Grade Three Curriculum

Third grade teachers capitalize on the intellectual curiosity of students this age—interest and excitement about new people, places and concepts. Third graders begin to develop a growth mindset, as teachers introduce a more flexible way of learning, allowing students to hone their own interests and learn from others. Conversations center around the importance of both physical and emotional wellness. Students expand friendships, become community builders, and take on more responsibility for both their academic and social lives. Teachers create lots of opportunities for sharing thoughts, feelings and ideas about creating a positive and collaborative learning environment.

How does the world work? How do we care for the world? These essential questions drive the central themes of Grade 3, which include life cycles of plants and animals; environmental responsibility and stewardship; immigration and metropolises; and electrical circuits. Themes are incorporated across all subjects and in all project-based activities. A two-night stay at The Farm School in Athol, Massachusetts, along with caring for Milton’s own community garden, deepens students’ understanding of the natural world and our role in it. Students learn in depth about the expedition of Lewis and Clark; the life cycle of Monarch butterflies; and the development of cities. Every day ends with reading aloud, and students are expected to read for at least 20 minutes every night, making reading a positive habit.

Studies and Skills

Language Arts

Responding to literature in class and small-group discussions

Connecting personal experiences with readings

Finding ourselves in stories

Recognizing differences

Writing as a means of communication

Thinking critically and creatively

Learning cursive writing with proper writing mechanics

Poetry: developing a love of words through poetry; expression and analysis

Journaling: recording observations, personal reflection, communicating through writing and art


Developing listening and speaking skills in Spanish

Appreciating Spanish culture

Developing oral language skills through hands-on activities, games and songs

Building vocabulary

Learning to offer and respond to greetings, questions and commands

Physical Education

Exploring space

Refining locomotor skills (running, hopping, skipping, sliding)

Fitness and cooperation








Understanding perimeter and area

Problem solving

Reflecting and communicating about mathematical problems and solutions

Learn more about the Investigations mathematics program


Learning about the Monarch butterfly life cycle

Plant and seed development/gardening

Animal adaptation and survival

Electricity and circuits

Power generation and conservation

Technology/Computer Science


Digital literacy

Word processing

Productivity software



Exploring Native American music and culture through drumming

Dance and flute music

Developing music-reading skills

Continued study of the recorder


Supporting thematic studies

Incorporating the natural world


Imaginative drawing

Group murals

Woodworking and Design

Safe use of power tools and hand tools

Measurement and technique

Incorporating engineering concepts

Facility with simple machines

Developing creative, individual projects