NONFICTION Independent Research Reads for Second Grade

Learning how to gather important information necessary for completing a Research Project with accuracy at an Independent Level can be challenging for a young child just getting comfortable with reading & understanding Nonfiction content ~ even at an Independent Reading Level.

Standing away from your child’s Research & its Presentation can be challenging, especially if s/he is struggling with getting the appropriate data.

Helping Your Reader Understand the Read

Make sure s/he is reading books that are on his/her reading level. Remember~just because s/he can read the words, does not mean s/he understands what they mean. Here’s a few things you can do:

  • Before listening to your child read, ask what s/he already knows about the subject/topic.
  • Have your child read the text aloud to you ~ not necessarily the whole book.
  • Ask her/him to retell what s/he has just read after s/he has read it aloud to you.
  • Be specific about certain new vocabulary words that are important to understand.
  • Ask him/her if any information in the book is helping with the Research.
  • Point out the various Informational Text Features to see if your child knows how they can be useful to understand the content.

Second Grade Research Topics

I did some research myself to see what Social Studies & Science objectives your Second Grader will be studying this year. Then, I did more research on finding nonfiction informational books your child can read Independently with Reading Levels from middle First grade to end of Second grade.

I’ve listed the books with Interest Grade Levels & Independent Reading Levels (Lexile 420-650 & DRA Levels 10-28), according to these Topics most Second graders will either be continuing from last year in First or as new, introductory subjects.

Science Books

I used the National Science Teachers Association, Scholastic Teachers Book Wizard & The Best Children’s Books ( a Teachers Group site) to generate books with appropriate Grade Levels, Topics & Reading Levels recommendations.

Physical Sciences : Electricity

  • ELECTRICITY IN YOUR LIFE ~ Bo-hyun Seo K-2/mid 2nd
  • ELECTRICITY: BULBS, BATTERIES & SPARKS ~ Darlene Stille k-4/end 2nd
  • ELECTRICITY ALL AROUND ~ Barbara Alpert PK-2/mid 2nd
  • SWITCH ON, SWITCH OFF ~ Melvin Berger  PK-2/mid 2nd
  • AMAZING ELECTRICITY  ~ Sally Hewitt 2-3/mid 2nd

Physical Sciences : Magnets

  • MAGNETS ~ Anne Schreiber 1-4/end 2nd
  • WHAT MAGNETS CAN DO ~Allan Fowler K-2/mid 2nd
  • WHAT MAKES A MAGNET ? ~ Dr. FM Branley PK-33/end 2nd
  • A LOOK AT MAGNETS ~ Barbara Alpert PK-3/mid 2nd
  • MAGNETISM ~ Mari Shuh PK-2/beginning 2nd

Earth Sciences : Matter

  • ALL ABOUT MATTER ~ Mari Shuh K-2/end 1st
  • WHAT IS THE WORLD MADE OF ? ~ Kathleen Zoehfeld PK-3/mid 2nd
  • CHANGE IT ! ~ Adrienne Mason PK-2/mid 2nd
  • WHAT’S THE MATTER IN MR. WHISKER’S ROOM ? ~ Michael Ross 1-4/mid 2nd
  • IN THE SCIENCE LAB SERIES: JOE JOE THE WIZARD BREWS UP SOLIDS, LIQUIDS & GASES ~ 2-3/mid 2nd

Earth Sciences : Seasons

  • FOUR BOOK SEASONS SERIES ~Tanya Thayer K-2/mid 1st
  • SEASONS OF THE YEAR ~ Margaret Hall K-3/beginning 2nd
  • FOUR BOOK SERIES: I LIKE THE SEASONS ~Sara Latta K-2/mid 2nd
  • FOUR SEASONS MAKE A YEAR ~ Anne Rockwell K-2/mid 2nd
  • SEASONS ~ Robin Nelson K-2/end 1st

Earth Sciences : Space

  • EXPLORING SPACE ~Adrianna Edwards PK-5/mid 2nd
  • THE SOLAR SYSTEM ~ Jeff Bauer PK-5/ end 2nd
  • MY FIRST SPACE BOOK ~ Lee Cosgrove PK-2/end 2nd
  • THE SUN’S FAMILY OF PLANETS ~ Allan Fowler 1-2/mid 2nd
  • OUR STARS ~ Anna Rockwell PK-3/end 2nd

Life Sciences : Human Body Systems

  • FIVE BOOK BODY SYSTEMS SERIES ~ Sue Barraclough 1-3/mid 2nd
  • BODY ACTIONS ~Shelley Rotner PK-3/mid 2nd
  • WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I MOVE ? ~ Ruth Owen K-2/mid 2nd
  • INSIDE YOUR OUTSIDE ~ Tish Rabe PK-3/mid 2nd
  • SIX BOOK THE AMAZING BODY SERIES ~ Pamela Nettleton K-3/mid 2nd

Life Sciences : Plants (Life Cycles)

  • A FRUIT IS A SUITCASE FOR SEEDS ~Jean Richards PK-2/beginning 2nd
  • IN A NUTSHELL ~ Joseph Anthony K-4/mid 1st
  • OH SAY, CAN YOU SEED ? ALL ABOUT FLOWERING PLANTS ~ Bonnie Worth K-3/mid 2nd
  • HOW A SEED GROWS ~ Helene Jordan 1-3/end 1st
  • JACK’S GARDEN ~ Henry Cole PK-2/end 1st

Life Sciences : Animals (Life Cycles & Habitats)

  • ANIMAL LIFE CYCLES : GROWING  & CHANGING ~Bobbie Kalman 2-3/mid 2nd
  • ELEVEN BOOK SERIES: ANIMAL SLAM : ANIMAL DIARIES : LIFE CYCLES ~Ellen Lawrence K-3/mid 2nd
    SIX BOOK SERIES : ANIMAL EXTREMES ~ Michael Dahl K-3/mid 2nd
  • SIX BOOK SERIES : ANIMAL WISE ~Patricia Stockland K-2/beginning 2nd
  • TEN BOOK SERIES: LIFE CYCLES ~ Lisa Trumbauer K-4/beginning 2nd

Life Sciences : Insects

  • INSECTS ~ Barbara Taylor K-3/end 2nd
  • INSECTS ~ Robin Bernard K-2/mid 2nd
  • ABOUT INSECTS ~Cathryn Sill K-4/end 1st
  • BEAUTIFUL BUGS ~ Daisy Connell 1-2/mid 2nd
  • BUZZ ! A BOOK ABOUT INSECTS ~ Melvin Berger PK-2/mid 2nd

Social Studies

I choose my selections from some parent sites as well as Scholastic Teachers Book Wizard & The Best Children’s Books ( a Teachers Group site) to generate books with appropriate Grade Levels, Topics & Reading Levels recommendations.

Maps & Globes

  • TYPES OF MAPS ~ Mary D Wade 1-3/mid 2nd
  • MAP KEYS ~ Rebecca Olien K-3/end 1st
  • FOLLOW THAT MAP ~ Scot Richie PK-2/mid 2nd
  • LOOKING AT MAPS AND GLOBES ~ Rebecca Olien 1-2/Beginning 2nd
  • MAPPING THE UNITED STATES ~ Libby Brereton 1-2/beginning 2nd

Community

  • COMMUNITY WORKERS ~Joanne Diaz 1-4/end 2nd
  • FOUR BOOK WALK AROUND SERIES ~ Peter Roop 1-3/mid 2nd
  • ALL ARE WELCOME ~PK-3/mid 1st
  • OUR NEIGHBORHOOD TWENTY-ONE BOOK SERIES ~Alice Flanagan 1-3/beginning-end 2nd
  • I WANT TO BE A ….FOUR BOOK SERIES ~Laura Driscoll PK-3/ mid 1st-mid 2nd

Goods & Services

  • GOODS OR SERVICES ? ~ Ellen Mitten K-2/end 2nd
  • LILY LEARNS ABOUT WANTS AND NEEDS ~ Lisa Bullard K-2/mid 2nd
  • GOODS AND SERVICES AROUND TOWN ~ Teacher Created Materials 1-2/beginning 2nd
  • WHAT DO WE BUY ? ~ Robin Nelson 1-2/mid 2nd
  • WHO’S BUYING ? WHO’S SELLING ? ~ Jennifer Larson 1-2/mid 2nd

American History & Biographies

  • PILGRIMS AND NATIVES : GIVING THANKS 1621 ~ Kate Waters K-3/mid 2nd
  • SIX BOOK SERIES : COLONIAL AMERICA ~ Mark Thomas K-2/mid 1st
  • AMERICAN REVOLUTION : JOHN, PAUL, GEORGE & BEN ~ Lane Smith 1-3/end 2nd
  • PIONEERS : WHEN I FIRST CAME TO THIS LAND ~ Harriet Ziefort K-2/mid 2nd
  • WESTWARD : THE LONG WAY TO A NEW LAND & THE LONG WAY WESTWARD ~Joan Sandin K-3/mid 2nd

Government

  • PATRIOTISM ~Lucia Raatma 2-3/mid 2nd
  • SIX BOOK SERIES : EXPLORING GOVERNMENT ~Jennifer Boothroyd K-2/mid 1st-beginning 2nd
  • WHAT IS GOVERNMENT ? ~Ann-Marie Kishel K-2/mid 2nd
  • LET’S VOTE ON IT ! ~ Janice Behrens 1-2/ beginning 2nd
  • WE ARE CITIZENS ~ Laine Falk 1-2/beginning 2nd

American Holidays

  • NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC KIDS : MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR ~ Kitson Jazynka K-3/end 2nd
  • PRESIDENTS’ DAY ~ Anne Rockwell K-2/end 2nd
  • MEMORIAL DAY ~ Rachel Grack K-3/mid 2nd
  • HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA ! ~ Mary Osborne K-4/end 2nd
  • LABOR DAY ~ Carmen Bredeson K-2/mid 2nd

Some Grade Level Books May Still Be A Tad Hard

Books with reading levels from middle to end of 2nd grade might be too challenging for your beginning Second Grader. Reading together (with your child doing most of the reading) will improve his/her decoding skills. Fluency and comprehension may be a struggle, but re-reading & retelling will improve those skills as well.

I hope you found this list useful for your Second Grader’s Research Topics. Let me hear from you with more great  Independent Reading Level ~ Nonfiction or Fiction.

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