Third Grade
The Basics
Third grade is a year of transition. Students will be learning to be more responsible and cooperative as an individual, partner, teammate, and community member. As third graders, students will learn to monitor their own understanding and build upon their current foundation.
Language Arts
Third grade students will read a variety of fiction and nonfiction literature and will apply reading comprehension strategies in all subject areas. Students will continue to learn new vocabulary words and read age-appropriate text with fluency, accuracy, and expression. Effective communication skills will be reinforced through group activities and required oral reports. In addition, students will plan, draft, revise, and edit stories and will gather and use information from print and nonprint sources. All aspects of literacy will be taught through a balanced literacy framework for instruction, enabling all students to become independent and strategic readers, writers, thinkers, and communicators.

Third grade mathematics includes learning experiences with whole numbers through hundred thousands, fractions, the concepts of multiplication and division, measurement, geometry, and graphing. Activities which promote the development of problem-solving strategies, logical reasoning, and pattern analysis are important components of the program. Communicating mathematically and connecting mathematics to the real world are emphasized.


The third-grade standards place increasing emphasis on conducting investigations. Students are expected to be able to develop questions, formulate simple hypotheses, make predictions, gather data, make inferences, and draw conclusions. In the area of physical science, the standards focus on simple and compound machines, energy, and a basic understanding of matter. Behavioral and physical adaptations are examined in relation to the life needs of animals. The notion of living systems is further explored in aquatic and terrestrial food chains and diversity in ecosystems. Patterns in the natural world are demonstrated in terms of the phases of the moon, tides, seasonal changes, the water cycle, and animal and plant life cycles. Geological concepts are introduced through the investigation of the components of soil.

Social Studies

The standards for third-grade students include an introduction to the heritage and contributions of the people of ancient China, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and the West African empire of Mali. Students will continue developing map skills and will examine the social, cultural, and political characteristics of these major ancient world cultures. Students will recognize that many aspects of ancient cultures served as the foundation for modern governments, customs, traditions, and perspectives. Students will also demonstrate an understanding of basic economic and civics concepts throughout the year.

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