Grade 3 Curriculum


Children will learn about the origins, characteristics, and work of the Church.
They will increase their understanding of how we as the Church celebrate the liturgical year. The children will also learn ways to love God and others, and to live the Great Commandments. They will pray using the following
forms of prayer: adoration, blessing, petition, intercession, thanksgiving, and praise. Students will discover how people work together to serve a parish and will discover ways they can serve. Also, students will choose ways to live as witnesses of Jesus Christ through acts of generosity and caring.


Third grade students will construct sentences using several parts of speech organized into a meaningful pattern that expresses a complete thought. There will be comprehensive learning of types of sentences, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, punctuation, and abbreviations. Written and oral communication are also part of third grade learning. Specifically, third graders will learn what makes a great personal narrative, how to write a good “how to” article, what makes a good description, understand the organization of a personal letter, write, and present an oral book report, understand how to find facts for a research report, and understand the characteristics of persuasive writing.


Third graders will use conventional spelling for hi-frequency words and other studied words and for adding prefixes and suffixes to base words. They will use spelling patterns and generalizations (e.g., word families, position-based spellings, syllable patterns, ending rules, meaningful word parts) in writing words. Students will learn to use reference materials, determining the meaning of the new word formed when a known affix is added to a known word. They will use a known root word as a clue to the meaning of an unknown word with the same root, use glossaries or dictionaries, both print and digital to determine or clarify the precise meaning of key words and phrases.


Third graders will learn, read, and write numbers to 1000. They will continue building on their work with addition and subtraction from second grade using place value to help estimate to find sums and differences of 3-digit numbers. Students will represent multiplication and division with diagrams and by using repeated addition or subtraction, number lines, arrays, and equal groups. By the end of third grade, students will have mastery of multiplication and division facts. Students will develop an understanding of fractions by examining equivalency and comparing them. They will also learn about measurement units such as length, volume, and mass. Students will read different types of graphs and then create their own graphs using given data. Telling time to the minute and working with elapsed time will be part of the operations of time lessons. The geometry unit will include learning of how to describe, draw, compose and decompose polygons and draw various quadrilaterals. Recognizing area as an attribute of plane figures and understanding concepts of area measurement and finding perimeters of shapes by counting the edges of squares on a grid or adding the side lengths will extend student’s understanding of measurement of geometric figures to include perimeter.


Third grade students will read across various genres. They will learn and practice reading strategies such as asking and answering questions, making, and confirming predictions, synthesizing, retelling and summarizing stories, determining the central message, and theme of a story, and determining the author's point of view. Students will use text structures such as comparing and contrasting, sequencing, problem and solution, and cause and effect to determine the author's purpose for writing a specific text. They will learn figurative language to help aid in the comprehension of text. Students will identify common structural elements of a text and describe how each successive part of text builds on earlier sections. Describing characters in a story and explaining how their actions contribute to the sequence of events will be part of their reading comprehension practice. Students will also determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text. Using context clues in the text and visuals to find the meanings of unfamiliar words will be part of skills they will acquire in third grade.


Students will begin third grade by exploring our solar system. They will learn to identify the cause of Earth’s seasons, the phases of the Moon, inner and outer planets, and compare terrestrial planets and gas giants. From there, students will learn how to identify the building blocks of the universe, classify elements on the Periodic Table of the Elements as solids, liquids, or gasses, identify characteristics of atoms and molecules, and observe how heat creates a chemical change. They will observe and compare physical and chemical changes, describe, and demonstrate the movement of molecules in solids, liquids, and gasses, measure temperature using a thermometer, observe and measure the changes in temperature, and observe and describe physical changes such as vaporization and condensation. Students will investigate changes in our atmosphere, identify what meteorologists do, describe the water cycle, and estimate wind speed.

Identifying the Earth’s surface, identifying the causes and effects of earthquakes and volcanoes will be part of exploring the Earth’s Structure lessons. In addition, students will examine the structure and function of parts of seed plants, classify plants, and be able to describe how plants wake their own food by photosynthesis.

Social Studies

Third grade students will learn physical geography of the United States including landforms and bodies of water. They will learn about the environment including water, climate, and natural resources. Students will learn how to use natural resources, human resources, and capital resources to produce goods and services. They will learn that American exploration and settlement resulted in changes in the lives of people at that time, and how the changes caused by American exploration and settlement affect our lives today. In addition, students will learn about government, landmarks, and symbols that help unite citizens, citizenship, and civic engagement. They will learn how life has changed throughout history. Learning how culture is shared will be part of their new understanding of our nation’s diversity.