Building Social Studies Skills

Grade 2
Tips for Parents

  • Watch the television news together on occasion. Let the events on the news become a basis for conversation. You might also watch documentaries about historical figures with your child; biography is a good basis for helping children learn about history.
  • As your child learns more about the calendar, you might ask, "What are the days of the week? The months of the year?"
  • Look at photographs together. Family pictures showing you and your child at different ages are a good choice. Ask, "What can you remember about these earlier times? What is different now?"
  • Look at photographs of children in other parts of the world. See whether your child knows where these children come from, and then ask him or her to tell you about the different countries the children come from.
  • Social studies in second grade includes more about maps and regions of the world. You might ask your child what countries he or she knows about. Can your child find these countries on a globe or map?
  • Second-graders study the globe. Ask your child to pick out various continents -- Asia, Africa, South America, North America, Europe, Australia, Antarctica. Make a game of it, taking turns to find the continents. (You can do the same thing with the oceans.)
  • With a map or atlas, see if your child can use map coordinates (the guides maps have on the edges rather than latitude and longitude).
  • Ask what scientists, carpenters, mechanics, lawyers, and nurses do. Take turns thinking of various occupations, perhaps starting with people you know or characters in books.
  • Make a family tree together. Let your child fill in as much as he or she can; you will have to add to it. Go as far back as possible.
  • Using your family tree, make a time line that includes everyone on the tree.

Reprinted from 101 Educational Conversations with Your 2nd Grader by Vito Perrone, published by Chelsea House Publishers.
Copyright 1994 by Chelsea House Publishers, a division of Main Line Book Co. All rights reserved.


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