Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

- Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).
- Build on others’ talk in conversations by linking their comments to the remarks of others.
- Ask for clarification and further explanation as needed about the topics and texts under discussion.


  • active listening 
  • collaborate/cooperate 
  • questioning

  • taking turns 
  • discussion rules/norms 
  • topic

  • conversation/discussion
  • elaborate 
  • clarification

  • Second grade students who effectively participate in collaborative conversations in small and large groups and with diverse partners (peers and adults) follow agreed upon rules of discussion. These students know how to gain the floor in respectful ways (e.g., raising their hand; standing up silently waiting to be called on).
  • Second grade students understand the importance of active listening. When they participate in collaborative discussions, they demonstrate good listening skills by making eye contact with the speaker, sitting up in an alert and listening position, and/or taking notes about what is being said.
  • Listening carefully helps second grade students recognize when they are confused or when information is lacking. They ask questions to clarify what they have heard or to obtain additional information.
  • Second grade students have learned that productive collaborative discussions require them not only to listen and follow the conversation, but also build on what has been said. They demonstrate this by linking the remarks they make to those of other participants. The links are specific and clear and, often, include the name of the speaker who initially made the remarks.
  • Second grade students not only build on what has been said during collaborative discussions, they also expand the discussion by appropriately adding pertinent details or information from their own background knowledge and/or from related texts.
  • Second grade students know, that when they participate in collaborative conversations, they should not monopolize the discussion. They work together to make sure that all participants have a chance to speak and they don’t interrupt the speaker.
  • Second grade students understand academic terms such as: active listening, collaborative discussion, monopolize, discussion, rules, eye contact, details, clarify, and interrupt.
  • Since oral language development is the foundation for written language proficiency, oral language competence is strongly predictive of the ability to learn to read and write. 
  • The ability to participate in group discussions is necessary for all content areas and an important skill in life. 
  • Explaining ideas to peers provides students with opportunities to rehearse their understandings. This process facilitates reading comprehension and the production of written responses. 
  • Peer discussions contribute to a motivating and engaging environment for students in all subject areas. 

  • What classroom structures and routines support speaking and listening skills?
  • What strategies can teachers implement to support active listening and thoughtful responses?
  • What role does question asking and answering play in supporting productive collaborative discussions at the second grade level?
  • What speaking and listening techniques and procedures can teachers model to support appropriate discussion/dialogue by students?
  • How important is grade appropriate vocabulary knowledge to engaging in collaborative classroom discussions, including the ability to contribute new information and details to the discussion?
  • What kinds of rules (norms) support students having productive discussion?
  • How can students learn to stay on topic and build on others’ response?
  • What strategies or tools can be used to assess the development of listening and speaking skills.

Go to SL.1.1 to see skills mastered prior to this.
Go to SL.3.1 to see the progression of related skills.