Themes for Second Grade Classrooms


Many second grade teachers wish to establish a classroom theme to welcome new students at the beginning of the school year. Because second grade is a time for young students to learn about plants, animals, dinosaurs, historic figures, geography and different cultures, many educators decide to integrate some of these curriculum subjects into their classroom themes.

Animal Themes

  • Children are inspired by animals, especially ones that they can touch, pet and look at up close. Many second graders are also fascinated by animals that they cannot touch and see, such as jungle animals and dinosaurs. To create an animal theme for your classroom, post pictures of animals from different regions of the world. Have a dinosaur section of the room where you have dinosaur books, figurines and bones. Consider a classroom pet, such as a hamster or rabbit, to give students a chance to engage with a real animal and learn about responsibility.

Environmental Themes

  • An environmental theme for your classroom is an effective way to teach young second graders about conservation. You might include posters of waterfalls or rain forests and obtain a giant globe for students to look at up close. An environmental theme also allows you to play recycling games, and teach kids about how the environment is linked to plants, animals and humans.

Historic Themes

  • You can teach second graders about famous people in history by using a historic theme in your classroom. Find posters of historical figures such as presidents, inventors and explorers. Some activities that may go hand in hand with a historic themed classroom include treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, student invention contests and activities involving maps.

Seasonal Themes

  • As seasons come and go, decorate your classroom with an appropriate theme. A theme for autumn may have to do with Halloween, Thanksgiving and other fall events. Incorporate decorations and host activities that relate to fall, such as using miniature pumpkins to teach basic math facts, or collecting maple leaves to use for arts and crafts projects.

Concept Themes

  • Teachers can use concept themes for their second grade classrooms. Concept themes include ideas such as "teamwork," "doing your best" and "young leaders." Using a concept theme allows teachers to come up with inspiring activities for students, and engaging ways to keep students on a good path. For instance, a teamwork theme may lead the class to give themselves a team name, such as "The Second Grade Sorcerers." Or, a teamwork theme can take on a sports angle, where the teacher pretends to be the coach and the students take on the role of the players.


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