Third Grade Curriculum Overview
This section provides a summary of the key third grade curriculum and learning objectives for language arts, math, social studies, and science. Under each is a more detailed description of what children learn in third grade subjects, including detailed lesson descriptions of Time4Learning learning activities.
This page provides:
- Third Grade Language Arts and Reading Curriculum Overview
- Third Grade Language Arts Extensions Curriculum Overview
- Third Grade Vocabulary Curriculum Overview
- Third Grade Math Lesson Curriculum Overview
- Third Grade Science Lesson Curriculum Overview
- Third Grade Social Studies Lesson Curriculum Overview
- Third Grade Educational Resources
Overview of Third Grade Learning Milestones
Third grade is a year of highly visible progress in reading, writing and language arts. By the end of third grade language arts, students should:
- Learn the importance of prewriting strategy
- Understand the formula for the writing process
- Learn how to write for a particular audience
- Develop an expanded vocabulary to create more in-depth sentences
- Read with fluency, with focus on comprehension
Third grade is also a year of visible math skill development. By the end of third grade math, students should:
- Multiply and divide multi-digit numbers by a single-digit number
- Understand and work with simple fractions and decimals
- Be able to manipulate and read basic graphs
- Understand the concepts of area and perimeter
- Be able to apply math to everyday activities
As a homeschool mom with an education degree, I didn't think there was a way to do math manipulatives on the computer, but Time4Learning accomplished it!
Third graders are asked to identify polygons with a certain number of angles in Blinky's Button Bonanza.
Third Grade Language Arts and Reading Curriculum Overview
The Time4Learning curriculum constitutes a solid third grade language arts program correlated to state standards, which many homeschool parents use as their entire curriculum. Non-homeschoolers utilize the lessons for extra practice, an online third grade tutorial, or summer enrichment.Third grade language arts is organized into two large sections: Language Arts and Language Arts Extensions.
- The language arts section contains 197 learning activities that are primarily based on reading comprehension, writing skills and vocabulary
- Our Independent learning activities (ILA), think alouds, interactive guided instruction and read & respond lessons will build and develop working knowledge of language arts skills and give students plenty of practice.
Lessons are organized into a variety of chapters that introduce and cover:
- Synonyms, Antonyms, and Homonyms – Introduces new vocabulary in reading activities that teach synonyms, antonyms, homonyms, and idioms. Lessons build a working understanding of suffixes, prefixes, and reading skills. Students are asked to identify, interpret and analyze passages.
- Process Skills: Think Alouds – Teaches the reading comprehension process of summarizing, predicting, visualizing, questioning, and clarifying with extensive scaffolding and support, through think aloud prompts.
- Comprehension – Teaches comprehension strategies to literary and expository texts. Third graders learn to identify and write about the characters, setting, plot, main idea and supporting details of a story. They learn about sequential order, fact and opinion, cause and effect, author’s purpose, inferences, and comparing and contrasting story elements.
- State Simulation Assessments – Mock assessment that uses simulated questions to teach students how to apply reading comprehension skills to high stakes tests. Students are asked to display working knowledge based on appropriate reading material.
- Family (ILA) – Independent Learning Activity (ILA) that builds vocabulary and comprehension skills. Third graders learn how to identify story elements, make inferences, and draw conclusions based on an original story.
- Community (ILA) – A series of activities that develop reading, writing, and thinking skills. Uses an integrated thematic chapter to build comprehension by reading literature with an emphasis on vocabulary.
- Friendship (ILA) – A series of activities that develop and practice reading, writing, and thinking skills. Uses an integrated thematic chapter to build comprehension by reading literature with an emphasis on vocabulary.
- Tall Tales (ILA) – Teaches about tall tales. Activities combine direct instruction with read & respond stories to develop vocabulary, reading comprehension, writing, and thinking skills. Third graders are asked to identify cause & effect, write a journal entry and practice language arts skills.
- Folk Tales (ILA) – Teaches about folk tales. Activities develop vocabulary, reading comprehension, writing, and thinking skills using direct instruction and read & respond activities. Third graders are asked to identify the main idea and details of a story, write a journal entry and practice language arts skills.
- Fairy Tales (ILA) – Uses award-winning fairy tales to develop vocabulary, critical thinking, writing skills, and reading comprehension. Third graders learn about synonyms and are asked to identify different sentence types, compare & contrast characters and write about the stories.
- Animals (ILA) – Uses thematic stories about animals to introduce personification, inferences, homophones and fiction. Vocabulary, comprehension and writing skills are developed with direct instruction and read & responds. Third graders are asked to practice their skills by writing a narrative and an editorial letter.
Many parents have expressed interest in purchasing the full versions of the authentic literature excerpted in the 3rd grade language arts section. They can be purchased at the links below but they DO NOT need to be purchased in order to use Time4Learning.
- Zero Grandparents by: Michelle Edwards
- Winnie Dancing on Her Own by: Jennifer Richard Jacobsen
- Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters An African Tale by: John Steptoe
- Mr. Popper’s Penguins by: Richard and Florence Atwater
In third grade language arts, Paul Bunyan's Blue Ox Babe teaches about Tall Tales in the lesson Tall Tale Squares.
In this lesson, students are asked to answer a riddle using clues within a picture.
Third Grade Language Arts Extensions Curriculum Overview
Language arts extensions is a component of the complete language arts curriculum. Many homeschooling parents have their child complete both the language arts and language arts extensions. Non homeschoolers use the lessons for online tutoring, extra practice, or summer enrichment or as a third grade language arts tutorial.
The language arts extensions lessons are organized into several chapters that introduce and cover:
- Reading Comprehension – Teaches different strategies to build reading comprehension skills. Third graders learn how to identify root words, prefixes, suffixes, synonyms and antonyms to determine the meaning of a word. They are asked to summarize, evaluate, make inferences and write about stories. Lessons develop critical thinking, comprehension, writing skills and vocabulary.
- Cause & Effect – Teaches about story elements of fiction, fairy tales, myths, and biographies. Third graders learn how to identify and use the elements to find cause and effect. Lessons develop vocabulary, critical thinking and writing skills.
- Grammar – Teaches about noun forms (singular, plural, regular, irregular), verbs, adjectives, sentence types (declarative, interrogative, exclamatory), sentence structure (subject, predicate), subject verb agreement and proper punctuation. Students are asked to practice writing skills while applying new knowledge.
- Conventions of Spelling – Introduces compound words, homophones, homonyms and contractions. Teaches third graders the rules of spelling and variant spelling patterns while introducing new vocabulary. Students demonstrate mastery by proofreading words based on new rules.
- Speaking and Listening – Teaches how to listen effectively, ask appropriate questions, how to paraphrase to confirm comprehension, and how to respond to comments and questions from the speaker. Students are asked to perform an interview to demonstrate skill mastery.
- Writing Skills – Teaches prewriting strategies, elements of a paragraph, research techniques and the writing process. Students are asked to write a fictional short story, a poem, a letter and a research report by using the steps of the writing process.
Third Grade Vocabulary Overview
Vocabulary building is emphasized throughout Time4Learning’s third grade language arts program using reading, grammar, spelling and writing exercises. Lesson activities cover:
- Award-winning fairy tales and literature that are used to introduce new vocabulary and teach students concepts such as word structure, prefixes and suffixes.
- Animated, thematic stories about animals teach personification, inferences, homophones and fiction.
- Learn meaning as they compare, contrast and write about their new vocabulary words.
Teacher’s lesson plans include vocabulary lists and optional printable vocabulary worksheets!
In third grade language arts extensions, Carlos learns about good listening skills in Ruff's Road to Good Listening.
In this lesson, students are asked to identify keywords in example sentences.
Third Grade Math Curriculum Overview
The third grade math curriculum contains numerous math lessons, along with printable worksheets, quizzes and chapter tests. It constitutes a solid third grade math program correlated to state standards, which is important to many homeschooling users. Non homeschoolers use the program as an alternative to a 3rd grade math tutor, for test preparation, extra practice, or summer enrichment.
- Animated characters present the third grade math lessons in bite sized pieces, at the student’s pace.
- Guided activities through number theory, problem-solving, basic algebra, systems of measurement, data interpretation, geometry, graphing and probability using interactive prompts and storylines bring the lessons to life.
- Time4MathFacts, included in the curriculum, provides practice in foundation skill areas that is necessary for math success.
Math lessons are organized into 17 chapters that introduce and cover:
- Number Theory and Systems – Third grade number theory teaches students to understand numeration, number theory, and number systems. Lessons also cover writing numbers, number lines, and rounding numbers off.
- Addition and Subtraction – Teaches the meanings of operations and how they relate to one another. Lessons also cover estimating sums and differences.
- Multiplication and Division – Teaches the meanings of operations and how they relate to one another. Lessons also cover multiplying and dividing with two digit numbers.
- Fractions and Decimals – Teaches the ways of representing fractional and decimal numbers. Lessons also cover parts of a set, estimation, and comparisons.
- Money – Teaches the concept of money. Lessons also cover unit price and word problems.
- Patterns – Teaches the student about patterns relations, and functions. Lessons also cover applying patterns to complete a table.
- Algebra – Teaches students to represent and analyze mathematical situations using algebraic symbols. Lessons also cover equations, commutative, and associative properties.
- Properties of Shapes – Teaches characteristics and properties of two- and three- dimensional shapes. Lesson will also cover line segments, part of angles, and attributes of solid figures.
- Coordinate Geometry – Teaches students how to specify locations and describe spatial relationships using coordinate geometry. Lessons will also cover distance, ordered pairs, navigational directions with a grid.
- Transformations and Symmetry – Teaches students to apply transformations and use symmetry to analyze mathematical situations. Lessons will also cover tessellations, congruent shapes, and symmetrical figures.
- Time – Teaches the attributes of time and how to apply the tools involved in determining time. Lessons also cover judging elapsed time and schedules.
- Customary System – Teaches the use of the customary system of measurement to understand the attributes of length, weight, capacity, and temperature and apply appropriate measuring techniques. Lessons will also cover estimating and comparing different weights and reading a thermometer.
- Metric System – Teaches the customary system of measurement to understand the attributes of length, mass, capacity, and temperature and apply appropriate measuring techniques. Lessons will also cover estimating and comparing.
- Perimeter and Area – Teaches the student about perimeter, area, and volume and how to apply appropriate techniques, tools, and formulas to determine measurements. Lessons will also cover measuring to find perimeter, estimating and comparing, and applying techniques to real life.
- Display and Interpret Data – Teaches students how to display and interpret data that is used in charts and graphs. Lessons will also cover recording and tallying data as well as using several attributes to create graphs.
- Probability – Teaches students how to apply basic concepts of probability. Lessons include determining the possible certainty, likelihood, and fairness of events.
- Problem Solving – Teaches the student how to use heuristics and methods for solving problems. Lessons also include Polya’s four step method, identifying if enough information is provided, and constructing word problems that represent operations.
With Time4Learning, math lessons are taught by engaging characters in colorful, fun activities.
Here at Frank's Fraction Pizzeria, 3rd graders learn about "parts of whole" from Frank and his employees.
Third Grade Science Curriculum Overview
The third grade science curriculum contains a number of lessons, worksheets and quizzes, organized into an assortment of chapters. Members use the science curriculum as a 3rd grade science tutorial, for extra practice, or summer enrichment.
In the third grade science curriculum, students will cover:
- Scientific Investigation – Students will learn the process of scientific investigation. Lessons will focus on the use of instruments to collect and analyze data, as well as comparing and contrasting observations, and using reference materials to obtain information.
- Nature of Matter – Students will demonstrate basic understanding of the nature of matter. Lessons will focus on determining the physical properties of matter, as well as physical changes, and the use of hand lenses to observe objects.
- Energy, Force & Motion – Students learn about energy, force, and motion. Lessons will focus on forms of energy, sources of heat, natural resources, renewable/nonrenewable resources, simple machines, and the idea that force causes change.
- Effects on the Shape of the Earth – Students learn about processes that shape the earth. Lessons include factors of surface change, origins of small rocks, importance of the earth’s water, and recycling.
- Ecology – Students will gain a basic understanding of ecology through lessons that cover habitats, nature, the food chain, ecosystems, environmental threats, and extinction.
- Life / Environment Interact – Students learn about living organisms and how they interact with their environment through lessons that cover the link between animals and plants, how plants/animals react to the changing environment, vertebrates, invertebrates, and classification.
- Light and Sound – Students will gain a basic understanding of light and sound through interactive lessons that cover the travel of light, sound, the uses of lenses, pitch, the human voice, and how we hear.
- Astronomy – Students will be taught astronomy through interactive lessons that cover the universe, galaxies, planetary motion, gravity, space rocks, and space exploration.
- Eras on Earth – Students will learn about the Mesozoic Eras on Earth through the use of interactive lessons.
For a more detailed description of the third grade science lessons, please visit our third grade science scope and sequence page.
In third grade science, Lucas learns about vertebrates in the lesson Show Some Backbone.
In this lesson, the different types of invertebrates are explained and grouped by their characteristics.
Third Grade Social Studies Curriculum Overview
The third grade social studies curriculum contains numerous lessons, as well as worksheets and quizzes, organized into different chapters. Members use the social studies curriculum as a third grade social studies tutorial, for extra practice, or to supplement their homeschooling approach. Although the materials are extensive, social studies does not correlate to all state standards and is not animated.
In the third grade social studies curriculum, students will cover:
- Vikings – Teaches the characteristics, culture, and influences of the Viking people. Lessons include activities on occupations, culture, shipbuilding, and Viking personalities.
- Alaskan Inuits – Teaches about the way of life of the Alaskan Inuits. Lessons include geography, language, family and group life, shelter, and culture.
- The World in Spatial Terms – Students will gain an overview of the world in spatial terms by describing geographical patterns, location, and interrelationships of the major physical features of the Earth’s surface. Lessons will include geography, latitude and longitude, adaptation of environment, and locating specific land forms in North America and Europe.
- Exploration of the Americas – Teaches about the history of the United States during the early years of exploration and discovery. Lessons include reasons for exploration, Columbus’ journey, Ponce de Leon, the Seven Cities of Cibola, and other North American explorations.
- North American Colonization – Teaches about the early years of colonization in the United States. Lessons will include the reasons for colonization, early settlers, migration, and colonial life.
- Rural, Suburban & Urban Region – Students learn about the people, events, and characteristics, of rural, urban, and suburban regions in the United States. Students are asked to compare and contrast different types of communities and describe the relationships of each to the others.
- Economics – Students will learn basic concepts and characteristics of economics. Lessons include earning and spending money, employee/employers relationships, natural resources, imports/exports, and production of goods.
- Citizenship and Government – Students learn basic characteristics of citizenship and the role of government at the local and state levels. Lessons will include purpose of government, heads of government, town meetings, and community leaders.
- Chronology – Students will learn about the basic concepts of time and chronology by reading and constructing timelines.
For a more detailed description of the third grade social studies lessons, please visit our third grade social studies scope and sequence page. Why wait? Sign up for Time4Learning and start learning today!
In third grade social studies, Lucas learns about timelines in the lesson "It's A Matter of Time."
In the lesson, students learn about chronology and are asked to construct a timeline.
Third Grade Educational Resources
Because you’re interested in educating a third grader, you might also be interested in:
- Third Grade writing skills and standards by Time4Writing
- Homeschooling a Third Grader
- Using Time4Learning online curriculum for Afterschool or Summer School
- Third Grade Vocabulary and Spelling Lists – a free website that offers a fun and easy way to practice vocabulary and spelling words
- Our lesson planning worksheet can help you estimate how many lessons to have your child do each day
- Using Time4Learning as part of your third grade homeschool portfolio
The Time4Learning Online Curriculum
Time4Learning has been refined through years of feedback from educators, parents, and students. Time4Learning’s online curriculum has proven effective with over 3,500+ multimedia lessons, printable worksheets, and graded activities in a student-paced environment that brings concepts to life. Math and language arts lessons correlated to state standards. Science, social studies and art are also provided to most grades. Students may also add foreign language learning to their subscription for an additional fee. Visit our demo to see examples of third grade lessons.