Grade Level Writing Expectations - Second Grade

Writes Clearly and Effectively


  • Maintains focus on topic
  • Includes details in retelling and personal narratives
  • Includes supporting information through adjectives or explanatory sentences
  • Chooses appropriate title for work


  • Attends to sequence, often using indicators (e.g. next, first, after)
  • Groups ideas, sometimes in paragraphs


  • Begin to demonstrate awareness of the audience
  • Recognize individuality in the illustrations and writings of others
  • Begin to use details in drawings and/or writing that express unique personality

Sentence Fluency

  • Varies sentence beginnings, often including prepositional phrases
  • Maintains consistent "person"
  • Maintains consistent tense, especially past tense

Word Choice

  • Uses formal or book language within some writing
Spelling Capitalization Punctuation Grammar & Usage Sentences / Paragraphs
  • Increased correct spelling (from first grade) of high-frequency and grade-level words
  • Phonetic spelling on some words
  • Common contractions
  • Spelling resources
  • Local geographic names (e.g., Yakima)
  • First word in greeting and closing of a letter
  • Comma after greeting and closing of letter
  • Colon when writing time (e.g., 12:30)
  • Apostrophes correct in contractions (e.g., don't)
  • Some use of quotation marks
  • Uses quotation marks in dialogue
  • Standard verb forms in past tense or
  • past participle (e.g., He went home. We were going home.)
  • Possessive pronouns (e.g., its, theirs)
  • Subject pronouns (e.g., she vs. her)
  • Multiple sentences


Understands and Uses the Writing Process


  • Plans more deliberately and in more detail, often using a word web or story frame


  • Uses a plan to draft text, but willing to amend where necessary


  • Takes note of suggestions and assistance to clarify and refine writing
  • Accepts and considers feedback on own writing


  • Uses a simple checklist for revising and editing


  • Uses a simple checklist for revising and editing
  • Uses a dictionary and spelling lists to check meaning and accuracy
  • Edits to meet 2nd grade standards of conventions


  • Attends to spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and tense in final draft
  • Maintains consistent size, spacing, and formation in handwriting, especially in published work


  • Maintains interest from one time to another on same piece
  • Begins to assess writing using 6-traits language
  • Self-reflects on piece selected for portfolio based on learning that took place

Addresses Audience, Purpose, and Form

  • Shows awareness of audience in letters and when writing instructions by using second person
  • Responds to literature in some detail
  • Uses more forms (e.g., diagrams) especially in informational writing
  • Produces a variety of written forms, including stories, reports, letters, and journal entries
  • Explains why one form is more appropriate than another

Suggested Text Forms

  Literature or Literary Forms Informational, Task-oriented, and/or Technical Writing
New to
Grade Level
  • Poems: patterned poetry, couplet
  • Questions and answers
  • Instructions (explain how to)
  • Learning logs
  • Narrative: experiential stories
  • Narrative: fictional stories
  • Personal letters, cards, and notes
  • Diaries/journals
  • Recounts
  • Rhymes
  • Retellings
  • Labels
  • Captions
  • Informational sentence
  • Recounts
  • Answers to questions