3rd Grade: Air Class » Third Grade Curriculum Overview

Third Grade Curriculum Overview


The emphasis for these firmly independent readers is now on in-depth sharing of thoughts, ideas and opinions about literature. In book group and full-class discussions, students call on a range of comprehension strategies including inference and synthesis and develop the skills and vocabulary to discuss their reading.

Now familiar genres of biography, poetry, and memoir are revisited and more deeply explored. Author studies of Alan Say and Sandra Cisneros spark oral, artistic, dramatic, and written interpretive responses to texts.

Continuing to develop a sense of themselves as thoughtful writers and members of a responsive, literate community, students learn to write with a sense of purpose and begin to use writing as a tool for thinking. A third grade on-line blog extends the writer's audience beyond the classroom. The Spellwell spelling program provides a structured approach to spelling rules and word families. Cursive writing is introduced.

Students develop a solid understanding of place value and learn to look to the numbers to decide what strategy is most efficient when solving a math problem.

Working in small groups, they create an imaginary village populated by centimeter tall creatures. Together they build an understanding of area, perimeter, multiplication, estimation, and measurement. A strong number sense supports their development of computational fluency with addition and subtraction facts. They read, write, order, and compare numbers to 1000. Students develop and use multiplication facts up to 10x10.

Social Studies
Students make personal connections to national, state, and local issues through units that focus on government, physical and cultural geography, habitats and sustainability. A study of the life of Cesar Chavez provides the context for an understanding of labor history and civil rights. A field trip to a local organic farm provides an opportunity to understand how food is grown in a sustainable manner and the importance of farms to our society. Involvement with a local Food Security Project helps students reflect on their own contributions toward environmental and world stewardship. Geography studies cover mapping skills with a focus on local and world geography.


Life Science:

  • Organisms & adaptation
  • Environmental changes
Earth Science:

  • Natural resources - renewable and non renewable
  • Recycling
Physical Science:

  • Measurement (Metric System)
  • Energy - forms & transformations
  • Alternative Energy: Wind & Solar Energy
  • Sound