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Developmental Characteristics of 2nd Graders

Developmental Characteristics of 2nd Graders

Every child’s development is unique. Although children develop through a generally predictable sequence of milestones, we cannot say exactly when a child will reach each and every stage. Every child has his or her own timetable. The characteristics below are offered only as a reference to give you a better understanding of your child. Feel free to contact your pediatrician and/or your child’s school if you have any questions.

The Seven-Year-Old

Physical Development

  • Great differences in the size and abilities of children may affect self-concept
  • Large muscles in arms and legs are more developed than small muscles
  • Learning to use small/fine muscles
  • Long arms and legs may give gawky, awkward appearance
  • When tired, may not want to rest
  • Sometimes tense
  • Many physical hurts, real and imagined

Social and Emotional Development

  • Touchy; may say or think, “Nobody likes me.”
  • Love to talk, even exaggerate
  • Work hard to please teachers, parents, and other adults
  • Sensitive to adult evaluation
  • More independent, but still relies heavily on the teacher
  • More emphasis on fairness
  • Likes structure; dislikes changes in school routines
  • Compare self to others; can be self-critical
  • Establishing friendships becomes very important, although they often lack the skills necessary to do so
  • View things as right or wrong, wonderful or terrible, with very little middle ground
  • Seek a sense of security in groups, organized play, and clubs

Intellectual Development

  • More serious and less impulsive than first graders
  • Realize that there are many things that need to be learned, sometimes leading to less confidence than in first grade
  • Begin to reason logically and organize thoughts coherently
  • Most thinking is done about actual physical objects; difficulty handling abstract reasoning
  • Often makes decisions based on influence of others instead of by reasoning
  • Develop more skill in reading
  • Want to assume more responsibility
  • May reverse printed letters (b/d)
  • Speaking and listening vocabulary expanding at a very rapid pace
  • Like to collect, organize, and sort things
  • Longer attention span
  • Learn to evaluate what they do
  • Need closure, want to complete assignments
  • Like to work slowly
  • Want work to be perfect; erase constantly
  • Need manipulatives to learn effectively
  • Like to know how things work
  • Egocentric, but beginning to understand others’ perspectives

The Eight-Year-Old

Physical Development

  • High energy
  • Enjoy rough and tumble games, as well as team sports
  • May be physically daring
  • Fine motor skills showing increased speed and smoothness
  • Some write with tiny letters and artwork becomes more detailed
  • Large muscles in arms and legs are more developed than small muscles
  • Seven to nine-year olds are learning to use their small muscles skills (printing with a pencil; using scissors and small tools) and their large muscle skills (throwing and catching a ball)
  • Large differences in size and abilities of children; may affect the way they get along with others, how they feel about themselves, and what physical activities they do
  • Enjoy testing muscle strength and skills
  • Good sense of balance

Social and Emotional Development

  • Begin to define self based on certain attributes or achievements, such as “I wear glasses,” etc
  • Can become self-conscious based on how they believe they look in the eyes of others
  • Establishing friendships is very important, although they may lack skills to do so
  • Emergence of a sense of humor--telling jokes
  • Less dependent on adults and more dependent on peers
  • Begins to question authority and test limits
  • Often overestimate abilities; “they bite off more than can chew”
  • Interested in rules and rituals
  • Generally girls tend to play more with girls; boys with boys
  • May have a best friend
  • Strong desire to perform well, do things right
  • Find criticism and failure difficult to handle
  • View things as right or wrong, wonderful or terrible, with little middle ground
  • Need a sense of security in groups, organized play and clubs; friendship groups may be larger
  • Generally enjoy caring for and playing with younger children

Intellectual Development

  • Concrete Operations Stage of Thinking is solidifying for most children. They can reason logically about actual objects and organize thoughts coherently. They cannot handle abstract reasoning very well unless it relates to real experiences.
  • Learn best through active, concrete experiences, but are learning to see books as sources of information; reading may become a major interest
  • Developing a longer attention span
  • Enjoy collecting, organizing, and classifying objects and information
  • Imaginative play in the form of skits, plays, and puppet shows
  • Likes groups and group activities
  • May reverse printed letter (b/d) (until mid-third grade)
  • Enjoy planning and building
  • Speaking and listening vocabularies are expanding rapidly; talkative
  • Increased problem-solving ability
  • Interested in magic and tricks
  • Learning to plan ahead and evaluate what they do
  • When something is suggested, they may say, “That’s dumb”or “I don’t want to do that.”
  • Beginning to see and understand the perspectives of others.
  • Listen well, but they are so full of ideas that they cannot always recall what has been said
  • Like to explain ideas--may exaggerate
  • Engrossed in activity at hand; love to socialize at the same time
  • Industrious; often work quickly
  • Basic skills begin to be mastered; begin to feel a sense of competence with skills
Reference: "GCISD - Curriculum Guides and Developmental Characteristics." 2002. Grapevine-Colleyville ISD. 7 Dec. 2007 .