Social Studies - 3rd Grade Lesson Plans

Third Grade Social Studies Lesson Plans

Time4Learning established in 2004
(888) 771-0914
PreK - 8th Grade
$19.95 / student
per month
$14.95 / month for each additional PreK - 8th student

High School
$30 / student
per month
Includes 4 Courses
Curriculum Uses
Curriculum Levels


  • Online Curriculum for
    PreK to 12th Grades
  • 1,000+ Student-Paced Multimedia Activities
  • Language Arts, Math, Science & Social Studies
  • Interactive, Project-Based Activities
  • Detailed Reporting for
    Easy Record-Keeping
  • Lesson Plans & Teaching Tools for Parents
  • Lessons Correlated to State Standards

What Do
Parents Say?

I LOVE Time4Learning!
It holds the attention of my kids, plus I can keep track of their learning without hovering over their shoulders.
I'm so thankful for your program!
My kids have so much fun with the activities that they don't even notice that they're learning!
I am really pleased with Time4Learning. It has made a world of difference in my son's academic performance in school!
third grade social studies
Try Our Lesson Demos

Social studies -3rd Grade Lesson Plans

Time4Learning is an online student-paced learning system covering preschool through middle school. It is popular as a third grade homeschool curriculum, for afterschool enrichment, for remediation, and for summer study.

The lesson plans below provide a detailed list of the third grade social studies curriculum, with brief activity descriptions and learning activity (LA) numbers. Additional resources related to third grade social studies are also provided, below.

Students enrolled in third grade social studies will have access to second grade social studies lessons as part of their membership. Fourth grade social studies is also available upon request, so they can move ahead or review at their own pace.

If you are just learning about Time4Learning, we'd suggest first looking at our interactive lesson demos. Members often use this page as a resource for more detailed planning, to choose specific activities using the activity finder or to compare our curriculum with state standards.

Voted #1 by CompassLearning Odyssey iparenting Bessie Award IBCCES - Certified Autism Resource The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval
3rd Grade Social Studies Lesson Plans
Total Activities: 170

non-scored activity Non-Scored scored activity Scored worksheet Worksheet answer key Answer Key quiz Quiz
quiz Test
Chapter 1: "Vikings"
Lesson Activity Name
LA# Worksheet
Activities & Personalities: Describe the period known as the Viking Age, including dates, deeds, and exploration of the Atlantic Ocean. Explain the Scandanavian expression, ''to-go a-Viking,'' and name some notorious activities and personality characteristics attributed to the Vikings. Describe the Viking warrior, including his armor, weapons, battle strategies, and tactics. Raiders from the Sea nonscored 3764
They Came from the North Country nonscored 3765
Lesson Quiz: Activities & Personalities quiz
Shipbuilding: Explain the reasons the Vikings traveled by sea to other lands and the navigation methods used by the Vikings to determine directions and locations. Identify the kind of ship used for battle, and explain what made the ship sail at a fast speed. Seafarers and Shipbuilders nonscored 3766
Builders and Sailors of the Longboats nonscored 3767
Lesson Quiz: Shipbuilding quiz
Occupations: Describe the role and importance of shipbuilding in the lives of the Vikings. Compare and describe the occupations of the majority of Vikings with the Viking warriors. Travel, Work and Trade nonscored 3768
The Good Ship Viking nonscored 3769
Lesson Quiz: Occupations quiz
Culture: Describe the culture of the Vikings, including family life, food, clothing, literature, recreation, artistry, and burial customs. Explain the role of religion and the worship of the gods, Thor, and Frey. A Taste of Viking Life nonscored 3770
How to Live Like a Viking nonscored 3771
Lesson Quiz: Culture quiz
Chapter Test: Vikings

quiz Test
Chapter 2: "Alaskan Inuits"
Lesson Activity Name
LA# Worksheet
Geography: Describe the region of the Alaskan Inuits, including land, climate, population, and environment. Estimate the number of years of habitation of the northwest coast or arctic homeland. Homeland of the 'Real People' nonscored 3772 alertanswerkey
Land of Ice and Snow nonscored 3773
Lesson Quiz: Geography quiz
Land of the Midnight Sun: Explain why the region of Alaska is often called the ''Land of the Midnight Sun.'' The Land of the Midnight Sun nonscored 3774
Winter Moon, Summer Sun nonscored 3775
Lesson Quiz: Land of the Midnight Sun quiz
Language: Explain why the Inuits were once called Eskimos, and know the various meanings of the word Eskimo. Identify the language of the Inuits and how words were constructed. Inuit or Eskimo? nonscored 3776
The Words to the Story of the Inuit nonscored 3777
Lesson Quiz: Language quiz
Traditional way of life: Describe the traditional way of life for the Inuits. Include food, clothing, hunting and fishing, travel, recreation, and art. Living the Inuit Way nonscored 3778
Inuit Traditions nonscored 3779
Lesson Quiz: Traditional way of life quiz
Family & Group Life: Describe the family life and group life of the Inuits. Identify rules of conduct, how disputes were settled, how children were treated, and how future marriage partners were chosen. One for All and All for One nonscored 3780
Family Life of the Inuit nonscored 3781 alertanswerkey
Lesson Quiz: Family & Group Life quiz
Shelter: Investigate and describe the various shelters in which the Inuits lived, including tents, sod houses, and snow houses. Identify how these shelters were constructed. Give Me Shelter nonscored 3782
House and Home, Inuit Style nonscored 3783
Lesson Quiz: Shelter quiz
Religous beliefs: Investigate the religious beliefs of the Inuits. What the Inuit Believe nonscored 3784
The Spirits of the Inuit nonscored 3785
Lesson Quiz: Religous beliefs quiz
Traditional vs. modern: Compare and contrast the traditional ways of the Inuits with their present ways of life. Include food, clothing, housing, employment, education, and values. That Was Then, This Is Now nonscored 3786
Inuit Yesterday, Inuit Today nonscored 3787
Lesson Quiz: Traditional vs. modern quiz
Chapter Test: Alaskan Inuits

quiz Test
Chapter 3: "The World in Spatial Terms"
Lesson Activity Name
LA# Worksheet
Geographic tools: Use geographic tools, such as maps, globes, and atlases, to gather data about the Earth's surface. Locate and name your community, state, country, and continent. Identify the major oceans: Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Arctic and Antarctic. Identify the seven continents: Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, and Australia. Identify the hemispheres: Northern, Southern, Western, and Eastern. Finding Funville! nonscored 33990
Tools to Build Your Knowledge of Geography nonscored 3700
Tools of the Trade nonscored 3701 alertanswerkey
Lesson Quiz: Geographic tools quiz
Geographic Terms: Demonstrate the ability to use the following geographic terms: harbor, island, bay, peninsula, gulf, ocean, coast, region, and mountain. Locate and label examples of each on a map, and write definitions of the terms. Geographic Terms nonscored 3704
Isn't It All Just Land and Water? nonscored 3705
Lesson Quiz: Geographic Terms quiz
Latitude & Longitude: Locate Alaska on a map and globe. Describe Alaska's position relative to the rest of the continental United States. Locate and label the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Strait. Where Am I? nonscored 3706
North to Alaska nonscored 3707
Lesson Quiz: Latitude & Longitude quiz
Adaptation of Environment: Describe how climate, locations, and physical surroundings affect the ways people live in Alaska. Why People Live Where They Do nonscored 3708
Who Wants to Live in Alaska? nonscored 3709
Lesson Quiz: Adaptation of Environment quiz
Locate Rocky Mountains: Use a map to locate the Rocky Mountains from New Mexico through Canada to northern Alaska. Scales Aren't Just on a Fish nonscored 3710
To the End of the Continent nonscored 3711
Lesson Quiz: Locate Rocky Mountains quiz
Locate Scandinavia: Use a world map to locate the region of Europe that was once known as Scandanavia. Identify and label the three countries as they are now known (Denmark, Norway, and Sweden). So That's Where Reindeer Live nonscored 3712
Scandinavia nonscored 3713
Lesson Quiz: Locate Scandinavia quiz
Chapter Test: The World in Spatial Terms

quiz Test
Chapter 4: "Exploration of the Americas"
Lesson Activity Name
LA# Worksheet
Reasons for Exploration: Identify several reasons that Europeans were willing to endure many hardships to explore and settle in new lands. Include the search for wealth, the desire to explore, the search for trade routes, new navigation methods, and religious missionary work. The World Is Bigger Than You Think nonscored 3714
Lesson Quiz: Reasons for Exploration quiz
Columbus Journeys: Describe Christopher Columbus's first journey to America. Identify the names of his three ships, the land he had mistakenly named India, the name he gave native people, and the day of his landing. Off to Asia? America? nonscored 3716 alertanswerkey
Lesson Quiz: Columbus' Journeys quiz
Amerigo Vespucci: Explain whether or not Columbus learned after three additional voyages that he never reached India, but the New World. Identify the Italian trader and explorer who made the first voyage in 1499 to the New World for whom America was named. Identify the Spanish explorer who confirmed Vespucci's conclusion regarding this new land. If at First You Don't Succeed, Try, Try Again nonscored 3718
Lesson Quiz: Amerigo Vespucci quiz
Columbus discoveries: Investigate how the voyages of Columbus reshaped America. Describe how these voyages exchanged plants, animals, and diseases between the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. Identify some of these plants, animals, and diseases. The World Was Changed Forever nonscored 3720
Lesson Quiz: Columbus' discoveries quiz
Ponce de Leon: Describe Ponce de Leon's role in the settlement of Florida (including dates). Explain the legend of the ''Fountain of Youth'' (where Ponce de Leon learned of the legend, and whether Ponce de Leon found the Fountain of Youth). Identify who killed Ponce de Leon (and how). Searching for the Fountain of Youth nonscored 3722
Lesson Quiz: Ponce de Leon quiz
Hernando De Soto: Describe the 1539 Spanish expedition led by Hernando de Soto to Florida. Include the battle with the Cherokee Indians and how de Soto was associated with the Mississippi River. Identify how de Soto died and where he was buried. Exploring up from Florida nonscored 3724
Lesson Quiz: Hernando De Soto quiz
St. Augustine: Describe the founding of St. Augustine in 1565 and its heritage as the oldest city in the United States. America's Oldest City nonscored 3726
Lesson Quiz: St. Augustine quiz
Northwest Passage: Describe the searches made by John Cabot and Henry Hudson for the Northwest Passage. Identify and locate the regions they found and the dates of their discoveries. Describe the hardships they encountered and the contributions they made to their countries. Happening up North? nonscored 3728
Lesson Quiz: Northwest Passage quiz
French Explorers: Investigate the role Samuel de Champlain played in the region of New France. Identify, locate, and label the region Champlain discovered (Quebec). Identify, locate, and label the lakes Champlain explored and mapped (the western end of the St. Lawrence River, in northern New York). A Permanent French Settlement nonscored 3730
Lesson Quiz: French Explorers quiz
Exploration of Southwest: Identify the early Spanish explorers in the lands that are now the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Describe the contributions each of the explorers made. Early Spanish Explorers nonscored 3732
Lesson Quiz: Exploration of Southwest quiz
Spanish Missions: Identify various U.S. missionary settlements (especially those in Texas and California). Explain why the Spanish government sent missionaries to the southwestern part of what is now the United States. Explain who Padre Junipero Serra was. Describe life in a mission. Include what services missions provided for Native Americans, and what leaders of missions expected in return from Native Americans. Missions nonscored 3734
Lesson Quiz: Spanish Missions quiz
Seven Cities of Cibola: Explain why Francisco Vásquez de Coronado organized an expedition to the Southwest in 1540. Describe the legend of the ''Seven Cities of Cibola.'' Locate and label the areas: Grand Canyon and the Rio Grande. Seven Cities of Gold nonscored 3736
Lesson Quiz: 'Seven Cities of Cibola' quiz
Conflicts with Pueblos: Identify the region in which the Pueblo lived, the associated tribes (Hopi and Zuni), and the crops grown by them. Explain the conflicts between the Pueblo and the Spaniards. Pueblo nonscored 3738
Lesson Quiz: Conflicts with Pueblos quiz
Chapter Test: Exploration of the Americas

quiz Test
Chapter 5: "North American Colonization"
Lesson Activity Name
LA# Worksheet
Locate English Colonies: Define colony. Use a map to locate and label the thirteen English colonies. Differentiate each colony by region: New England Colonies, Middle Colonies, and Southern Colonies. Thirteen in All nonscored 3740 alertanswerkey
Lesson Quiz: Locate English Colonies quiz
Reasons for Colonization: Describe the two major changes, religion and economics, in England that caused the great interest in establishing the English colonies. Religion or Country? nonscored 3742
Lesson Quiz: Reasons for Colonization quiz
Jamestown: Explain how the first colony originated in Jamestown, Virginia (in 1607), and the role John Smith played. Describe the period known as the ''Starving Time.'' Explain how land ownership and growth of tobacco crops were major reasons for the survival of the Jamestown economy. Virginia Settlements nonscored 3744
Lesson Quiz: Jamestown quiz
Pocahontas: Retell the legend and history of Pocahontas and John Rolfe. Explain their roles in the clashes between Native Americans The Legend of Pocahontas nonscored 3746
An Early American Heroine nonscored 3747
Lesson Quiz: Pocahontas quiz
Puritans: Describe the beliefs held by Puritans. Explain why some Puritans were called Pilgrims, and why, in 1620, the Puritans left Europe for Massachusetts. Puritans or Pilgrims? nonscored 3750
Back to Basics nonscored 3751
Lesson Quiz: Puritans quiz
Reasons for Migration: Explain several reasons why European colonists moved to America. Include the search for good farmland, trade opportunities, and religious freedom. Finding Just the Right Place nonscored 3752
More Reasons to Move nonscored 3753
Lesson Quiz: Reasons for Migration quiz
King Philips War: Explain the 1637 conflicts between Puritans and Native Americans. Describe the reasons for King Philip's War (in 1675). Conflict between Old and New nonscored 3754
Lesson Quiz: King Philip's War quiz
Founders of Colonies: Identify the founders and dates of the following colonies: the Carolinas, Georgia, New Jersey, Delaware, and New York. Explain why the purchase of Manhattan Island was the most profitable land purchase in history. So Many Different Colonies nonscored 3756
Who, When, Where nonscored 3757
Lesson Quiz: Founders of Colonies quiz
Enslavement of Africans: Explain slave trade in the Southern Colonies and its economic impact. Explain the differences between indentured servants, and slaves as property. Describe the voyage known as the Middle Passage and its conditions for captured Africans. Slavery in the Southern Colonies nonscored 3758
Lesson Quiz: Enslavement of Africans quiz
Plymouth Colony: Describe the establishment of the Plymouth Colony by the Pilgrims Include discussion of: the importance of religious freedom, the voyage of the Mayflower, the 1620 Mayflower Compact, and the first Thanksgiving. Explain why the Plymouth Colony was taken over by the Massachusetts colony. Plymouth Colony nonscored 3760
Lesson Quiz: Plymouth Colony quiz
Colonial Life: In general terms, describe colonial life in America. Include areas such as colonial economy, society, government, homes, churches, schools, transportation, communication, art, and science. Everyday Life in Colonial America nonscored 3762
Colonial Life nonscored 3763
Lesson Quiz: Colonial Life quiz
Chapter Test: North American Colonization

quiz Test
Chapter 6: "Rural, Suburban, Urban Region"
Lesson Activity Name
LA# Worksheet
Your Community: Identify your community as rural, urban, or suburban. Identify the general features of each of these communities as related to size, density, and grasslands. City, Suburbs, or Country? nonscored 3803
Your Community nonscored 3802
Lesson Quiz: Your Community quiz
Characteristics: Describe the characteristics of rural, urban, and suburban communities in terms of housing, community size, populations, jobs, culture, recreation, and transportation. Welcome to the City nonscored 34024
Welcome to the Suburbs nonscored 34026
Welcome to the Country nonscored 34027
The Place for You nonscored 3805
Life in the City, Suburbs, Country nonscored 3804
Lesson Quiz: Characteristics quiz
Compare & Contrast: Compare and contrast these different types of communities in the United States. Locate each type of community on a U.S. map. Where Do You Live? nonscored 34025
Lesson Quiz: Compare & Contrast quiz
Relationships: Describe the relationship between people and their environments in rural, urban, and suburban communities. North or South, Hot or Cold nonscored 3808
Wherever You Go, It's There nonscored 3809
Lesson Quiz: Relationships quiz
Land Forms & Bodies of Water: Describe the various landforms and bodies of water that may be found in rural, urban, and suburban communities. Land and Water nonscored 3810
Landforms and Bodies of Water nonscored 3811
Lesson Quiz: Land Forms & Bodies of Water quiz
Resources: Identify the natural resources in your community. Describe ways in which people can protect these resources. Resources, Naturally nonscored 3812
Nature's Gifts nonscored 3813
Lesson Quiz: Resources quiz
Development & Change: Describe how rural, urban, and suburban communities have developed and changed over time. Over Time nonscored 3814
Time Line nonscored 3815
Lesson Quiz: Development & Change quiz
Chapter Test: Rural, Suburban, Urban Region

quiz Test
Chapter 7: "Economics"
Lesson Activity Name
LA# Worksheet
Earn, Save, & Spend Money: Explain why people earn, save, and spend money. Money, Money, Money, Money nonscored 3788
It Makes the World Go Round nonscored 3789
Lesson Quiz: Earn, Save, & Spend Money quiz
Interdependence: Describe how people in the United States are dependent upon other countries for goods (products). Explain the interdependence of people and products in your community. All for One and One for All nonscored 3790
The Things Everyone Needs nonscored 3791
Lesson Quiz: Interdependence quiz
Employers/Employees: Describe the differences between employer and employees and the responsibilities and duties of each. Team Work nonscored 3792
It Really Works nonscored 3793
Lesson Quiz: Employers/Employees quiz
Function of Banks: Explain the different ways people can use banks: to save and to borrow money. Explain why banks charge interest to the borrower. You Can Bank On It nonscored 3794
Take It to the Bank nonscored 3795
Lesson Quiz: Function of Banks quiz
Natural Resources: Name the natural resources and the goods produced in your local region. Some Things of Value nonscored 3796
All Natural nonscored 3797
Lesson Quiz: Natural Resources quiz
Imports/Exports: Distinguish between imports and exports. The Ins and Outs of Economics nonscored 3798
Import In/Export Out nonscored 3799
Lesson Quiz: Imports/Exports quiz
Production of Goods: Identify the various ways that goods are produced: agriculture, manufacturing, mining, and trade. It's Good(s) for You nonscored 3800
The Producers nonscored 3801
Lesson Quiz: Production of Goods quiz
Chapter Test: Economics

quiz Test
Chapter 8: "Citizenship & Government"
Lesson Activity Name
LA# Worksheet
Purpose of Government & Law: Explain why all communities and states have governments and laws. Identify some laws in your community. Safe at Home nonscored 3816
Law and Order nonscored 3817 alertanswerkey
Lesson Quiz: Purpose of Government & Law quiz
Duties, Heads of Government: Name the heads of your local and state government. Describe how the responsibilities of a mayor and governor differ. Identify some of the responsibilities of local government. Describe what a city council does and how people can become members of a city council. Heads of State and City nonscored 3818
Lead, Follow, or Get out of the Way nonscored 3819
Lesson Quiz: Duties, Heads of Government quiz
Town Meetings: Explain what a town meeting is, what issues may be discussed, and how decisions are made. Identify some issues in your community that need to be addressed. Speak for Yourself nonscored 3820
Your Opinion Counts nonscored 3821
Lesson Quiz: Town Meetings quiz
Participation: Explain why it is important for people to take part in local government by voting. Describe ways in which you have participated in voting at home, in school, or within groups and organizations. Get Involved nonscored 3822
Cast Your Vote nonscored 3823
Lesson Quiz: Participation quiz
Community Leaders: Identify leaders who have made a difference in the development of your community. Describe the contributions they have made. In the Lead nonscored 3825
Lesson Quiz: Community Leaders quiz
Chapter Test: Citizenship & Government

quiz Test
Chapter 9: "Chronology"
Lesson Activity Name
LA# Worksheet
Timelines: The learner will understand the concept of time and chronology by reading and constructing timelines. It's a Matter of Time nonscored 34018
Lesson Quiz: Timelines quiz
Passing of Time: Describe historical times in terms of years, decades and centuries. Through the Years nonscored 34019
Lesson Quiz: Passing of Time quiz
Chapter Test: Chronology

Back to Top

Scope & Sequence Copyright © CompassLearning, Inc. All rights reserved.

Activity finder tool for parents

Lesson Activity Finder Tool

The lesson activity finder is one of the many helpful tools that Time4Learning offers its members. The activity finder is a shortcut that makes it easy for parents to preview lessons or find extra practice for their child.

Every lesson in the curriculum has a unique activity number, referred to in the lesson plans as an "LA Number." These numbers can be found on the table above or the lesson plans in the parent administration area.

The activity finder can be found in the lower left hand corner of the Student LaunchPad page. To use it, members simply log in to their child’s account, type the Learning Activity (LA) number of a lesson into the Activity Finder and click “Go” to open it.

For additional information, please visit our hints and help section, which gives more details about the activity finder.

Back to the top or sign up now

Additional Resources Related to Third Grade Social Studies

If you're interested in the third grade social studies lesson plans, you might also be interested in:

Lesson plans for other grade levels of social studies:

Other third grade subjects and topics:

Wondering how many lessons to have your child do each day? Our lesson planning worksheet can help you estimate.

Online Curriculum for Homeschool, Afterschool and Summer Use

Sign up for Time4Learning and gain access to a variety of educational materials, which will engage and challenge your child to succeed. Make Time4Learning a part of your children's homeschool resources.

I want to Learn More about Time4Learning's homeschool curriculum or how to use the program for afterschool enrichment.

Cancel Anytime,
No Contracts

PreK - 8th
Per Student
9th - 12th
Per Student