GRADE 2: Exploring World History and Culture of the last 500 Years / Finding Out More About World Geography and Science


Grade Two ideas and suggestions continue to give lots of opportunity to explore and create, introduce the history of the last 500-600 years, as well as some current geography and culture of various groups of people throughout the world. Much of this happens in Usborne’s “ Peoples of the World” book with recommended internet links as well in the “Enthusiastically Recommended Read-Alouds and Resources” section at the end.

Please have a look at the section at the end which lists all sorts of books for reading aloud and offers wonderful ways to connect a variety of ideas to discuss and a range of art. There are stories suggested from each of the continents including lots of classic folktales.

Items with a price can typically be ordered through us. Items without a price are suggestions that can often be found on the internet, in libraries or in bookstores / online stores.

Discovery Toys and Usborne Books at Home are direct sales companies. Their products can also be ordered by emailing Erin, who is a consultant at:

Language Arts

Learning Language Arts Through Literature (Integrated Reading, Literature, Spelling, Phonics and Handwriting Program)


English Smart 2

ClicknKids (Spelling, Phonics and Reading Computer Program)

Handwriting Without Tears - Grade 2

Printing Power 

Printing Power Plus

2nd Grade Printing Teacher’s Guide 

Usborne Reading Program

The Usborne Reading Program is comprised of a large selection of books from the early stages of reading through to more sophisticated books for confident readers. The books have engaging text accompanied by fantastic and varied illustrations. The First Reading Level Four and Young Reading Level One selections below are a great opportunity to visit the world of fairytales, traditional folktales and some introduction to how a few things were invented/came to be while developing and building reading skills and vocabulary.

First Reading Level Four

The Inch Prince 

The Dragon Painter

The Runaway Pancake

The Ugly Duckling

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Princess Polly and the Pony 

Dick Whittington

The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse

The Emperor and the Nightingale 


Young Reading Series One  (first chapter books)

Puss in Boots



Sleeping Beauty

Emperor’s New Clothes

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

The Elves and the Shoemaker

The Frog Prince

The Twelve Dancing Princesses

Jack and the Beanstalk

Aladdin and His Magical Lamp

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

The Billy Goats Gruff

Stories of Dinosaurs

The Story of Chocolate

Toilets, Telephones and Other Useful Inventions

Christmas Around the World

The Adventures of Sinbad the Sailor

Stories of Unicorns


Jump Math  for Grade Two

Jump Workbook 2.1

Jump Workbook 2.2

Teacher’s Guide 2 (optional but recommended by company)


Life of Fred Math

Dogs Book

Edgewood Book

Farming Book

Goldfish Book


Complete MathSmart 2

Materials for Grade Two Math

Junior Illustrated Dictionary of Maths (Usborne)

Wipe-Clean Telling The Time (Usborne)

Magnet Cake Fractions (Dowling Magnets)

Magnet Fraction Circles (Dowling Magnets)

Magnet Fraction Squares (Dowling Magnets)

Magnet Base 10 Set (recommend having two in order to be able to make a wide variety of numbers)

Times Tables Flashcards (Usborne)

Number Puzzles (Box of cards with wipe-clean pen)(Usborne)

Mosaic Mysteries (Discovery Toys)


Great Science Adventures  (Common Sense Press)

Developed by Dinah Zike, M.Ed and Susan Simpson (creator of Learning Language Arts Through Literature)

Great Science Adventures is a hands-on science program that includes activities for ages throughout the elementary years. The benefit to this is that it can be used with children of different ages and you can begin with any book/program you wish. Because there are activities for primary, junior and intermediate students, it is not grade specific. This is an interactive and very cost effective program!

Each book/program contains 24 lessons so if you are working at the program regularly, you can likely complete two or more books in a year. Alternatively, you can use just one or two books and spend any extra time expanding on the information with other resources or activities.

Choose from:

Great Earth Science Studies

Discovering Earth’s Landforms and Surface Features

Discovering the Ocean

Discovering the World of Space

Great Life Science Studies

Discovering the Human Body and Senses

The World of Insects and Arachnids

The World of Plants

The World of Vertebrates

Great Physical Science Studies

Discovering Atoms, Molecules and Matter

The World of Light and Sound

The World of Tools and Technology



The Young Explorer’s Series is Apologia’s K-6 Creation based science curriculum and combines “conversationally written instruction hands-on activities and interactive notebooking with an inquisitiveness into God’s Creation to turn your young learner into a young explorer.


Usborne Internet - Linked Children’s Encyclopedia



A beautiful engaging first reference book which includes clearly organized scientific sections such as:

Our World (covered in Grade One suggestions)

Animals and Plants (covered in Grade One suggestions)

How your Body Works (covered in Grade One suggestions)


How Things Work


Each double page covers a topic which can be further delved into using the suggested internet links. This book can be used as a base or “springboard” and by omitting or discussing differently a very few pages (approximately 6), can be used quite comfortably with a Creation viewpoint.

This encyclopedia is also recommended as a family reference book regardless of which curriculum or style of learning you choose.

If using it as a main base, the following is a list of books and activities to deepen the learning and have fun with the topics:

Science section (pages 181- 212)

Resources to go along with “Science” section of Internet-Linked Usborne Children’s Encyclopedia:

Usborne Big Book of Science Experiments

See Inside Science

See Inside How Things Work

Living in Space (Usborne Beginners Level 2)

Space (Usborne Discovery Series)

Jumbo Book of Space (Kids Can Press)

Family Pastimes Games

History and Culture

Pillars of the Hebrew Nation, Part 1 (Common Sense Press)

This bible history course can be used for Grades K-8.

Usborne Internet Linked Children’s Encyclopedia



History section - pages (149-180)

Here is an opportunity to use this book again as it has an interesting History/Culture section too. As with the Science sections, each double page covers a topic which can be further delved into using the suggested internet links.

Pages 149 – 180 can be used as a base or “springboard” to learning history and this is recommended as a family reference book regardless of which curriculum or style of learning you choose.

If using it as a main base, the following is a list of books and activities to deepen the learning and have fun with the topics:

Peoples of the World (also included in the Geography Encyclopedia suggested in the Geography section)

See Inside the Middle Ages 

See Inside Houses Long Ago

See Inside Famous Buildings

See Inside London

See Inside The First World War

See Inside The Second World War

Around the World/Fashion Long Ago Sticker Dolly Dressing

The following are books from the Usborne Young Reading Program 3 ….

They can be used as children’s reader but the selected titles below can be read aloud to children at this age to be discussed and expanded upon as they learn some key stories from history. The majority of the titles below are non-fiction but there are a few historical fiction such as “Oliver Twist”, “David Copperfield” and “Little Women” which introduce historical eras of a certain place and culture but also give an introduction to a few classic stories:

Alexander The Great (Usborne Young Reading Series 3)

Julius Caesar (Usborne Young Reading Series 3)

Cleopatra (Usborne Young Reading Series 3)

Christopher Columbus (Usborne Young Reading Series 3)

Marie Antoinette (Usborne Young Reading Series 3)

Florence Nightingale (Usborne Young Reading Series 3)

David Copperfield (Usborne Young Reading Series 3)

Oliver Twist (Usborne Young Reading Series 3)

Little Women (Usborne Young Reading Series 3)


Usborne Geography Encyclopedia with Complete World Atlas (pgs. 10-72)

Standard format hardbook

Reduced format flexi

(includes the entire “Peoples of the World” Book suggested in the History section)

This encyclopedia can be used as base or “springboard” for geography. Pages 10-20 review and deepen learning about “Planet Earth” and pages 108-130 deepen learning about the different landforms and climates in the “World Ecosystems” section. This section shows us the incredible variety of places that people, animals and plants live and partners nicely with the suggested Grade 2 history while building and further developing science ideas and concepts suggested for Grade 1.


The Usborne First book of Art

Usborne Art Treasury

(A fantastic combination of introduction to Art History and variety of related art projects.)

Drawing, Doodling and Colouring

Chinese Patterns to Colour

Egyptian Patterns to Colour

Medieval Patterns to Colour


First Book of the Piano (Usborne) 

Very Easy Piano Tunes (Usborne) 

First Book of the Recorder (Usborne)

Very Easy Recorder Tunes (Usborne)

Guitar for Beginners (Usborne)

Very Easy Guitar Tunes (Usborne)

Easy Guitar Tunes (Usborne)

Gustov Mole Musical Families Game (identifying sections of the orchestra and the instruments with them using families of animals) (Discovery Toys)

Enthusiastically Recommended Read-Alouds and Resources! (available at libraries through regular loan or interlibrary loan or at many storefront or online book companies)

The suggested books for reading aloud to children in Grade 2 are a combination of a few chapter books/children’s novels and lots of what might be considered “sophisticated” picture books. There are many to choose from and the majority of them further explore the ideas of the ideas introduced in Grade 2, while others are just fun reads.

Children’s Novels

Homer Price - Robert McCloskey

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

Little Pear - Eleanor Frances Lattimore

Picture Books


Ma Jiang and the Orange Ants – Barbara Ann Port

One Grain of Rice - Demi

Waiting for the Owl’s Call - Gloria Whelan

Night of the Moon - A Muslim Holiday Story (Ramadan) - Hena Khan

Nabeel’s New Pants: An Eid Tale - Fauzia Gilani - Williams

I am Different! Can You Find Me? - Manjula Padmanabhan (Great information about different languages around the world accompanied by colourful “which is different?” pictures.)

Rubyès Wish – Shirin Yim Bridges and Sophie Blackall

Rice is Life – Rita Golden Gelman and Yangsook Choi

Cherry Tree – Ruskin Bond and Allan Ertzen

Dear June – Soyung Pak, Susan Kathleen Hartung

The Name Jar – Yangsock Choi

Bee-bim Bop – Linda Sue Park and Ho Baek Lee

I Live in Tokyo – Mari Takabayashi

Four Feet, Two Sandals – Karen Lynn Williams, Khadra Mohammed, Doug Chayka

Sitti`s Secrets – Naomi Shihah Nye and Nancy Carpentci.


City Green - DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan

Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen - DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan

Are We There Yet?: A Journey Around Australia - Alison Lester

Karrawingi the Emu - Leslie Rees and Walter Cunningham

My Place - Nadia Wheatley and Donna Rawlins

Window - Jeannie Baker

Tjarany Roughtail - Gracie Greene and Joe Tramacchi

Fox - Margaret Wild and Ron Brooks (this book has been reported to be fairly emotional for some children but will be fine for many .. powerful theme of friendship and betrayal)

D is for Down Under: An Australia Alphabet - Devin Scillian


Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears – Verna Aardama, Illust. Diane Dillon

Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain – Verna Aardema, Illust. Beatriz Vidal

(African Fables and Folklore, some with discussion questions)

(African Folktales, South African, Nigerian, Tanzanian)

Myambi’s Second Chance - Brenda L. Murray

I Lost My Tooth in Africa - Penda Diakite and Baba Wayne Diakite

My Painted House, My Friend Chicken and Me - Maya Angelou and Margaret Courtney-Clarke

Galimoto - Karen Lynn Williams and Catherine Stock

The Butler Man - Elizabeth Alalou, Ali Alalou and Julie Klear Essakalli

Mama Panya’s Pancakes - Mary Chamberlin, Rich a Cairns Chamberlin and Juli

Boundless Grace - Mary Hoffman and Caroline Binch

My Father’s Shop - Satomi Ichikawa

What’s Cooking, Jamela? - Niki Daly

Beatrice’s Goat - Page McBrier and Lori Lohstoeter

Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai

My Rows and Piles of Coins - Toldwa Mollel and E.B. Lewis

Nii Kwei’s Day: From Dawn to Dusk in a Ghanaian City - Francis Provencal and Catherine McNamara


It Could Always Be Worse: A Yiddish Folktale - Margot Zemach

Rechenka’s Eggs - Patricia Polacco

Market Day - Eve Bunting and Holly Berry

The Greatest Skating Race: A World War 2 Story from the Netherlands - Louise Borden and Niki Daly

Polina’s Day: From Dawn to Dusk in a Russian City

Linnea in Monet’s Garden - Cristina Bjork and Lena Anderson

The Keeping Quilt - Patricia Polacco

Babushka’s Doll - Patricia Polacco

This is London England - Miroslav Sasek

This is Edinburgh Scotland - Miroslav Sasek

This is Munich - Miroslav Sasek

The Cat Who Walked Across France - Kate Banks and Georg Hallensleben

Gabriella’s Song - Candace Fleming and Giselle Potter

Stone Soup - Marcia Brown

Central America and Caribbean

The Good Garden (Honduras,sustainable farming, community, family … wonderful book) - Katie Smith Milway

This Stew! Oh no! - Joanne Gail Johnson - neat stuff such as colouring pages

Turtle Tracks: The tale of a nesting hawksbill turtle - Sue Trew

Cricket is My Game - Jason Cole

Is it True Grandfather? - Wendy Lohse, illustrated by Jenny Sands

In Jamaica where I live and other stories - Karl Philpotts

Merry Jamaican Christmas - Al Campbell

Fly Away Home and Other Caribbean Stories

Saving Joe Louis - Isabel Marvin

Caribbean Dreams - Rachel Isadora

My Name is Celia/ Me Llamo Celia – Monica Brown, Illust. Rafael Lopez

South America

The Great Kapok Tree – Lynne Cherry

Fernando’s Gift – Douglas Keister

The Rainforest Grew All Around – Susan Mitchell and Connie McLellan

Peter the Poison Dart Frog – Thomas Sandusky and Kathy Hill, Illust. Gretchen Johnson

Grandmother Sloth, How She got Her Smile – Thomas Sandusky and Kathy Hill, Illust. Gretchen Johnson

Gracie the Glass Tree Frog – Thomas Sandusky and Kathy Hill, Illust. Gretchen Johnson

Spidy the Spider Monkey – Thomas Sandusky and Kathy Hill, Illust. Gretchen Johnson

On the Pampas – Maria Cristina Brusca

Up and Down the Andes – Laurie Krebs and Aurelia Fronty

For the Love of Soccer! – Pele

A Pen Pal for Max- Gloria and Ted RandMy Name is Gabriela /Me Llamo Gabriela – Monica Brown and John Parra

Cassio’s Day: From Dusk to Dawn in a Brazilian Village – Marca de Fatima Campos

The Magic Bean Tree: a Legend from Argentina – Nancy Van Laan and Beatriz Vidal

Fairy Tales from Brazil – Elsie Spicer Eells

Tales of Giants From Brazil – Elsie Spicer Eells

North America

Owl Moon – Jane Yolen

The Goodnight Circle – Carolyn Lesser

Sweet Clara – Deborah Hopkinson, painting by James Ransome

The Other Side – Jacqueline Woodson, E.B. Lewis

The Story of Ruby Bridges – Robert Coles, George Ford

These Shoes- Maribeth Boelts, Noah Z. Jones

Where the Sidewalk Ends (poetry collection) – Shel Silverstein

20th Century Children`s Poetry Treasury – Jack Prelutsky

A Hatful of Seuss (five Dr. Seuss stories) – Dr. Seuss

If I Ran for President – Catherine Steir

The Lady in the Box- Ann McGovern, Marni Backer

Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen – Dyanne DiSalvo-Ryan, Mira Reisberg

Tight Times – Barbara Shook Hazen, Trina Shart Hyman

Pumpkin Fiesta – Caryn Yacowitz, Joe Cepeda

Pumpkin Circle – George Levenson

Red Tag Comes Back (life cycle of a salmon) – Fred Phlegar, Arnold Lobel

Come to the Fair – Janet Lunn

Maple Moon – Connie Brummel Crook

Loon- Susan Vande Griek, Karen Reczuch

The Huron Carol – Ian Wallace

The Harvest Birds – Blanca Lopez de Mariscal, Enrique Flores

What Can You Do With a Paletta – Carmen Tafolla

Diego Riverai: His World and Ours – Duncan Tonatiuh


Penguin stories coming soon!