3rd Grade Curriculum

Third Grade Curriculum


Third Grade brings more advanced word analysis and comprehension techniques.  Reading strategies the children have learned in the early grades are strengthened and modified for application in the areas of content.  Besides learning how to read well, children now learn how to study.  Deeper concentration is emphasized and opens a wider scope of comprehension.  Comparisons of chapter with chapter and story with story establish analytical thinking, good judgment, and mental flexibility.  The children are asked to write short paragraphs telling what they can remember of the story or about the character that was the most interesting to them.  They will then illustrate a part of the story they enjoyed.  This activity helps the child formulate a mental picture and develop his or her own opinions.

The content of the Class Book Carden Reader covers a broad area.  The first chapter starts with a play about the life cycle of the bee.  The children enjoy taking the different parts in the play and learning about the bee.  Often the Third Grade puts on a reading of the play for another grade.

The reader incorporates stories of other insects and animals.  The Grade Three Class Book Workbook enlarges the children’s knowledge in its lessons.  Each reading lesson is taught in small groups while the balance of the students attend to their workbook activities.


Grimm’s Fairy Tales

Black Beauty

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
The Tale of Despereaux
Mufaro’s Daughters
The child’s vocabulary is stretched and developed while reading.  The teacher questions the students to confirm their comprehension of the story.


A Single-Subject Math teacher teaches Math daily. Dr. Fleming is enthusiastic and engages every K-2nd student in active lessons that build sequentially from hands-on activities to written problem solving.

Singapore Math

We use the world-class Singapore Math curriculum for students in kindergarten through fifth grade, which is based on the textbooks and syllabuses of Singapore’s national curriculum. The Singapore Math program emphasizes problem solving and model drawing, focusing on an in-depth understanding of mathematical concepts. The curriculum covers a relatively small number of topics, which are carefully sequenced by grade. Students are expected to master each concept before moving on, as subsequent lessons build on prior concepts.

  1. A proven world-class curriculum that emphasizes developing a concrete understanding of math concepts by first using manipulative materials and hands-on SMART board exercises, followed by word problems, written exercises, and independent practice to solidify problem solving and computational skills.
  2. Accurate computation skills are integral to cognitive progress in Math so math facts are drilled and tested in all grades.
  3. Unique pedagogy emphasizes a Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract approach to build understanding of “why” before proceeding to the abstract “how.”

By the end of Third Grade, students are expected to be fluent with all of the above math facts.  Weekly drills reinforce automaticity. Academic Choice tutoring is available after school at no charge.

Language Arts

Daily Drill and Log

Each morning the Log with its Fact, Homework, Rule, and Sound is dictated.  The Log is corrected by the teacher.  The children are expected to correct their spelling mistakes in their Log.  They are given class time for this.

After the Log is completed, the teacher dictates the Daily Drill.  This includes cursive penmanship, sounds from the Carden Chart, which pertain to their spelling words, the list of spelling words with their controls, and the questions answered from their history lesson which is found in the Third Grade Speller.  The content of the History lessons includes the study of early man.  Later in the year they study the constellations and the stars.

Language is reinforced each day with the conjugation of a verb.  By Third Grade the children are used to present, past, future, present perfect, past perfect, and future perfect verb tenses.  Regular and irregular verbs are taught.

The Daily Drill is corrected by the teacher each day, and it is the responsibility of the student to follow up and correct any errors.  This practice helps children to be aware of their mistakes and develop independent habits of making corrections before work is given to the teacher.


The main thrust of the language program in the Third Grade is to gain complete mastery of the component parts of a sentence.

The subject is known as the “who”.  The verb is known as the “doing”.  The direct object is known as the “what”.  Adverbial phrases are known as the “where,” “how,” “why,” “when” to the verb.  Adjectival phrases tell more about the noun.  This clear understanding helps the student to form well-structured sentences.  Suffixes, prefixes, and homonyms are taught for vocabulary development.  The language workbooks give more drill work in these areas.

A clear understanding of punctuation and consistent use of the “period,” “capital,” “comma,” “apostrophe” , and “quotation mark” is taught thoroughly.  This is one of the great goals for Third Grade.

Book Reports

There are three book reports accomplished by the students during the year.  These are teacher directed and are written at school.  The reports are to be written on books from the Third Grade reading list, available from the school office.

Creative Writing

Paragraph techniques are taught while learning specific patterns of writing including graphic organizers.  By learning sequential structures for conveying their ideas, the students gain robust tools for creative writing. The children have their own subject while following a pattern.  They are also taught that their work has to be revised; the first draft is not the last.


Favorite poems, old and new, are memorized by the students.  Poems by Longfellow, A. A. Milne, and Robert Louis Stevenson might be learned in addition to other poets.  As many as twenty poems are recited during the Friday school-wide assemblies.


The FOSS (Full Option Science System) program is taught three days a week in the science lab by Mrs. Stone, a single-subject science teacher. FOSS science includes hands-on learning activities most days.

Third Grade units include: Matter and Energy, Structures of Life, and Sun, Moon, Stars.

Students research a science experiment and then present it to the class in Carden Scientists: always an eagerly anticipated activity!

Students respond in words or drawings in their science notebooks about each investigation to learn the steps of scientific inquiry.

Social Studies


The study of the Native Americans is a fundamental part of the curriculum in Grade Three.  Tribes are introduced and their method of shelter, hunting techniques, food sources, clothing, and civilization are studied.


The text for geography is National Geographic Map Essentials.

Physical Education

The sports program increases in difficulty as the children become more capable.  Each day our thirty minute session begins with a warm-up consisting of stretching and running, followed by one skill, and then a game to use what the students have learned. Various sports include soccer, football, baseball, track, and volleyball.  Sports skills are developed throughout the year.  In the second semester we also participate in our National Presidential Physical Fitness Award Testing, which includes Sit and Reach, Sit Ups, Pull Ups, Shuttle Run, and Mile Run.


Rhythm instruments and beginning Mandolin are taught. Music theory is reviewed in Third Grade.  Scores from musicals are taught and while singing, the children interpret the story.  They are introduced to World Drumming and students perform during Friday assemblies.  For Music Appreciation famous works by many musical artists are played and enjoyed by the children.  They become familiar with Mozart, Bach, and many others.

Art & Art Appreciation

Art for Third Grade takes its cue from the academic curriculum with primitive art studied through the medium of paper maché and charcoal drawing.  Petroglyphs are created and the study of negative space is enhanced.  Sumi painting continues from the Second Grade’s study of Chinese art.  Drawing animals using Black Beauty as a model adds to the classroom reading of the book.  Art Appreciation includes Impressionism, post, and neo-impressionism.


In the Third Grade, students apply their knowledge in desktop publishing, graphics, multimedia, and word-processing to projects related to their classroom studies. Students continue to type by touch and learn basic Internet research.


Vocabulary and grammar is stressed.  A small notebook is kept so that all their French work is in one place. In addition to grammar and vocabulary, students learns songs, perform in French for an Assembly, and develop the correct pronunciation of the language.