2nd Grade Lesson Ideas

Using Seesaw

*All standards reference the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills from February 2017.

ELA Activities

  • Standard: 4 - Students read grade-level text with fluency and comprehension. Students are expected to read aloud grade-level appropriate text with fluency and comprehension. Activity: Students can: 1) get with a buddy so that Partner A read a book while Partner B films the text in the book (there's a 5 minute limit if recording with Seesaw, but students could use the built-in camera app on their device to record and then import the video to Seesaw from the camera roll if more time is needed) -OR- 2) take pictures of each page in a book, put those pictures into Shadow Puppet Edu, record themselves reading the text over the top of the pictures, save the project to the camera roll, and then import the video file into Seesaw from the camera roll.
  • Standard: 5(C) - Identify and use common words that are opposite (antonyms) or similar (synonyms) in meaning. Activity: Students can use Popplet Lite, type a focus word in the center of a brainstorm web, and then use the branches of the bubble web to type synonyms or antonyms. Save the image to the camera roll. Finally, import the image to Seesaw (via the camera roll) and use voice narration to explain the meaning of the focus word.
  • Standard: 6(B) - Compare different versions of the same story in traditional and contemporary folktales with respect to their characters, settings, and plot. Activity: Upload a Venn Diagram background to Padlet and drop the Padlet link into Seesaw. As students read two similar folktales, they can use the link in Seesaw to contribute similarities and differences in the two stories on the Padlet (without ever having to navigate to the URL on their own).
  • Standard: 7 - Students understand, make inferences, and draw conclusions about the structure and elements of poetry and provide evidence from text to support their understanding. Students are expected to describe how rhyme, rhythm, and repetition interact to create images in poetry. Activity: The teacher can create an assignment in Recap with a prompt regarding the TEK. Drop the Recap link and PIN into Seesaw (students will be able to use the link if they are on a computer but can still use the PIN information to access the Recap app on an iOS device). After reading a poem, students can record a video response to the teacher's prompt.
  • Standard: 9(B) - Describe main characters in works of fiction, including their traits, motivations, and feelings. Activity: Students can use Popplet Lite to draw a picture and write the name of the main character of a book in the middle of the bubble map. Use the branches of the map to write character traits, save the project as an image, and then import into Seesaw from the camera roll.
  • Standard: 14 - Students analyze, make inferences and draw conclusions about and understand expository text and provide evidence from text to support their understanding. Activity: Students can take a picture of, receive an AirDropped image, or grab a photo from a cloud service a reading passage. Use an app such as Whiteboard Lite to zoom and annotate over the photo (main idea, facts, etc.) before exporting to the camera roll. Import the image into Seesaw, and use the built-in voice narration to explain their thinking and describe the order of events in the text.
  • Standard: 17 - Students use elements of the writing process (planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing) to compose text. Activity: Students can 1) create a draft of writing in Seesaw using the digital notebook paper, 2) screenshot the notebook paper, upload as a photo, and annotate their revisions (or have a buddy edit their paper) over the top, 3) publish and share their final writing (either type on the digital notebook or via uploaded photos from written text on physical paper) with the class.
  • Standard: 24(A) - Generate a list of topics of class-wide interest and formulate open-ended questions about one or two of the topics. Activity: The teacher will create a Padlet (making sure the commenting feature is turned on) and drop the Padlet link into Seesaw. Students can click the link to open the Padlet (without ever having to navigate to the URL on their own) and contribute topics of interest. Afterward, students can comment on the listed topics with suggestions for open-ended questions.

Math Activities

  • Standard: 2(B) and (C) - Sse concrete and pictorial models to compose and decompose numbers up to 1,200 in more than one way as a sum of so many thousands, hundreds, tens, and ones; and use standard, word, and expanded forms to represent numbers up to 1,200. Activity: Students can: 1) represent a number using physical math manipulatives, take a picture of the model, import to Seesaw from the camera roll, and then narrate over the top of the photo to explain their thinking -OR- 2) use the built-in whiteboard and use a finger or stylus to represent numbers and their various forms, and then use the whiteboard recording feature to explain their thinking.
  • Standard: 3(A) - Partition objects into equal parts and name the parts, including halves, fourths, and eighths, using words. Activity: Students can draw examples of halves, fourths, and eighths in a drawing app such as Whiteboard Lite or Doodle Buddy. Export each image to the camera roll. Import each image into a Shadow Puppet Edu slideshow, providing voice narration to name the fractions and the "magic wand" to count the parts. Save the final project to the camera roll, and import the video into Seesaw.
  • Standard: 4 - The student applies mathematical process standards to develop and use strategies and methods for whole number computations in order to solve addition and subtraction problems with efficiency and accuracy. Activity: Students can use the built-in whiteboard in Seesaw, pictures of manipulatives, photo annotation, voice narration, the built-in digital notebook paper, and even app-smash to depict multiple methods for problem-solving.
  • Standard: 6(A) and (B) - Model/create/describe contextual multiplication situations in which equivalent sets of concrete objects are joined, and contextual division situations in which a set of concrete objects is separated into equivalent sets. Activity: Students can use a drawing app such as Whiteboard Lite or Doodle Buddy to depict a multiplication or division problem and save that image to the camera roll. (Repeat for as many multiplication and division problems as needed.) Import the images into a Shadow Puppet Edu slideshow where students use voice narration to describe their thinking and the "magic wand" feature to point out each part of the concrete objects depicts. Save the video file to the camera roll and import the final project into Seesaw.
  • Standard: 7(C) - Represent and solve addition and subtraction word problems where unknowns may be any one of the terms in the problem. Activity: Students can use the built-in whiteboard to write math problems with a pen or stylus while simultaneously recording his/her voice to explain the thinking behind each step in the problem-solving process.
  • Standard: 8 - The student applies mathematical process standards to analyze attributes of two-dimensional shapes and three-dimensional solids to develop generalizations about their properties. Activity: Students can: 1) use the built-in whiteboard and/or import option to upload photos of shapes they've drawn and use voice narration to explain the name, sides, vertices, and other attributes of each figure -OR- 2) go on a "shape hunt" around the school (or room) and take pictures of the 3D shapes they've learned about. Import the photos into Pic Collage and create a collage with labels to identify each shape. Export the image to the camera roll, then import into Seesaw from the camera roll and narrate the image to explain what's inside -OR- 3) create 2D and 3D shapes in a drawing app such as Whiteboard Lite or Doodle Buddy, pull each photo into Shadow Puppet Edu, use voice narration to explain each shape and its features, save the project to the camera roll, and then import the final video into Seesaw.
  • Standard: 10(D) - Draw conclusions and make predictions from information in a graph. Activity: The teacher can drop an image of a graph into each student's Seesaw journal. Students can use the copy/edit feature to make a copy of the item and add voice narration over the top of the image to draw conclusions and make predictions from the information.

Science Activities

  • Standard: 2(D) and (E) - Record and organize data using pictures, numbers, and words; and communicate observations and justify explanations using student-generated data from simple descriptive investigations. Activity: In any experiment or investigation, students can use the built-in digital notebook paper or built-in camera or video recorder to record oral, written, or pictorial observations. Students could also app-smash with Shadow Puppet Edu (by creating a picture slideshow), Padlet or Popplet (by creating a brainstorm wall or web), or Pic Collage (by creating a collage of images), importing into Seesaw through the camera roll, and [optionally] adding voice narration to explain the data.
  • Standard: 5(A) - Classify matter by physical properties, including shape, relative mass, relative temperature, texture, flexibility, and whether material is a solid or liquid. Activity: Students can: 1) take pictures of various items, import each item into a freestyle template in Pic Collage and add text to describe its properties, and then import each picture into Shadow Puppet Edu to create a photo slideshow with voice narration to explain why the object was classified in those ways. Finally, import into Seesaw from the camera roll. -OR- 2) create a brainstorm web in Popplet Lite, where the matter in question is in the center of the web and each branch of the web describes a physical property of that item.
  • Standard: 6(C) and (D) - Trace the changes in the position of an object over time such as a cup rolling on the floor and a car rolling down a ramp; and compare patterns of movement of objects such as sliding, rolling, and spinning. Activity: Students can: 1) Film the positions and movement of objects in "slow-mo," and upload the videos to Seesaw for review. Students can then copy/edit the video and add a caption to explain the changes in the position and/or the pattern of movement in the object. -OR- 2) Record multiple videos of objects in motion (slow-mo is optional!) and import them into a video collage using the free app, Pic Play Post (iOS version, Android version, Windows 10 version). Then import that video collage into Seesaw, where peers could copy/edit the item and add a caption to compare how the objects are moving.
  • Standard: 7(C) - Distinguish between natural and manmade resources. Activity: The teacher can create a Padlet that is split down the middle -- with one side labeled "Natural Resources" and the other side labeled "Manmade Resources" at the top. Drop the link to the Padlet into Seesaw. Students can click the link within Seesaw to go to the Padlet (without having to navigate to the URL themselves), add their ideas, and classify the ideas by dragging each item to the correct side of the page.
  • Standard: 8(A) and (B) - Measure, record, and graph weather information in order to identify patterns in the data; and identify the importance of weather and seasonal information to make choices in clothing, activities, and transportation. Activity: The teacher can create a Google Form that allows students to assess the weather and give advice in terms of clothing, activities, and transportation. The teacher can drop the link to the Google Form into Seesaw in her own folder. Every day -- maybe after recess? -- students can go to the teacher's folder (it might be best to remember the date the link was added, as well, since there is currently no way to "pin" work in Seesaw), click the Google Form link, and enter their information. The teacher can then pull up the results in graphed or spreadsheet format to view as a whole class through the projector.

Social Studies Activities

  • Standard: 2(A), (B), and (C) - Describe the order of events by using designations of time periods such as historical and present times; apply vocabulary related to chronology, including past, present, and future; and create and interpret timelines for events in the past and present. Activity: Students can: 1) use a free timeline creator on a computer (such as this one by SoftSchools) to generate a timeline. When finished, the student can take a screenshot of the timeline, go to Seesaw's website, and upload the image to their journal from the computer. -OR- use Popplet (either the app or on the website -- on a computer) to create a timeline of their own, including photos and/or drawings. When finished, students can save the image of their timeline to the camera roll and import that photo to Seesaw. -OR- students can use a specialized timeline app (such as RWT Timeline) on an iPad to create their timeline. Then either save the project as an image that is then imported into Seesaw from the camera roll -or- copy the link to the finished project to the clipboard and paste into the Seesaw journal from the link feature.
  • Standard: 4 - The student understands how historical figures, patriots, and good citizens helped shape the community, state, and nation. Activity: The student can find an image of an assigned historical figure. After researching this person, the student can upload this image into Chatterpix, explain the person's influence on the community/state/nation, save the file to the camera roll, and then import the final project into Seesaw.
  • Standard: 5(B) - Create maps to show places and routes within the home, school, and community. Activity: Students can create a map of their own on paper or drawn in a drawing app such as Whiteboard Lite or Doodle Buddy. The student can a photo of the map into Shadow Puppet Edu, where they can then use the voice narration and "magic wand" features to trace a route of their choice while explaining directions from Point A to Point B.
  • Standard: 6 - The student understands the locations and characteristics of places and regions in the community, state, and nation. Activity: Students can use the built-in maps in Shadow Puppet Edu to find map/globe pictures of Texas and the United States. (The teacher can AirDrop students a picture of the community -- or put it in a cloud drive for students to retrieve -- or students can take their own pictures of the community.) Students can add their voice over the top of the pictures, narrating what the viewer sees in each image (and using the "magic wand" to point out locations and features), before uploading the saved movie file to Seesaw.
  • Standard: 13(A) - Identify characteristics of good citizenship. Activity: The teacher can create an AnswerGarden that asks students for characteristics of good citizenship and drop the link to the AnswerGarden into Seesaw. Give students 3-5 minutes to add as many characteristics as possible. (The AnswerGarden will generate a word cloud of answers, where the most-submitted answers will appear largest on the screen.) Use the word cloud as a discussion-starter about this TEK.

All Subjects

Tricks or activities you can use in all subject areas include:


  • Getting images to students (so they don't have to conduct Google searches on their own!): AirDrop the image to [newer] student iOS devices -OR- place the image(s) in a folder in the cloud (Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.) and provide students with the link or access to the folder so they can download a copy.
  • Directing students to instructional videos: Find the video in YouTube, filter it through SafeShare or ViewPure, and drop the final link in Seesaw.
  • Guiding students toward a particular link: Drop the link in Seesaw. The link will open within Seesaw (on an iOS app) or in a new tab (on a computer) so the student doesn't have to navigate to the URL on his/her own.
  • Presentations: Students can record themselves with Seesaw's built-in video recorder for up to 5 minutes, -OR- you can app-smash with another presentation tool such as Shadow Puppet Edu, Padlet, ThingLink, Chatterpix, Pic Collage, or Popplet Lite. As long as you can save the final project to the camera roll or take a screenshot of it, students can import the assignment into Seesaw to turn in.

More Resources

For more lesson ideas, check these resources: