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Curriculum Overview

Third Grade

English Language Arts (ELA)

In third grade, students utilize their growing understanding of reading and writing to participate in collaborative research projects on topics of interest.  Although still engaging in daily writer’s workshop lessons, writing is also beginning to occur across the curriculum, with students transferring key reading and writing skills to social studies and science project activities.  Third grade has a strong emphasis on the skills needed to read and process informational texts.  Comprehension skills are further developed and advanced.

Literacy skills taught in third grade include:

  • Determining central ideas and key details in fiction and non-fiction texts
  • Using appropriate verb tenses in writing
  • Differentiating between spoken and written English
  • Learning more comprehensive revising and editing skills
  • Analyzing the craft (expertise, skill and style of writing) and structure (arrangement and organization) of texts
  • Writing reviews on author’s craft (expertise, skill and style of writing)
  • Analyzing and synthesizing information in biographies
  • Writing persuasive pieces on topics of interest in writer’s workshop
  • Using topic specific vocabulary when writing informational texts

Students in all grades K-8 learn reading and writing strategies and skills through teacher modeling, guided practice and independent reading and writing time.  Through daily reader’s and writer’s workshop time, students learn to live as a reader and writer, thinking critically about texts and generating numerous narrative, informational and opinion writing pieces over the course of a year.


In Grade 3, students will continue to build their concept of numbers, developing an understanding of fractions as numbers. They will learn the concepts behind multiplication and division and apply problem-solving skills and strategies for multiplying and dividing numbers up through 100 to solve word problems. Students will also make connections between the concept of the area of a rectangle and multiplication and addition of whole numbers. Activities in these areas will include:

  • Understanding and explaining what it means to multiply or divide numbers
  • Multiplying all one-digit numbers from memory (knowing their times table)
  • Multiplying one-digit numbers by multiples of 10 (such as 20, 30, 40)
  • Solving two-step word problems using addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division
  • Understanding the concept of area
  • Relating the measurement of area to multiplication and division
  • Understanding fractions as numbers
  • Understanding and identifying a fraction as a number on a number line
  • Comparing the size of two fractions
  • Expressing whole numbers as fractions and identifying fractions that are equal to whole numbers (for example, recognizing that 3⁄1 and 3 are the same number)
  • Measuring weights and volumes and solving word problems involving these measurements
  • Representing and interpreting data


Students in 3rd grade science will gain understanding of scientific investigation, interpretation of data, and evaluation of models, inferences, and experimental results through exploring a variety of scientific concepts:

  • Forces & Motion
  • Life cycles
  • Ecosystems
  • Heredity & Inheritance – Ancestry & Diversity
  • Weather, climate, weather-related hazards

Social Studies

In 3rd grade social studies, students learn about our world and our community through exploring the following topics:

  • The Places We Live (Community)
  • Our Land and Resources (Geography)
  • Communities in History (Explorers)
  • Newcomers/Settlers
  • People from Many Places
  • Being an Active Citizen
  • Our Government
  • Economics
  • Looking at Culture/Holidays and Heroes