Elementary — 19 January 2011
Grade Two

“According to the Waldorf plan, the teacher progresses with the pupils from first to second grade; in fact, s/he continues with them through all eight years of their elementary schooling, wherever possible. The class teacher, who can look back on all the pupils’ previous learning experiences and build step-by-step on that foundation, can endow his or her teaching with real unity. And primary children, who are very sensitive to readjustments and changes, are given the security of knowing one personality and method intimately and thoroughly.

English now becomes a special subject assigned its share of main lesson periods. Based again on spoken languages, fables satisfy the children’s deep interest in the animal kingdom, while legends offer lofty striving and highlight the noblest human qualities. These fables and legends are now the focus of writing material. The children learn cursive writing by joining up the printed letters of last year. Grammar is introduced with liveliness and humor by acting out stories in which the children can experience the contrast between doing words, naming words and describing words.

In arithmetic, the children carry out more complicated operations with the four processes. Imaginative stories still form the basis of these problems. Through rhythmic counting accompanied by accented clapping and movement of

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the whole body, they learn to count by twos, threes, fours and fives and can begin learning the multiplication tables.

Nature study continues in connection with poetry, legends and imaginative descriptions of natural processes.

Painting and modeling are drawn into constant service in the main lessons. Knitting and purling are mastered. Projects always observe an important principle: handwork should be useful and functional, as well as beautiful.

German and Spanish, singing and flute lessons continue to be taught as in the first grade, with eurythmy leading the children into a more conscious forming of vowels and consonants.

Physical education and games, as well as international folk dancing, begin in Grade Two and continue through all the grades.”

Marjorie Spock
Teaching As a Lively Art

Note: Many Waldorf schools & programs do a large Native American block for this grade. Include folk tales, brief history with a focus on nature.

Painting Lesson Suggestion for Grade Two

I attended a painting class today and did a beautiful exercise. This is the Waldorf wet-on-wet method. First, lay on a fairly strong blue wash over the entire paper. Next, use yellow to paint in a ground on the bottom third of the paper. You could pull up blades of grass or just layer green strokes to form a kind of nest for the nest step… Using red, paint a bulb in the grass area…. Then, use yellow again to pull a stem with leaves out of the bulb … Finally, paint a blossom on top of the stem.

Our class painted daffodils, lilies, hyacinths, tulips. You probably will want to use a dry brush to first draw in the shape of your blossom (this will remove the blue, leaving white so that you can get as true a colour as possible- eg. if you leave the blue, you will have a green daffodil) All the paintings were so beautiful. The teacher told us about a famous artist who always paints this entire process every time he paints a plant – he always paints the bulb or seed first, even if it will be covered up later in the painting! He also always adds an elemental being to protect the flower and a butterfly to represent the plant’s wish!!

Special Thanks to Lyn for sharing!

Grade Two Overview:

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