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 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 Virginia Standards of Learning provide the foundation for third grade mathematics.
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, and use the metric system with greater precision. Using information to make inferences and draw conclusions becomes more important. 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.
The standards for third-grade students include an introduction to the heritage and contributions of the peoples of ancient China, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and the West African empire of Mali. Students will continue developing map skills and demonstrate an understanding of basic economic and civics concepts. Students will examine the social, cultural, and political characteristics of major ancient world cultures. Students will recognize that many aspects of ancient cultures served as the foundation for modern governments, customs, traditions, and perspectives.