Anansi the Trickster
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
A hallmark of Waldorf education is the beautiful main lesson book that serves as a record of each child's learning. These books take the place of standard textbooks. In the early grades, the teacher creates a colored-chalk illustration on the blackboard, introducing the day's main lesson. Students then draw the image themselves, taking in the main lesson or story.
As they progress through the grades, students add their own images and written compositions, producing progressively more sophisticated pages.
During the second grade, the math curriculum builds students' comprehension of the four basic math functions introduced in first grade. By Grade Two students work on place, mental arithmetic, word problems, and a range of other exercises to sharpen their computational abilities. Clapping and movement are used to reinforce memorizing math facts.
At a Waldorf school, students don't just sit and learn their facts – they draw them and experience them in a wide range of ways to stimulate their curiosity and build mental abilities.
Beginning in Kindergarten with breadmaking and fingerweaving, Waldorf students have many opportunities to manifest their learning and their sense of beauty and proportion through handwork. From learning to knit in Grade One to crafting detailed beeswax figures in Grade Two to sewing a pair of pants in Grade Eight, students not only express themselves creatively through these activities, but they also internalize lessons taught in that year's curriculum such as arithmetic and multiplication. And, a sense of self-reliance is created through the ability to create objects for oneself. Current research depicts a connection between fine motor skills and brain development. Activities such as knitting and crocheting also use both sides of the brain while also strengthening eye tracking, essential to reading skills.
Literature: Fables, legends, and saint stories strengthen moral awareness.
English and Grammar: Reading and writing are drawn from the content of stories that have previously been spoken. The children begin writing simple sentences to practice the first elements of composition with emphasis placed on good handwriting. Gradually, the children read their own writing from their Main Lesson books. Each school day, children practice speech and articulation through verse and song, culminating in a class play.
Science: Stories from nature help children build awareness of and sensitivity to their surroundings.
Mathematics: The study of numbers and number patterns is continued through games and stories. Place value, column addition, and carrying in subtraction are introduced and practiced through situational problems and number journeys. The times tables are learned through various games and activities involving rhyme and movement.
Drawing, Painting, and Modeling: The children use various artistic methods to draw running forms and mirrored forms. They also begin to include more detail in their picture drawing. In painting the children continue to learn the quality of color with emphasis on their feeling experience. Beeswax may be used to create scenes or characters from favorite stories.
Class Teacher: Melinda Evanovich
More information about Waldorf Pedagogy is found under our Parent Resources page.