Second Grader


You and your second grader can have an exciting and meaningful year together. Change is happening almost moment to moment for this age child. As a child becomes seven, some of their earlier exuberance may be replaced with some fears and worries as they place high expectations on themselves. Second graders have a sense of wonder and vivid imaginations. They love to create, build, and investigate the world around them.



  • Increased control of fine and gross motor skills
  • Becomes very engrossed in an activity
  • May have difficulty copying from a board
  • Attention span is no more than seven minutes



  • Learns best through touch, exploration, and movement
  • Thought processes may be very intent and concentrated
  • Likes to try to solve problems independently
  • Has very high expectations of self and others



  • May be more silent, self-conscious, worried or moody than ever before
  • Family is very important and a source of pride
  • Play with friends is more harmonious than at earlier ages
  • May prefer to play only with members of their own gender
  • Emotionally involved with their teacher and wants very much to be liked by him or her



  • Growing sense of right and wrong based on fairness
  • Developing interest in peers can foster an understanding of community
  • Enjoys hearing and telling stories from the Bible
  • Interprets stories literally and cannot derive symbolic meaning
  • Natural sense of wonder fosters a sensitivity to the sacred
  • Enjoys ceremony and ritual action such as processions, liturgical gestures, and blessings
  • Comfortable with formal and spontaneous prayer
  • Awareness of Church is limited to their experience at home and in the parish
  • Imagines God as a human person



Second graders are moving from a very self-absorbed stage of development to one based on concrete operational thinking. During this time of transition, they can become increasingly sensitive to how their actions affect others. At this time they can develop worries about their own abilities and imperfections and fears that they will not be liked. They need adults in their lives who will help them to experience God's love for them as they are. They need to have opportunities to celebrate their special God-given gifts and talents in a supportive and caring community.

We asked a group of second graders what they would like a parent to know about them. Here's what they said:

I Wish...
  • you would like me and make me feel special and important.
  • you would tell us stories and help us understand them.
  • you would understand that I am afraid my work won't be good enough.
  • you would let us make and do lots of interesting things.
  • you would let us sing songs and use hand and body movements to express ourselves.
  • you would realize that I can't pay attention for very long.
  • you would greet me every day with a smile.
  • you would understand that when I get frustrated with myself or my friends I may cry.
  • you would give us a chance to play and have fun.