamentals of arithmetic and literacy, further developing a repertoire of skills that were initially introduced in Grade One. Teachers continue to use movement, rhythm, and rhyme as a key instructional tool.
Main Lesson Books
Abby Wright was born and raised in Talladega, Alabama. Looking for a change of scene after high school, she attended Grinnell College in Iowa and majored in French and linguistics. While in college, she worked in the theatre department's costume studio and has been designing and sewing her own clothes ever since. After graduating from Grinnell, Abby went on to pursue graduate study in linguistics at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. While there, she was introduced to Waldorf education by volunteering with the handwork teacher at the Emerson Waldorf School. Eventually, her interest in Waldorf education overshadowed her interest in Vowel Nasality, her dissertation topic, so she decided to pursue her Waldorf teaching certification at Antioch University of New England. While in New Hampshire, she also worked in the young adult department at the Nashua Public Library. Abby spent her years in New England pining for the South and moved to the Atlanta area with her husband, Aaron, as soon as her teacher training was finished. She spent a year learning the ropes as the first grade assistant at The Waldorf School of Atlanta before taking this class. Abby enjoys fiber arts of all kinds, cooking, and gardening.
Grade Two Pedagogical Overview
In Grade Two, the familiar routines and observances of the previous year are maintained. This strengthens the rhythm of the class working together, and builds confidence and a sense of belonging in the children. The students continue to learn best when pictorial thought content is presented. Much time is spent consolidating all that was first learned in Grade One. Students continue to familiarize themselves with the fundamentals of arithmetic and language arts, and they also develop a wide range of skills in gross and fine motor movements such as jump rope, knitting, and flute playing. The children's thinking is thus balanced and reinforced by their experience in physical and artistic activity.
While in Grade One a mood of wholeness develops in the children, in Grade Two this mood can differentiate into contrasts, with a reverential mood on the one hand, and a temptation for mischief on the other. During this year, the children develop greater interest in the unique qualities of one another and become curious about individual differences. To meet this growing social awareness, teachers introduce stories where contrasting human qualities are portrayed. Wonder tales and legends of Saints from around the world show lofty striving and highlight noble human qualities, while animal fables and trickster tales satisfy the child's interest in mischief. While the morals of these tales are never explicitly stated, the students derive direction and form from the images they are given.