Third Grade

During the third grade our children accept more responsibility for establishing greater independence in organizing and producing strong academic work. A third grader’s inquisitive nature coupled with their heightened inquiry abilities make this year a perfect one for learning about their environment, and we place great emphasis on an exciting science curriculum. They also become more aware of their role in contributing to and maintaining a positive, social learning community.

Our reading and language arts lessons are based on trade books connected to our studies. These books are generally engaging historical fiction or fascinating, non-fiction books about science and nature. During the second quarter students read, write about and discuss classic children’s novels. They learn to compare characters, make predictions, write a plot summary, consider themes and contemplate author’s intent. Students are expected to read every evening and can borrow books from the classroom library. Keeping a writer’s journal, writing letters and poetry, crafting narrative stories, reading their narratives to their peers and publishing their work at year’s end at a “publishing party” all encourage their creativity while emphasizing the rules of grammar.

Our third graders also perform a play, related to an area of focus in our curriculum, and this is always one of the highlights of our year. Their confidence in public speaking is nurtured in the process. Children participate in casting, developing the script, memorizing lines, singing, helping to choreograph steps and designing the program cover. Their enthusiasm for this class activity helps to make the play a memorable event.

In mathematics we introduce multiplication facts up to 12, basic division and stress the importance of having fact families committed to memory as they demonstrate their skill in adding and subtracting accurately and efficiently. Logical reasoning and estimation assist the students in solving word problems. Being able to choose a strategy and operation needed is aided by their ability to read carefully and think critically. Fractions, measurement and time telling are concepts that are built on from learning in prior grades.

In our Earth and life science units, we work to create a sense of wonder and a lifelong love of science. Planting and harvesting are spring and fall highlights, as the students learn about what makes our outdoor classroom garden grow. Physical science is presented with hands-on activities, individual investigations and small-group experiments. We run sessions with our “Science Buddies” from the fifth grade, working through many different concepts and experiments together.

Their research continues as knowledge about the settlement of North America develops in social studies. Students explore the five geographic regions of the United States as they “take a tour” of the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest and West. They learn about the birthplace of our nation, America’s first factories, the importance of farming and industry, early explorers and settlements. Students read related trade books, keep a scrapbook from their yearlong tour, create maps, and write and share reports. The year ends with a group research project on the first inhabitants of the five regions of the USA - Native Americans.

Field trips during the year include the class trip to Historic Philadelphia, and Pennsbury Manor. The trip to Philadelphia is a highlight of the year, bringing new understanding about how our country was born and the important steps our founding fathers took to establish our enduing government. A trip to the Arden theatre brings a classic work of literature to life.

Our third graders remain committed to service projects, and lead a cross-school collection of “Pennies for Peace” while also working as a class to collect for “Make a Child Smile”. In addition, third grade is responsible for school recycling and collects all waste paper from every room at the end of the day.

Third Grade Curriculum Overview:

Reading/Language Arts

  • Read classic children’s novels and trade books.
  • Compare characters and make predictions.
  • Consider themes and contemplate author’s intent.
  • Write plot summaries and create new story endings.
  • Read independently every evening.
  • Prepare book reports.
  • Keep a writer’s journal.
  • Craft narrative stories.
  • Conduct research and write research reports.
  • Write letters and poetry.
  • Learn cursive writing.
  • Perform a play related to an area of focus.
  • Develop confidence as public speakers.


  • Commit to memory multiplication facts up to 12.
  • Perform basic division.
  • Know addition and subtraction fact families.
  • Accomplish accurate and efficient computation.
  • Use logic and estimation to solve word problems.
  • Identify, compare and add/subtract fractions.
  • Understand customary and metric measurement.
  • Make change, use money and tell time.


    Earth Science
  • Weather
  • Volcanoes
  • Earthquakes
  • Environment
  • Weathering
    Life Science
  • Plants
  • Animals
    Physical Science
  • Force, Motion, Energy, Magnetism
  • Space
  • Simple Machines

Social Studies

  • United States geography
  • Native Americans/natural resources of the USA
  • Early explorers and settlements in North America
  • Colonial life and trades in America
  • Take a tour of Historical Philadelphia
  • Establishment of U. S. government