In second grade, kids learn to think about writing as a process with four steps: prewriting (deciding on a topic and organizing their ideas), writing a first draft, making revisions (adding or changing their reasons, adding facts, putting information in a different order), and then making final edits (fixing spelling and grammar). In these examples, you’ll see what to expect when second graders organize their thoughts in the prewriting stage and what their final reports look like after they’ve completed all four writing steps. Learn more about your second grader’s writing under Common Core.

Second grade writing sample #1

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Madison’s report has an introduction, a few reasons to support her thesis, and a conclusion. Scroll to the end, and you’ll see the hand paragraph she used to organize her thoughts and reasons in the prewriting phase.


Second grade writing sample #2

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Ngan’s report is short and to the point, with an introduction, three reasons supporting his thesis, and a conclusion. You’ll see a few examples of “invented spelling,” like spelling third “therd.” He’s spelling a complex word phonetically, which is perfectly normal in second grade, even after the final edits step of the writing process. Most kids move away from invented spelling by third grade.


Second grade writing sample #3

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Morgan’s report is clear and concise, and she also used a hand paragraph in the prewriting phase. Not all schools use hand paragraphs, but most should encourage second graders to organize their thoughts before writing. If you’re helping your child with a writing project at home, it’s easy to make a hand paragraph. Your child’s thesis can go on the thumb, and each of the other fingers can be a reason that supports their idea.


See more examples of real kids’ writing in different grades: Kindergarten, first grade, third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade.