In second grade, children visit the wood shop each week to learn how to safely use hand tools to make the ideas in their heads into real objects. They make plans, organize steps, and learn to follow the instructions they’ve devised themselves to create a marionette made of separate, movable parts. Using coping saws, sanding blocks, hammer, nails, and glue, they build a birdhouse and bookends bearing their own (carved) initials, and a percussion instrument on which they can play soft-toned melodies. Wood shop is a perennial favorite, sending kids home exclaiming, “Look what I made!”
In music class, second graders are beginning to write and read music, sight-singing simple melodies and writing down simple pitches and rhythms. They sing and play instruments, and begin to coordinate their own musical output with their peers,’ taking steps toward true ensemble performance. In addition, music class supports the interdisciplinary study of Japan, and the exploration and development of students’ own musical preferences and tastes. Some second graders even choose to take part in the annual lower school musical.
Second grade artists find much of their work connecting to other classes. Whether creating commemorative plates in an ancient Greek style, painting Japanese carp kites, or carefully stitching a needlepoint tableau of family and culture, students gain technical skill in studio arts, while also receiving daily reinforcement of the idea that art is a necessary part of life.Inquire