Third Grade
Two girls sitting together at a desk and working on an assignment

In third grade, students become more independent and take on more complicated assignments.  The curriculum focuses on learning about the past, present, and future.  Literature, social studies and even science follow events over time, such as observing the phases of the moon or how rocks erode into sand.

Language Arts

Third graders will continue to strengthen their reading skills by reading independently, visiting Study Island, and taking part in leveled reading groups. In reading groups, they’ll discuss books and ask questions about what they’re reading. They’ll use sticky notes and thinkmarks to help organize their thoughts about what they’ve read and their teacher will introduce many literary genres as well as a variety of print forms, such as newspapers, magazines, and web sites.

Third graders also learn organizational methods that help them prepare for more complex writing assignments. They’ll create maps, webs, Venn diagrams (diagrams used to compare and contrast two things), and 4-squares to plan their work. They’ll write reports, creative fiction, and personal narratives. They’ll also be asked to take more responsibility for the writing process, including revising, editing, and proofreading.


Math becomes much more challenging in third grade. Students work with larger whole numbers (up to hundred thousands) and with fractions. They’ll solve and explain addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems. Students are asked to do more math work on paper and in their heads, instead of with physical materials and they will be asked to solve and explain multi-step problems.


Science investigations become much more detailed in third grade. Students explore more complex natural systems, such as relationships between the sun, Earth, and moon, weather concepts, and living systems like the food chain. They’ll use scientific investigations to explore different states of matter such as solids, liquids, and gases, and to observe the effects of weathering on rocks.

Social Studies

Third grade social studies lessons begin to expand the children’s view of the world. Students will learn about several ancient civilizations and how groups of people have adapted to or modified the environment. They’ll also study how methods of travel and communication have changed throughout time, and in different regions.

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