Grade 2 Writing

Discover Grade 2 writing standards

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Writing is an activity that combines many different smaller skills, which is why children at Grade 2 level need lots of time and opportunity to practice writing. Before your second-grade child puts pen to paper, or their fingers on the keyboard, they will need to have a broad vocabulary, skills in grammar and spelling, and finally the confidence in their handwriting and/or typing proficiency, whilst also being knowledgeable in the topic they are writing about.

With this many moving parts, you can see just how difficult writing can be for children in second grade. This is why it is important for teachers and parents to break down these skills and provide children with plenty of activities to enable them to practice and hone their skills.

This article focuses on the skills needed to compose an excellent piece of writing at a second-grade level. We also have supporting articles (coming soon!) on second-grade grammar, spelling and punctuation which will be helpful in guiding you through all of the necessary skills your child needs to become a confident, creative and successful writer at this level.

There are three main text types that children need to compose at Grade 2 level. It is advisable that you prepare your child for this level by surrounding them with as many examples of the following texts as possible:

They should familiarize themselves with the features of these text types and understand the purpose of each one.

Opinion Texts

When children are composing opinion pieces, there are four key elements that they must include:

  1. Introduction: Write a clear introduction about the topic or subject they are writing about.
  2. Reasoning: Supply a reason to support each of their opinions.
  3. Conjunctions: Use linking words (e.g. because, and, also) to connect opinions and reasons.
  4. Conclusion: Children must sum up their argument and bring to the reader's attention some of the most important points they have raised.

If your child can master these key ingredients, then they’ll be in an excellent position to succeed when writing opinion articles in second grade.

Practice Tip: Your child can work through the opinion writing lesson series on to help practice the basics of writing in this genre.

Informative/Explanatory Texts

In order to write a great informative piece, your child will first need to acquire the knowledge they need to compose the article, which requires the skills of research and note-taking.

Practice tip: Challenge your child to pick out an informative text at home and write down three key facts they have learnt on each page.

Once they have acquired the knowledge to write their article, they can begin their first draft. Your child should aim to include all of these key features:

  • Main title
  • Introduction
  • Sub-headings
  • Bullet points
  • Informative Paragraphs
  • Pictures/diagrams with captions

It is a great idea to ask your child to label each section of their work to ensure they have included all the necessary features. You can also help your child by providing feedback on their composition, whilst also checking whether they have included the most important facts that they collected during the note-taking phase.

Narrative Texts

In Grade 2, children are expected to write stories that include a short sequence of events. They are expected to include detail about actions, thoughts, and feelings. Time connectives and openers should be used to show the sequence of events and the story should have a clear ending. They can take inspiration from stories they have read. Often, retelling one of their favorite stories is a perfect place to start their learning journey in this particular genre.

Grade 2 Story Checklist

I have included:

  • Character descriptions
  • Character dialogue
  • Setting descriptions
  • A problem my characters face
  • A solution to the problem
  • An ending or resolution to satisfy the reader

Practice Tip: Challenge your child to write a story on using the story prompts and helpful story openings. This activity will provide your child with the inspiration to get their story started, whilst also the guidance to structure their opening paragraphs in an interesting and varied style.

Five ways your child can boost their Grade 2 writing skills!

  1. Ask your child to read lots of books! Children that are avid readers naturally borrow the skills they pick up from their favorite authors and use them to improve their own writing. Also, children that read a lot have the opportunity to grow their vocabulary and therefore they rarely struggle to find the words they need when writing down their own ideas.
  2. Read and celebrate their writing. Try to spend time reading as much of your child’s writing as possible. Praise them for the words they have used and for the spelling and grammar skills they’ve displayed. This positive reinforcement will encourage your child to practice more in the future.
  3. Give them a fun writing prompt. It can sometimes be difficult for even the most experienced of writers to make a start on an article or story. That’s why it is important to give your child a story starter or opening paragraph to a story. You’ll find a lot of these types of activities on
  4. Enable spelling and grammar tools sometimes. This will help to relieve any stress children may have around not knowing how to spell a particular word or how to phrase a certain sentence. In the beginning of everyone’s writing journey, it can be incredibly helpful to reduce the number of new skills that they are trying to master at the same time. Think of this as learning to ride a bicycle with training wheels to help.
  5. Set up a writing station at home. By creating a permanent space where your child can sit and write will encourage them to pick up a pen or pencil more often. This increased time spent writing will have a huge impact on their writing level and it will also help them to think about writing more as a hobby rather than a chore that they need to do. Your writing station could include some fun prompts, illustrations to use as inspiration, some of their favorite books, and plenty of lined paper for whenever they feel inspired.

How Night Zookeeper can help is a great place for your child to put into practice the many skills they have learned in first and second grade. There are hundreds of learning activities and games to help your child consolidate their learning and revise some of the most important writing skills. Plus, there are dedicated lessons that are designed to help them develop in the core writing genres that they will focus on at this level.

Related articles:

Grade 2 Reading

Grade 2 Grammar

Grade 2 Writing Prompts

Grade 2 Spelling

Grade 2 Punctuation


Story Writing

Explanation Writing

Instruction Writing

Report Writing

Persuasive Writing

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