Cover image for What Your Second Grader Needs to Know (Revised and Updated)
Title:
What Your Second Grader Needs to Know (Revised and Updated)

Fundamentals of a Good Second-Grade Education
Author:
Hirsch, E.D.
Subject:
Education
Nonfiction
Description:
Give your child a smart start with the revised and updated What Your Second Grader Needs to Know What will your child be expected to learn in the second grade? How can you help him or her at home? This book answers these all-important questions and more, offering the specific shared knowledge that hundreds of parents and teachers across the nation have agreed upon for American second graders. Designed for parents and teachers to enjoy with children, featuring a new Introduction, this second-grade volume of the Core Knowledge Series presents the knowledge and skills that should be at the core of a challenging second-grade education, including Favorite poems—old and new, from "Caterpillars" to Gwendolyn Brooks's prizewinning "Rudolph Is Tired of the City"Literature—from around the world, with African folktales, American tall tales, European fairy tales, and classic myths from ancient GreeceLearning about language—the basic building blocks of written English, all explained with a touch of humor and common senseWorld and American history and geography—visit Japan, explore ancient Greece, travel the Underground Railroad with Harriet TubmanVisual arts—with activities and full-color illustrations of masterworks by El Greco, Van Gogh, Matisse, and othersMusic—basic theory, great composers, instruments, and fun-to-sing songs such as "I've Been Working on the Railroad" and "Do-Re-Mi"Math—challenging lessons ranging from telling time to doing fractions, numbers to 100, and a first look at geometryScience—the cycle of life and the seasons, levers and magnets, the wonder of the human body, and more, with lots of hands-on activities and stories about famous scientists
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group

Bantam
Date:
2014/08/26
Digital Format:
Adobe EPUB

HTML

Kindle
Language:
English

Summary

Summary

Give your child a smart start with the revised and updated
What Your Second Grader Needs to Know

What will your child be expected to learn in the second grade? How can you help him or her at home? This book answers these all-important questions and more, offering the specific shared knowledge that hundreds of parents and teachers across the nation have agreed upon for American second graders. Designed for parents and teachers to enjoy with children, featuring a new Introduction, this second-grade volume of the Core Knowledge Series presents the knowledge and skills that should be at the core of a challenging second-grade education, including

* Favorite poems --old and new, from "Caterpillars" to Gwendolyn Brooks's prizewinning "Rudolph Is Tired of the City"
* Literature --from around the world, with African folktales, American tall tales, European fairy tales, and classic myths from ancient Greece
* Learning about language --the basic building blocks of written English, all explained with a touch of humor and common sense
* World and American history and geography --visit Japan, explore ancient Greece, travel the Underground Railroad with Harriet Tubman
* Visual arts --with activities and illustrations of masterworks by El Greco, Van Gogh, Matisse, and others
* Music --basic theory, great composers, instruments, and fun-to-sing songs such as "I've Been Working on the Railroad" and "Do-Re-Mi"
* Math --challenging lessons ranging from telling time to doing fractions, numbers to 100, and a first look at geometry
* Science --the cycle of life and the seasons, levers and magnets, the wonder of the human body, and more, with lots of hands-on activities and stories about famous scientists


Author Notes

Hirsch is a conservative critic best known for his repudiation of critical approaches to literature (chiefly poststructuralism and New Criticism) that assume that the author's intentions do not determine readings. He argues that any such methodology is guilty of "the organic fallacy," the belief that the text leads a life of its own. For Hirsch, the author's authority is the key to literary interpretation: The critic's job is to reproduce textual meaning by recovering the author's consciousness, which guarantees the validity of an interpretation.

In his two most important books, Validity in Interpretation (1967) and its sequel, The Aims of Interpretation (1976), Hirsch warns against the "critical anarchy" that follows from the "cognitive atheism" of both relativism and subjectivism. For him, these result from a corollary of the organic fallacy, the thesis that meaning is ultimately indeterminate because it changes over time or with the differing interests and values of different readers. According to Hirsch, meaning does not change; only value or significance does, as readers relate a text's fixed meaning to their cultures. If there is more than one valid interpretation of a text, it is because literature may be reduced to more than one "intrinsic genre" or meaning type---the particular set of conventions governing ways of seeing and of making meaning at the time the author was writing.

Many critics suggest that the intentions Hirsch recovers in intrinsic genres are really his own, rather than those of the author, because no one, including Hirsch, can escape his or her historically conditioned frame of reference when developing interpretations of literature. Hirsch's recent books, including Cultural Literacy (1987), are seen as proof of those flaws by those who are troubled by the history and values of the dominant culture that Hirsch insists is the only culture. Hirsch argues that "common knowledge" is being denied minority students and others by feminists and other "radicals" who have undermined the authority of its great texts.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Excerpts

Excerpts

I   Language and Literature   Reading, Writing, and Your Second Grader: A Note to Parents   In the Core Knowledge books for kindergarten and first grade, we described some features of an effective reading and writing program in schools. A good program, we said, not only is rich in literature but also presents varied opportunities for a child to work and play with letters and sounds. An effective program presents important skills sequentially, with plenty of practice and review. It includes phonics and decoding (turning the written symbols into sounds) as well as practice at spelling, handwriting, punctuation, and grammar.   By the end of second grade, a reasonable goal is for children to become independent readers and writers. By this we don't mean that children should be able to read any book in the library or write a perfectly polished essay; rather, they should be able to read books appropriate to beginning readers, and write legibly.   Nothing is more important in a child's schooling than learning to read and write confidently by the end of first grade or more important than extending that ability by the end of second grade.   Based on authoritative advice from mainstream scientific research, the Core Knowledge Foundation has compiled a description of reading and writing goals that a school should work to achieve with all students in second grade. Those goals are included in the Core Knowledge Sequence, the curriculum guidelines upon which this book is based, and in the Core Knowledge Language Arts Program used in schools across the country. Parents who wish to have some benchmarks by which to gauge the adequacy and effectiveness of the reading and writing programs in their child's school should visit: https://www.coreknowledge.org for information on downloading or ordering a copy of the Core Knowledge Sequence.   In addition, as parents, you can do many things to help your children.   * Read aloud regularly and talk with your children about what they are reading * Take your children to the library * Help your children write thank-you notes and letters to relatives * Play word games like Hangman or Scrabble Junior * Check on homework * Be encouraging and supportive of your children's efforts to learn more about language Suggested Resources for Parents and Children   The resources recommended here are meant to supplement at home the more thorough and systematic instruction that should take place in the classroom.   Ready ... Set ... Read: The Beginning Reader's Treasury and Ready ... Set ... Read--and Laugh! A Funny Treasury for Beginning Readers, compiled by Joanna Cole and Stephanie Calmenson (Doubleday, 1990 and 1995). Two nicely illustrated collections containing stores, poems, riddles, and word games by well-known writers such as Arnold Lobel and Eve Merriam.   Spider. Colorful, attractive artwork illustrates each issue of this monthly magazine for children from six to nine years old, which features many stories, activities, and puzzles, with no advertising. Many libraries carry the magazine. For subscription information, go to the Cricket Magazine Group website (http://www.cricketmag.com).     Literature   Introduction   For your second grader, we offer a selection of poetry, stories, and myths. The poetry includes traditional rhymes as well as a few favorites by modern writers. We encourage you to read many more poems with your child, to delight in the play of language, and occasionally to encourage your child to memorize a favorite poem.   The stories presented here are mostly traditional tales that have stood the test of time. Some of the selections from other lands may not be familiar to American readers, but by including them here we hope to make them so. Parents and teachers may want to connect the folktales we include from China, Japan, and India with the introductions to those lands in the World History and Geography section of this book. We also offer a selection of Greek myths, which you can tie in with the discussion of ancient Greece in the World History and Geography section.   The stories here are meant to complement, not replace, stories with controlled vocabularies and syntax that children may be given in school as part of their instruction in reading. While some second graders may be able to read the stories in this book on their own, those who find the language too complex can readily understand and enjoy these stories when they are read aloud and talked about with an adult. You may also want to try some "shared reading," in which you read aloud parts of a story and your child reads aloud parts to you.   Many of these stories convey traditional values such as honesty, courage, generosity, and diligence. Those parents who hope that schooling will instill ethical values can feel somewhat reassured if their children are being taught good literature. Next to human role models who exemplify the desired virtues, good literature is one of the best means of instilling ethical values. Plato said that stories are the most important part of early education and advised parents and teachers to take great care in choosing the right stories: "Let them fashion the mind with such tales even more fondly than they mold the body."   We offer the stories in this book as a good starting point, and we encourage you and your child to explore further. Your local library has a treasury of good books, fiction and nonfiction. You might want to consult the lists of recommended works in such guides as:   Books That Build Character by William Kilpatrick et al. (Simon and Schuster/Touchstone, 1994)   Books to Build On: A Grade-by-Grade Resource Guide for Parents and Teachers edited by John Holdren and E. D. Hirsch, Jr. (Dell, 1996)   The New York Times Parent's Guide to the Best Books for Children by Eden Ross Lipson (Harmony, revised and updated 2000)     Poetry   Bed in Summer by Robert Louis Stevenson   In winter I get up at night And dress by yellow candle-light. In summer, quite the other way, I have to go to bed by day.   I have to go to bed and see The birds still hopping on the tree, Or hear the grown-up people's feet Still going past me in the street.   And does it not seem hard to you, When all the sky is clear and blue, And I should like so much to play, To have to go to bed by day?   Buffalo Dusk by Carl Sandburg   The buffaloes are gone. And those who saw the buffaloes are gone. Those who saw the buffaloes by thousands and how they pawed the prairie sod into dust with their hoofs, their great heads down pawing on in a great pageant of dusk, Those who saw the buffaloes are gone. And the buffaloes are gone.   Caterpillars by Aileen Fisher   What do caterpillars do? Nothing much but chew and chew.   What do caterpillars know? Nothing much but how to grow.   They just eat what by and by will make them be a butterfly,   But that is more than I can do however much I chew and chew.   Excerpted from What Your Second Grader Needs to Know: Fundamentals of a Good Second-Grade Education by E. D. Hirsch All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.