The theme of Shomrei Adamah, taking care of the earth, runs through the whole year in Grade 2: it serves as the core of the Jewish studies and science curriculum and even has tie-ins in language arts and social studies.
Students study ecosystems, habitats, animal adaptations, the food chain, the water cycle, earthworms and pollution. Using the five stages of the engineering process, (asking, imagining, planning, creating, and improving), students design a filter to clean dirty water. Their classroom experience is enriched by visits from the staff of The Audubon Society who bring in live animals of the Charles River habitat and lead the students on a detective journey on our 162-acre campus to look for evidence of the food chain.
The second grade theater production of Habitats includes student-written skits based on their different units of social studies and science. The play is set to the backdrop of student art and student-written compositions.
In Jewish Studies, students learn about the Jewish obligation to protect the earth (shomrei adamah), the 14 morning blessings (nisim b’kol yom), Havdallah, our Jewish “to do” list (elu d’varim), and the story of Joseph.
In Language Arts, children explore genres of literature and pass the inflection point from learning to read to reading to learn. Students learn how to extract information from non-fiction sources as they do their first research projects, starting with Animals of the Charles River habitat, moving on to Biography presentations that culminate into a “wax museum.” All through the year, they learn about the writing process of creating a draft, writing, re-writing and publishing.