CDSD Grade 2 Family Letter

Reading, Writing, Listening, & Speaking

Unit 1

Key Learnings:

Successful readers ask and answer questions to understand informational texts.

Successful readers examine the parts of a story to better understand what they are reading.

Successful writers use complete sentences when telling stories.


Help your child learn how to:
  • participate in conversations.
  • engage in active listening (eye contact, quiet hands, etc.).
  • ask questions to learn more about what someone is saying.
  • ask questions when he is confused about what someone says.
  • use age-appropriate grammar when speaking.


  • Initiate conversations with your child.
  • Encourage asking questions to find out more information.
  • Promote active listening and attention.
  • Re-phrase student's sentence structure or grammar by repeating sentences properly.


Help your child learn how to:
  • after hearing 4 or more sounds, blend the sounds to say the word (/d/ + /r/ + /i/ + /p/ = drip).
  • identify the final sound of words (bench = /ch/).
  • identify the middle sound in words (love = /uh/).
  • after hearing a word with 4 or more sounds, break it apart to say each separate sound. (brunch = /b/ - /r/ - /u/ - /n/ - /ch/).
  • after hearing a word, add a sound to make a new word (run/runs, it/pit, lip/slip)
  • after hearing a word, delete a sound to make a new word (plays/play, chat/at, brat/rat, clot/cot)
  • after hearing a word substitute a sound to make a new word (ship/lip, hat/hot, mink/mint).


  • Practice these skills anywhere: in the car, out for a walk, folding laundry, cooking dinner, etc.
  • Parent: "What's the word? /p/ /r/ /o/ /b/" Child: "probe"
  • Parent: "What's the last sound in 'brush'?" Child: "/sh/"
  • Parent: "What's the middle sound in 'church'?" Child: "/er/"
  • Parent: "Tell me all the sounds in 'print'?" Child: "/p/ - /r/ - /i/ - /n/ - /t/"
  • Parent: "Add /g/ to the beginning of 'rate' and you get . . . Child: "great"
  • Parent: "'Bench' without the /ch/ is . . . Child: "Ben"
  • Parent: "Change the /o/ in 'smoke' to /ah/ and you get . . . Child "smock"
Phoneme Deletion, Substitution, and Reversal

PHONICS: Reading and Writing Words

Help your child learn how to:
  • read and write short vowel words that end with -ff, -ss, -zz, & -ll (cliff, mess, jazz, drill).
  • read and write words that end with -ng and -nk (sang, ring, gong, lung, tank, pink, honk, dunk).
  • read and write words that begin and end with the "H-Brothers" (chop, shot, this, when, bench, wish, bath, hitch)
  • read and write words with beginning and ending blends (e.g., drink, trap, twig, squid, left, milk)
  • break words with 2 consonants in the middle in order to read them (mit/ten = mitten, rab/bit = rabbit, trum/pet = trumpet)
  • read and write words with 3 letter blends (clusters) (e.g., strap, scratch, splash)
  • read and write words with "Bossy R" (ringer, bird, hurt)


  • Use magnetic letters or letter tiles to make words with the patterns listed above and ask your child to read them. He can slide each letter to the left and make the sound. Then blend the sounds together to read the words.
  • Have your child build the words you say with magnetic letters or letter tiles.
  • Write each word on a different sticky note. Stick the words on the walls in your child's bedroom. Give your child a flashlight and turn off the lights. Say a word or make and have your child shine the light on the word. Let your child tell you a word to find.
  • Put some sugar, sand, shaving cream on a cookie sheet or plate. Have your child use his finger to "write" the words. Have him name each letter while he "writes" the word.
  • Give your child a cup of water and a paint brush. Have your child use the water and paintbrush to write each word on the sidewalk. He should say each letter as he writes the word.
Closed Syllables — The Basics of Reading # 4
Open Syllables — The Basics of Reading # 5


Help your child learn how to:
  • monitor her reading to make sure it makes sense.
  • use fix up strategies (reread, read on, look at pictures, think about what she already knows about the topic) when she doesn't understand what she is reading.
  • retell the beginning, middle, and end of a story.
  • when retelling a story, identify the characters, setting, important events including the problem and solution.
  • use picture cards, puppets, illustrations in a text to recount the important events of a story chronologically.
  • ask and answer who, what, where, when, why, and how questions about a story.
  • use key details from the words and pictures to describe the setting of a story.
  • use the prefixes, un- and re-, to explain the meaning of words (untied = not tied; retie = tie again).
  • ask and answer who, what, where, when, why, and how questions about nonfiction texts (informational texts and directions).
  • sequence and recount the steps in a set of directions.
  • use sequence words to describe the connection between steps. (You make the large snowball before you make the small snowball. You put the carrot nose on the snowman after you make the small snowball.)


  • Provide time for you child to read or be read to daily.
  • Have your child read a story in "chunks." After reading each chunk have him check his understanding by recounting the section to you. If he doesn't understand what he read, guide him to use strategies to clarify his misunderstandings (reread, read on, look at the pictures, think about what he already knows).
  • After reading a story, have your child make paper bag puppets of the characters. Have him put on a show using the puppets to retell the story.
  • After reading a story, have your child illustrate the important events. Have him put the illustrations in order and recount the events of the story in the correct sequence.
  • When you are reading with your child ask questions you wonder to model asking questions while reading. Point out when you find the answers to your questions.
  • Ask you child questions about what he is reading. When he answers your question, have him show you where in the words or illustrations he found the answer.
  • When reading together, ask your child to identify and describe the setting of the story. After reading, have him draw or paint a picture of the setting(s).
  • Work with your child to brainstorm a list of words that begin with un- (not) and re- (again). Take turns using the meaning of the prefixes to explain the meanings of the words. (NOTE: There will words where you cannot use the meaning of the prefix to define them. This is okay. Point these words out as exceptions.)
  • Read a recipe or set of directions with your child. After reading them, follow the steps. While following the steps use sequential words (first, next, then, last, before, after, etc.). After following the steps, have your child illustrate each step and use the illustrations to recount the steps in the correct order.
Beginning, Middle and End


During this unit your child will be exposed to the following types of texts:

  • Realistic Fiction (Example: A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams)
  • Fairy Tale, Folktale, or Fable (Examples: Cinderella by Marcia Brown, Arrow to the Sun by Gerald McDermott, & The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney)
  • Fantasy (Example: The Mysterious Tadpole by Steven Kellogg)
  • Play (Example: Aesop's Fables on Stage by Julie Meighan)
  • Informational Texts (Jellies: The Life of Jellyfish by Twig George)
  • Directions or How To Texts (Example: Children's Quick and Easy Cookbook by Angela Wilkes)


  • Take your child to the library and check out books from the types listed above.
  • Use the list above when selecting books for your child to read and books for you to read to your child.


Help your child learn how to:
  • identify types of sentences (statement, question, exclamation).
  • write a compete sentences that begin with a capital letter and end with a period, question mark or exclamation point.
  • identify nouns and categorize them as people, places, or things.
  • when writing, capitalize proper nouns (names of people, products, geographical locations, holidays, days, and months).
  • when writing, capitalize the word, "I."
  • identify present tense verbs in writing.
  • with help from an adult, plan a story from her life by telling or drawing the sequence of events.
  • with help from an adult, write a story about her life that includes a problem/situation described with a short sequence of events.
  • with help from an adult include temporal words (in the meantime, a little later, the next day, etc.) in her story.
  • with help from an adult, write an ending that provides a sense of closure.
  • with help from an adult, edit writing for capitalization and ending punctuation.


  • Have your child sort sentences by type (statement, question, exclamation).
  • Have your child search for the different types of sentences in a book she is reading.
  • Tell stories of you childhood to your child.
  • Work with your child to write stories of events in her life.
  • After you child writes a page in her story, have her go back and reread each sentence. Have her point to the beginning of each sentence to check for a capital letter and point to the end of the sentence to check for the correct ending punctuation.
  • Have your child highlight a couple nouns and verbs in her writing. Have her use a different color for nouns and verbs.
  • Have her check 5 sentences in her writing to make sure there is a noun and a verb in each sentence.


  • base word: a word that a prefix or ending can be added to
  • being verb: a verb that does not show an action (am, is, were, etc.)
  • capitalization: the use of capital letters
  • comprehend: to understand
  • connection: a link or relationship between two people, things, events, or ideas
  • draft: the writing an author does before it is ready to share with an audience
  • evidence: details from the words and pictures that support or prove an idea
  • exclamation: a sentence that says something with a strong feeling
  • informational text: a nonfiction text that shares facts about a topic
  • monitor: to check for understanding; to pay attention to how well you understand what you read
  • noun: a word that names a person, place, or thing
  • organize: to put things in an order that make sense
  • participate: to be part of an activity or group
  • predicate: the action part of a sentence; tells what the subject did or does (The black cat climbed the tree.)
  • prefix: a word part that is added to the beginning of a base word
  • present: an action that is happening now
  • proper noun: the name of a person, place, or thing (SpongeBob, Target, Google)
  • question: a sentence that asks something
  • recount: to tell the important events of a story in the order they happened
  • series of steps: the order of several steps in a set of directions or an informational text
  • setting: the time, season, and place a story happens
  • statement: a sentence that tells something
  • subject: the naming part of a sentence; tells the "who" or "what" the sentence is about. (The black cat climbed the tree.)
  • summarize: to briefly tell the most important parts of a text
  • syllables: the beats in a word; each syllable must have a vowel
  • verb: a word that names an action
  • visualize: to make a movie in your mind



Reading Rockets

This is a great resource where parents can find information in helping their children become successful readers, writers, and thinkers.


This is a website where first grade children can practice early reading skills.


Endless Alphabet

Skill: Print Awareness, Phonics, Spelling, Vocabulary

Device: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Price: $4.99 - $6.99

Letters transform into living toys that voice their names. Children learn that one letter works with others to build words and sentences.

Planet Lettra

Skill: Phonics

Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Price: $1.99

Children use Planet Lettra for experimenting with word building and hearing what they've made. Children arrange a set of letter blocks any way they want and hear what they've built. Block are designed to guide your child in building the most important sight words for reading fluency and exposure to important letter blends.

The Electric Company Wordball!

Skill: Phonics, Spelling

Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Price: Free

The Electric Company Wordball! app is a phonics game that integrates video clips from the TV show to teach reading and spelling. The game consists of two parts: watching a video about a letter sound or letter combination and tapping the "wordballs" with the featured letter or letter combination; then using the collected "wordballs" to complete words as they move across the screen.

Kidspiration Maps

Skill: Comprehension, Writing

Device: iPad

Price: $9.99

Kidspiration Maps is an easy-to-use and versatile mind-mapping tool that can be used in all subject areas.


Skill: Comprehension, Writing

Device: iPad, iPhone

Price: $4.99

Popplet is a versatile mind-mapping tool. Children create "Popplets" that can be filled with text, drawings, images, or videos about a topic.

Question Builder

Skill: Comprehension

Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Price: $5.99

Question Builder is designed to help children learn to answer questions about a text.

Alphabet Organizer

Skill: Spelling, Vocabulary, Writing

Device: Android, iPad

Price: Free

Alphabet Organizer is a graphic organizer for exploring letters and words, creating books, and building personal word walls for vocabulary study, content area research, or writing projects.


Skill: Vocabulary

Device: iPad

Price: Free

Bluster! is a vocabulary game that can be played solo, or as a team, or competitively against another player. Children race against time and weather to match as many words as they can.

Word Sort

Skill: Vocabulary, Grammar

Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Price: $1.99

Word Sort is a practical way to practice parts of speech. Children sort words and phrases by parts of speech before time runs out.


Skill: Writing, Storytelling

Device: iPad

Price: $3.99

Illustrated story prompts let children record their voices as they narrate pre-made wordless picture books.

My Story Book Creator

Skill: Writing, Storytelling

Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Price: $3.99

My Story Book Creator is a introduction to digital storytelling and book-publishing that combines drawing, stickers, photos, voice, and text.

Scribble Press

Skill: Writing, Storytelling

Device: Android, iPad

Price: $3.99

Scribble Press is a book-creation and -publication app that children can use to write and illustrate stories, publish them online or in print, and view other children's books.

Me: A Kid's Diary

Skill: Writing

Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Price: $2.99

Me: A Kid's Diary is a unique take on self-exploration that children respond to prompts in order to tell more about themselves.


Nessy Spelling Strategy: Flossy Words
ng | Fun Phonics | How to Read | Made by Kids vs Phonics
Frank Skunk: consonant blend 'nk' by phab fonics
Alphablocks Series 3 - Ink
Fun Phonics | Level 7 | ch, ck, sh, th, TH | How to Read | Made by Red Cat Reading
Phonics Blends | How to Read | Fun Phonics | Made by Red Cat Reading
Learn to Read | One Syllable Words | Green Level
Learn to Read | Phonics for Kids | Letter Teams - TH and CH
Phonics - Learn to Read | Practicing Letter Blends | Alphablocks
Nessy Reading Strategy: Gang of 3
Nessy Reading Strategy: Closed and Open Syllables
Syllable Division Part One
Closed Syllables - How to Read Long Words
AR | Fun Phonics | How to Read | Made by Kids vs Phonics
Nessy Reading Strategy: The Sound ‘AR’
R Controlled Vowels - AR and OR
er | Fun Phonics | How to Read | Made by Kids vs Phonics
Nessy Reading Strategy: er ir ur
or | Fun Phonics | How to Read | Made by Kids vs Phonics
Bossy R
Story Elements For Kids: What Is a Character?
Story Elements: Characters
Story Elements: Setting
Story Elements for Kids: What Is a Setting?
2nd Grade Sequencing of Events
Recounting Stories | How to Retell a Story
eSpark Learning: How to Retell a Story Instructional Video (1.RL, Quest 3)
How To Retell a Story For Kids
eSpark Learning: Recounting Stories Instructional Video (2.RL.2)
6 Questions | Fun Reading & Writing Comprehension Strategy For Kids | Jack Hartmann
The Sentence Song | English Songs | Scratch Garden
Punctuation in English | Punctuation At The End Of A Sentence| 1st Grade
Is the sentence a statement, question, command, or exclamation?
nessy nouns
Schoolhouse Rock Nouns
Common and Proper Nouns | 1st and 2nd Grade Language Arts For Kids
Writing a Personal Narrative: Brainstorming a Story for Kids
Writing a Personal Narrative: Planning & Pre-Writing a Story for Kids
Writing a Personal Narrative: Writing an Introduction or Opening for Kids
Writing a Personal Narrative: Writing a Draft for Kids
Writing a Personal Narrative: Writing a Closing or Conclusion for Kids
Realistic Fiction Writing for Kids Episode 1: What Is It?
Realistic Fiction Writing for Kids Episode 2: Brainstorming
Realistic Fiction Writing for Kids Episode 3: Writing an Introduction
Realistic Fiction Writing for Kids Episode 4: Writing a Draft
Realistic Fiction Writing for Kids Episode 5: Writing a Closing


Why we should all be reading aloud to children | Rebecca Bellingham | TEDxYouth@BeaconStreet