Third Grade Curriculum

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Course Description

Third grade is a crucial time when children start to master communication skills. As students have refined their vocabularies and writing techniques, teachers can provide them with the activities, guidance and space to strengthen those skills to communicate their thoughts and feelings.

Third graders begin to master basic academic skills and become stronger in their cognitive abilities. This is a good time for teachers to keep in mind new scientific research showing that passive lecturing should not dominate the classroom structure. While there are times instructors need to impart certain information to the entire classroom, teachers really need to re-think how that information is delivered.

What some call an "active" or "interactive" style of teaching allows students to consider and reflect on the information provided, experiment with the new knowledge, and share their own ideas and approaches. Throughout this course, we provide tips and activities for active teaching, in each of eight academic areas: reading, writing, math, science, social studies, art, music, and drama.

We also provide highlights of national common core standards in each of the academic areas, as well as overview of relevant curriculum and teaching theories. This course is designed to provide general information about third grade curriculum; teachers should keep in mind that each state and each school district maintain their own standards and requirements.


Academic Needs  

The first and second grades are often viewed collectively. In fact, some schools combine the classrooms of the early primary years. Third graders begin to master basic academic skills and become stronger in their cognitive abilities. 

The fledgling skills of reading and writing combine to allow children to begin to use their powerful new skills to learn at a deeper level. As describes it, kids begin to move from "learning to read" to "reading to learn," and from "learning to write" to "writing to communicate." 

At this stage, the thinking required to convert letters into sounds has become mostly automatic, so students can focus on the meaning of the text that they are reading. Children become readers that are more fluent. Their vocabulary expands and they can read longer and more complex material.  

In third grade, students can write at a more complex level. They can spell many words correctly now, and they understand the stages of the writing process. Their use of language will improve, including mastering basic grammar and style rules. They will also work to edit and revise their own writing.

Because the basics of reading and writing are now more comfortable, the discipline of social studies can become a more prominent topic. Teachers can capitalize on children's natural interest about people, places, and times by using stories to teach about different cultures, past and present. At this level, the teaching in part focuses on imparting knowledge, but it also seeks to lay a foundation for more sophisticated learning later.

Third grade is an important year for mathematics concepts. At this stage, the curriculum moves from simple computation to skills that are more complex. In science, students are encouraged to channel their innate curiosity into asking questions and seeking answers. Students should be given chances to collect and analyze data from their own mini-experiments.

While students will be taught more sophisticated critical thinking skills, stresses that at this age, children have accumulated enough experiences that they can make more use of common sense.  Educators can praise kids for using common sense to solve problems and expect them to be able to work out some problems by themselves.

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  • Printable Lessons
  • Full HD Video  
  • 6 Months to Complete
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  • Start Anytime
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  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating:
4.7 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
"Extraordinarily Helpful"
(317 votes)

Lesson 1. Third Grade Overview

Teachers should always consult their specific state and school districts for any local requirements. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Parent's Guide to Third Grade; Third Grade Learning Objectives
  • Take Poll: Third Grade Curriculum
  • Take Survey: Reasons for Taking this Course
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Exam

Lesson 2. Creating Curriculum

Aside from content, there was remarkable agreement on the need to improve the methods of teaching. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Review Article: What is Active Learning?
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Exam

Lesson 3. Reading and English Usage

Third graders continue to need teacher demonstrations and strategic mini-lessons to help them handle more difficult reading materials. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Reading Comprehension Worksheets; Third Grade Activities
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Exam

Lesson 4. Writing

Third graders will want to please teachers with their writing, as well as with their peers. 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Writing Activities; Third Grade and Writing
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Exam

Lesson 5. Mathematics

The NCTM stresses that math teachers must actively engage students and allow them to practice and strengthen their reasoning skills. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Third Grade Math Worksheets; Math Games
  • Take Poll: Third Grade Subjects
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Exam

Lesson 6. Science

Consistent with the movement away from simple rote memorization of facts, experts recommend teaching science with less of a focus on learning scientific facts and more of an emphasis on how to think scientifically. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Science Activities; Science Worksheets
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Exam

Lesson 7. Social Studies

By third grade, the focus expands to examine how communities and cities are connected in the state, country, and world. Issues to consider include change and growth in communities, the government structures, and history. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Social Studies Worksheets; Social Studies Resources
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Exam

Lesson 8. Art

Art educators have long pointed out the vital role that art plays in an academic curriculum, even though it sadly still is often seen simply as a recreational activity. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Art Lessons; Arts and Crafts
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Exam

Lesson 9. Music and Movement

Music educators stress that movement is vital to a child's musical development. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Third Graders and Music; Core Standards and Resources
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Exam

Lesson 10. Dramatic Arts

Drama can fulfill children at many different levels. It teaches all children socialization skills and familiarity in working together. 60 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Drama Lesson Plans; Theater Games
  • Take Poll: Subjects
  • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Exam
  • Complete: The Final Exam
Total Course Points

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Describe what the third grade curriculum requirements are.
  • Describe the processes for creating curriculum.
  • Identify and develop curriculum needs for reading and English usage, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies.
  • Identify and develop curriculum needs for art, music, movement, and the dramatic arts, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Additional Course Information

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Course Title: Third Grade Curriculum
Course Number: 8900154
Course Requirements: View Course Requirements
Lessons Rating: 4.7 / 5 Stars (317 votes)
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Course Type: General Education (Self-Paced, Online Class)
CEU Value: 0.4 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
Course Fee: $50.00 (no CEU Certification) || with Online CEU Certification: $75.00

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