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3rd Grade Science Lesson Plans

3rd Grade Science Lesson Plans
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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 science curriculum. The curriculum has been enhanced with material from Science4Us, a comprehensive, digital science program. Additional resources related to third grade science are also provided, below.

Students enrolled in third grade science will have access to second grade science lessons as part of their membership. Fourth grade science is also available upon request, so students 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.

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  • BBB Award – 3rd Grade Curriculum

Total Activities: 106


Changes in Motion focuses on motion and the forces (like gravity and friction) that can change it as well as patterns of motion that can be predicted.


Electricity & Magnetism focuses on the invisible forces of static electricity and magnetism as well as conductors and insulators and current electricity.
Life Cycles focuses on the fact that all living things (plants and animals) have a unique life cycle but that they all include the stages of birth, growth and development, reproduction, and death.
Inheritance & Environment focuses on traits of living things and how they can be inherited or acquired, or influenced by the environment.
Adaptations & Variations focuses on changes in behavior and physical characteristics that can happen in a species, based on their needs and their environment.


Weather & Climate focuses students’ attention on designing solutions for weather related hazards as well as weather patterns and the affects of weather on our every day lives.


Our Solar System focuses on the sun, our eight planets and other smaller bodies orbiting within our solar system.

In the motion module, students can combine science with art by making spin paintings.

This is a fun and sometimes messy way to demostrate the affect of motion and velocity.

Motion and velocity

Supplemental Science Lessons for Third Grade

Identify various instruments used to collect and analyze data.
Describe benefits and challenges of working collaboratively. Recognize that teammates should be free to reach, explain, and justify their individual conclusions.
Identify and use the essential science skills of comparing and contrasting when making observations.
Use sketches, diagrams, and models to represent scientific ideas.
Make predictions and inferences based on observations.
Use tables and graphs to identify patterns of change.
Use reference materials to obtain information about the contributions of Alexander Graham Bell (sound), Copernicus (astronomy), Mae Jemison (exploration of space), and John Muir (ecology).
Conclude that events or concepts can be explained by collecting, organizing, and interpreting data.
Identify specific scientific discoveries that have helped or hindered scientific progress in understanding human health and the environment.
Describe how the use of scientific knowledge can help people solve problems, make decisions, and form new ideas.
Determine the physical properties of matter using customary and metric measurements that incorporate tools such as rulers, thermometers, and balances.
Identify matter as liquids, solids, and gases. Identify and describe examples of physical changes in the states of matter produced by heating and cooling.
Investigate and realize that the weight of an object is equal to the sum of the weights of its parts.
Use hand lenses to observe and document minute physical properties of objects.
Identify objects that emit heat and light.
Identify different forms of energy, such as heat, light, and sound.
Demonstrate an understanding that the Sun provides energy for Earth in the form of heat and light.
Demonstrate understanding that heat can be produced by chemical reactions, electrical machines, and friction.
Identify and use a variety of tools to measure the gain or loss of energy.
Demonstrate understanding that when a warmer object comes in contact with a cooler one, the warm object loses heat and the cool one gains it (until they are both the same temperature).
Demonstrate understanding that some source of energy is needed for organisms to stay alive and grow.
Identify natural resources and their importance.
Classify resources as renewable or nonrenewable. Describe uses for renewable and nonrenewable resources.
Identify ways that using natural resources for producing energy affects the environment.
Describe how energy is necessary to create a force that can cause motion.
Describe the motion of various objects, including forward, circular, and wave motions.
Identify the characteristics of waves, including crest, trough, and length.
Identify these six types of simple machines: screw; inclined plane; wedge; pulley; lever; wheel and axle.
Demonstrate understanding that force causes change.
Measure and record changes in the position and direction of the motion of an object on which force (such as a push or pull) has been applied.
Demonstrate understanding that the surface of Earth can be changed by forces such as earthquakes, glaciers, and volcanoes.
Demonstrate understanding that smaller rocks come from the breaking and weathering of bedrock and larger rocks.
Demonstrate understanding that about 75 percent of Earth’s surface is covered by water, and describe the stages of the water cycle.
Identify and describe characteristics of the process of weathering and erosion, such as weathering of landforms and erosion of soil.
Identify and describe reusing, recycling, and reducing and how these processes improve and protect the condition of Earth.
Identify habitats and the relationships among organisms and their environment.
Describe the concept of the balance of nature, and know that nature is constantly changing.
Identify and describe the food chain: producers, consumers, and decomposers.
Identify the concept of an ecosystem and how ecosystems can be affected by changes in environment such as precipitation, food supply, and changes caused by humans.
Identify and describe man-made threats to the Environment (such as air and water pollution caused by emissions, smog, industrial waste, and chemical run-off).
The learner will understand that some kinds of organisms that once lived on earth have completely disappeared.
Describe the various ways that animals depend on plants for survival (including food, shelter, and oxygen).
Describe how living organisms (for example, beavers and birds) modify their physical environment to meet their needs.
Understand that when the environment changes, some plants and animals survive and reproduce, and others die or move to new locations.
Identify organisms that once lived on earth, and have completely disappeared.
Identify the distinguishing characteristics of vertebrate animals (mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians).
Identify the distinguishing characteristics of invertebrate animals: flatworms, centipedes, sun jellyfish, black widow spiders, and octopuses.
Identify similarities and differences among plants.
Identify similarities and differences between plants and animals. (Similarities include: both plants and animals have structures for reproduction, respiration, and growth.)
Identify ways that organisms with similar needs compete with one another for resources (such as oxygen, water, food, and space).
Identify behavioral and structural adaptations that allow plants and animals to survive in an environment.
Demonstrate understanding that living organisms get energy from the food they eat and that living things are classified as producers, consumers, carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores.
Demonstrate understanding that the size of a population is dependent upon the available resources.
Demonstrate understanding that light travels in straight lines at extremely high speeds (and forms shadows).
Identify and describe uses for lenses. (These include: magnification, microscopes, cameras, and telescopes).
Identify the characteristics of sound. (Some characteristics include: an object vibrating rapidly causes sound; sound travels through solids, liquids, and gases; sound travels much slower than light).
Identify and describe the qualities of pitch (high or low) and intensity (loudness and softness).
Demonstrate understanding about hearing (how the ear works), and how to protect your hearing. Demonstrate understanding about the human voice. (The larynx has vibrating vocal cords. Longer, thicker cords create lower, deeper voices).
Identify and describe the universe and galaxies, including the Milky Way and Andromeda.
Identify the planetary motions of rotating and revolving and their effects on Earth, including the causes of day, night, and the seasons. Also identify where the sun rises (east) and sets (west), that days and nights change in length throughout the year, and the effect of the earth’s tilted axis on the seasons.
Demonstrate an understanding of the gravitational effect of the Moon (and to a lesser degree, the Sun) on the Earth’s tides.
Identify characteristics of asteroids, meteoroids, and comets (include Haley’s comet).
Describe the cause of a solar eclipse.
Investigate and record data about space exploration that includes telescopes, rockets, satellites, the first moon landing, by Apollo 11, and the space shuttles.
The learner will discover the Mesozoic Eras on Earth.

Scope & Sequence Copyright. © 2020 Edgenuity, Inc. All rights reserved.

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 either the scope and sequence pages or the lesson plans in the Parent Dashboard.
The activity finder can be found in the lower left hand corner of the Student Dashboard. 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.

If you’re interested in the third grade science lesson plans, you might also be interested in:
Lesson plans for other grade levels of science:

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.

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