3rd Grade

The Third Grade curriculum is a detailed outline of specific content and skills to be taught in language arts, history, geography, mathematics, science, and the fine arts. The core of the Third Grade curriculum is designed to provide a coherent, content specific foundation for learning, while allowing flexibility to meet individual needs. Spalding Integrated Language Arts is used for phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension.  Wordly Wise 3000 is used for building vocabulary development furthering understanding of new words and concepts. Learning opportunities are grounded in the application of Multiple Intelligences and the Interdisciplinary approach to instruction utilizing the Elements of Depth and Complexity providing a challenging academic program.

Third Grade scholars are taught to look at the world through the Global Theme lens of Interdependence, identifying the following essential, conceptual truths (generalizations):

  • Interdependence may be natural or person-made.
  • Interdependence may lead to some form of dependence.
  • Interdependence requires cooperation and demands respect.
  • Interdependence shows how living things need each other.
  • Interdependence may hinder or facilitate growth or development.
  • Interdependence may lead to survival.


The Third Grade language arts program includes reading, writing, spelling, grammar usage, listening, speaking, and different genres of literature. Third Grade scholars will continue to apply fundamental concepts they have learned in prior years. Concentration will be on aspects of spoken and written language that will allow scholars to become efficient readers and writers.

Reading and Writing

Reading Comprehension and Response

  • Independently read longer works of grade-level appropriate fiction and nonfiction with fluency, accuracy, and comprehension.
  • Ask how, why, and what-if questions in interpreting fiction and nonfiction texts.
  • Use the dictionary, table of contents, and index.


  • Use words or phrases that appeal to the senses.
  • Use similes or metaphors to compare.
  • Follow a strict rhyme scheme.
  • Read, discuss, and compose narrative, lyric, and list poems.


  • Analyze stories for plot, characters, outcomes, and lessons.
  • Discuss Norse, Greek, and Roman myths.
  • Define the literary terms-biography and autobiography; fiction and nonfiction.

Sayings and Phrases

  • Proverbs and Idioms


The Third Grade program in history and geography includes a spatial sense of the world, an awareness of the physical processes that shape life, a sense of the interactions between humans and their environment, an understanding of the relationship between place and culture, and an awareness of the characteristics of specific regions and cultures.


World Geography-Spatial Sense and Geographical Terms and Features

Map and globe skills

  • Identify four directions, major oceans, seven continents, the equator, the four hemispheres, the U.S., Texas, and Corpus Christi.
  • Use scale, an atlas, and online resources.
  • Define boundary, channel, delta, isthmus, plateau, reservoir, and strait.
  • Measure using a bar scale.

World Geography-Canada

  • Discuss French and British heritages.
  • Locate the Rocky Mountains, Hudson River, St. Lawrence River, Yukon River, Canadian Provinces, and major cities of Canada.

World Geography-Rivers of the World

  • Define source, mouth, tributary, and drainage basin.
  • Locate the Ob, Yellow (Huang He), Yangtze or Ch’and, Ganges, Indus, Nile, Amazon, Parana, Orinoco, Mississippi, Mackenzie, Yukon, Murray-Darling, Volga, Danube, Rhine, Nile, Niger, and Congo Rivers.

Ancient Roman Civilization

  • Geography of the Mediterranean region
  • The Background and founding of Rome
  • The Roman Empire
  • The Rise of the Byzantine Empire

The Vikings

  • Identify Scandinavia as birthplace of the Viking culture.
  • Discuss early Viking Leaders.
  • Locate Greenland, Canada, and Newfoundland on maps and globes.


The Earliest Americans and Crossing to North America and Native Americans

  • Explain the migration of nomadic Ice Age people from Asia to North America.
  • Discuss early and present day Native American peoples to include the Inuit, Anasazi and Mound Builders, and Native Americans of the Southwest, Eastern Woodlands, and Southeast.

Early Exploration of North America

  • Early Spanish exploration and settlement
  • Exploration and settlement of the Southwest
  • The search for the Northwest Passage

The Thirteen Colonies-Life and Times Before the Revolution

  • Discuss the geography and climate of the thirteen colonies.
  • Locate the thirteen colonies and important cities of the colonies on maps and globes.
  • Compare and contrast the Southern, New England, and Middle Atlantic colonies.
  • Discuss important leaders of the thirteen colonies.


The Third Grade science curriculum requires hands-on experience and observation.  Scholars are encouraged to ask questions about nature; collect, count, and measure things; and make qualitative observations. In Grade 3, scholars will continue their explorations in science by broadening and building upon what they have learned in previous grades. Scholars will expand knowledge of animals and animal habitats, human body systems, forms and properties of energy, ecology, and the universe. Scholars in Grade 3 will begin to understand what makes their world what it is today.

Introduction to Classification of Animals

  • Classify animals based on characteristics.

The Human Body-The Muscular, Skeletal, and Nervous Systems and How the Eye and Ear Work

Describe the muscular system.

  • Differentiate involuntary and voluntary muscles.
  • Describe the skeletal system.
  • Describe the nervous system.
  • Explain reflexes.

Explain the senses of vision and hearing.

  • Identify the parts of the eye and ear.
  • Explain farsightedness and nearsightedness.
  • Describe sound.

Light and Optics

  • Discuss how light travels.
  • Differentiate transparent and opaque objects.
  • Describe reflection.
  • Explain the spectrum.
  • Discuss the use of lenses.


  • Discuss how sound travels.
  • Explain qualities of sound to include pitch and intensity.
  • Identify measures to protect hearing.


  • Identify various habitats and ecosystems.
  • Explain the interdependence of organisms and their environment.
  • Discuss food chains.
  • Identify human-made threats and measures to protect the environment.


  • Identify features of our solar system.
  • Describe planetary motion of orbit and rotation.
  • Discuss gravity.
  • Describe an eclipse.
  • Identify stars and constellations.
  • Utilize Orienteering, using the Big Dipper and North Star.
  • Discuss exploration of space.

Science Biographies

  • Alexander Graham Bell
  • Nicolaus Copernicus
  • Mae Jemison
  • John Muir


The Third Grade math program is designed to equip scholars with sound concept development, critical thinking, and efficient problem solving skills. Mathematical concepts are taught to mastery through specific learning tasks that allow for immediate assessment and consolidation. The concrete to pictorial to abstract approach enables scholars to encounter math in a meaningful way.  Scholars are able to visualize and solve mathematical problems confidently by using the model drawing approach.  Furthermore, metacognition is employed as a strategy for scholars to monitor their thinking processes in problem solving.

Numbers and Number Sense

  • Numbers to 10,000

Fractions and Decimals

  • Fractions as a whole
  • Equivalent fractions
  • Adding/subtracting fractions
  • Fraction as a set
  • Fractions and money


  • Dollars and cents
  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Multiplication and division

Computation: Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division, Problem Solving and Equations

  • Mental calculation
  • Estimation
  • Multiplication tables 6,7,8, and 9
  • Word problems
  • Dividing with remainders

Measurement-Linear Measure, Weight, Capacity, Temperature, Time

  • Length in standard and customary units
  • Weight in standard and customary units
  • Capacity
  • Word problems
  • Hour and minutes
  • Other units of time


  • Angles
  • Right angles
  • Quadrilaterals and triangles
  • Solid figures
  • Area, perimeter, and volume

Third Grade Curriculum Map
Third Grade Spanish Curriculum Map
Third Grade Art Curriculum Map