2nd Grade Reading Skills: What Your Second Grader Should Know About Reading

Are you working with your 2nd grader to help boost his or her reading performance? Are you unsure if you are even working on the appropriate skills? Keep reading; the 2nd grade skills your child will need to master are discussed below.

Find available tutors

2nd Grade Reading Skills at a Glance

The Common Core State Standards were created to maintain consistent learning objectives across the U.S. Even though every state is not using this collection of learning standards, these objectives serve as a guideline for what your child should know at each grade level. In 2nd grade, your child will be learning skills related to literature, phonics and word analysis, writing and speaking and listening.


A variety of different types of literature will be used to teach your child reading skills. Using literature will allow your student to learn about a story's structure, how characters may have different perspectives and how the same story can be retold to have different versions.

Your 2nd grader will be expected to respond to literature by asking and answering appropriate questions. For example, your child could ask, 'Why did the main character treat her parents in such a way?' Questions like this will often help your child better understand the content. Your student will also need to be able to describe characters and determine the message or moral being delivered by the author.

Foundational Skills

Foundational skills, which include phonics and word analysis skills, will help your 2nd grader be more capable of reading and comprehending almost any grade-appropriate content. As your child learns to decode words, he or she will learn the meanings of commonly used prefixes and suffixes, as well as the spellings of common vowel teams. Your child should also know how to distinguish between long vowels and short vowels and how to recognize and read irregularly spelled words.

It is also important to help your child learn to read with appropriate expression, pacing and accuracy. For instance, when reading aloud, your child should read questions and exclamations with inflection.


This school year, your child will be learning to develop opinionated, narrative and informative selections of writing. Within the writing curriculum, your child will learn how to appropriately introduce a topic, develop the topic using details or facts and write an effective closing paragraph.

Students in 2nd grade also use researched or recalled information to answer a question that pertains to his or her writing topic. You will also want to help your child to revise his or her writing and identify grammatical errors.

Speaking and Listening

As your child works to build a solid reading foundation, speaking and listening play a significant role in his or her success. For instance, your child will need to be comfortable asking a question in order to clarify his or her understanding about a specific topic. Your 2nd grader should also recount a text by providing the main points and pertinent details in complete sentences.

Did you find this useful? If so, please let others know!

Other Articles You May Be Interested In

  • More Blog Articles
    Homework Helper for Grade 2 Reading

    Second grade is a critical time for children to learn skills such as basic reading. Parents are often encouraged to provide homework help because there is not enough time during the school day to both teach and sufficiently reinforce these skills at school.

  • More Blog Articles
    Can Reading Bridge Racial, Socioeconomic Gaps?

    Study after study shows the achievement gap in education between students of different cultures and economic backgrounds. Recently, two New Jersey schools successfully used literature to show students how 'the other half lives'. Can this experiment be a model for other schools to use books to bridge racial and socioeconomic...

We Found 7 Tutors You Might Be Interested In

Huntington Learning

  • What Huntington Learning offers:
  • Online and in-center tutoring
  • One on one tutoring
  • Every Huntington tutor is certified and trained extensively on the most effective teaching methods
In-Center and Online


  • What K12 offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Has a strong and effective partnership with public and private schools
  • AdvancED-accredited corporation meeting the highest standards of educational management
Online Only

Kaplan Kids

  • What Kaplan Kids offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Customized learning plans
  • Real-Time Progress Reports track your child's progress
Online Only


  • What Kumon offers:
  • In-center tutoring
  • Individualized programs for your child
  • Helps your child develop the skills and study habits needed to improve their academic performance
In-Center and Online

Sylvan Learning

  • What Sylvan Learning offers:
  • Online and in-center tutoring
  • Sylvan tutors are certified teachers who provide personalized instruction
  • Regular assessment and progress reports
In-Home, In-Center and Online

Tutor Doctor

  • What Tutor Doctor offers:
  • In-Home tutoring
  • One on one attention by the tutor
  • Develops personlized programs by working with your child's existing homework
In-Home Only


  • What TutorVista offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Student works one-on-one with a professional tutor
  • Using the virtual whiteboard workspace to share problems, solutions and explanations
Online Only

Our Commitment to You

  • Free Help from Teachers

  • Free Learning Materials

  • Helping Disadvantaged Youth