Third Grade


Third Grade

Keepers of the Earth

Year-Long Essential Questions

  • How did the land and resources shape Native American culture? 
  • How has interaction between Europeans and Native Americans affected Native American culture?
  • How can learning about Native Americans and other cultures help me to be a Keeper of the Earth?
  • How can I become an independent, responsible third grader?

Linguistic Intelligence (Reading)

A primary focus in the third grade program is to move from learning to read to reading to learn.  Students gain an understanding of the text, both fiction and non-fiction, through discussion in literature circles.  Through modeling and practice students learn to use the reading strategies independently.  Students deepen their understanding of a text by identifying the main idea and supporting details.  At this level, students are becoming empowered to make good choices about the books they read.  In addition, reading aloud to students fosters a greater joy of literature and instills good listening skills.

By the end of third grade, students will be able to:

  • use comprehension strategies such as previewing, predicting, questioning, and visualizing
  • make inferences, draw conclusions, and summarize chapters
  • make connections: text-to-text, text-to-self, text-to-world
  • understand literary elements such as conflict, dialogue, character development, foreshadowing, irony, and climax and resolution
  • interpret author’s craft
  • express opinions with supporting detail
  • understand there can be different perspectives of text

Linguistic Intelligence (Writing)

In third grade, students learn the elements of a strong piece of writing through the use of good topic sentences, supporting details and strong conclusions.  The writing process plays an important part in the third grade writing program. Students learn how to effectively use a t-chart to plan and write a well-developed paragraph. 

By the end of third grade our writers will learn to:

  • write about a variety of topics using expository and narrative styles
  • utilize the steps of the writing process which are planning, writing, editing, revising and publishing
  • edit for correct grammar, spelling, and mechanics
  • edit and revise their work through the use of peer and teacher conferences
  • research information by taking notes to write a report
  • write a paragraph with topic sentence and supporting detail
  • begin to display a broad understanding of informational topic

Language and Spelling

Language conventions in third grade focus upon the basic mechanics of writing: capitalization, punctuation, sentence structure, spelling, penmanship, parts of speech.  Communication skills such as listening, speaking and presenting are also included in the curriculum.  

In third grade, students will:

  • identify the subject and predicate of a complete simple sentence
  • use subject-verb agreement in sentences
  • determine the correct verb tense to use
  • identify nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs
  • form cursive letters correctly
  • use a dictionary to correct spelling mistakes

Logical-Mathematical Intelligence

The third-grade math program focuses on applying learned skills, concepts and strategies to new everyday experiences.  All instruction is introduced using concrete objects, moving to the pictorial stage and then finally to the abstract stage of calculation.  It is important that students have sufficient time to study the concepts in depth, so as to understand and master them.  

Some of the skills students will learn in third grade are:

Number Sense 

  • understand place value to 10,000
  • work for speed and accuracy with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
  • apply math facts to compute in the four operations
  • understand number patterns and their relationship
  • estimate and round numbers to tens, hundreds, and thousand
  • construct and compare fractions of a number


  • use the commutative and associative rules to simplify mental calculations and to check results
  • select appropriate symbol to make expressions true
  • write and solve number sentences that express relationships involving 4 major operations.

Data Analysis - Probability

  • identify whether events are certain, likely, unlikely or improbable
  • record numerical data in systematic ways
  • represent, compare, and interpret a variety of charts and graphs


  • measure using standard and metric units
  • read an analog clock to nearest minute
  • calculate elapsed time
  • count, compare and make change up to $5.00


  • identify, describe, and classify polygons
  • recognize congruency and symmetry
  • compute area and perimeter for squares and rectangles

Problem Solving

  • use model drawing to illustrate thinking
  • determine what problem is asking, and create a logical plan to solve it
  • reflect on process used as well as the reasonableness of the answer

Social Studies and Theme Studies

Embedded throughout the third-grade curriculum is our theme: Keepers of the Earth (the study of Native Americans).  The students explore how the land and natural resources shaped the Native American way of life.  The focus is on the Native American perspective rather than that of the American Government; therefore, the students learn how the interaction between Europeans and Native Americans affected the Native American culture.  Applying the respect the Native Americans had for nature, the students discover how they can be Keepers of the Earth in modern times. 

Units of study include:

  • All About Me
  • introduction to Native Americans
  • Native American tribes in each of the five regions of the United States. 

Through the varied activities, students learn:

  • geography: seven continents, four oceans, and the fifty States 
  • research skills: note taking, outlining, and writing a report on a specific tribe
  • to create a spatial representation of their tribe of choice
  • to think critically about the mistreatment of Native Americans and the demise of their culture 

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