inquirED Blog 

Research, resources, and reflections on inquiry-based teaching and learning.

2nd Grade Social Studies Curriculum: How does a community meet our collective needs?


Photo by Allison Shelley for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action.

This blog post is one in a series that breaks down one unit from each grade level of Inquiry Journeys, inquirED's core elementary social studies curriculum. For a trial account containing all lessons for the unit, click below.


Preview Inquiry Journeys

2nd Grade Social Studies Curriculum Essential Question

How does a community meet our collective needs?


2nd-grade social studies students investigate the ways communities collectively work together to meet shared needs. They explore services the government provides, as well as ways individuals can contribute to improving the community. Students conclude this module by reviewing the key learning from the unit to help them prepare to take action. They work together to develop an Inquiry Challenge Statement that describes the action they will take, the product they will create, the people they will affect, and the goals they will work toward in the Action Module.


Lesson 1: Improving Communities

Students explore the connected nature of key economic concepts while reading Look Where We Live! by Scot Ritchie. They identify evidence of key economic concepts within the text or illustrations of the book. Then, students begin to brainstorm local needs they would like to address

  • Students use key concepts cards to help them understand the economic concepts mentioned in Look Where We Live!


Lesson 2: Forming an Action Plan

Students explore how communities and individuals have taken action to solve the problems they see around them. They brainstorm issues they believe are important to address in their own community and develop their action plan.

  • Access Be the Change in Your Community by Megan Kopp through Epic!


Lesson 3: Issuing the Inquiry Challenge

In this pivotal lesson, students transition from investigation to action. They consider the content they have explored, the relevant knowledge they have gained, and the questions they have asked (acknowledging that some may have remained unanswered and new questions may have emerged) to decide how to create an Inquiry Product that has an authentic impact.