Lower School
Learning in Action

Grade 3

The Grade 3 program is designed to nurture and capitalize on students' natural enthusiasm for learning. 
Based on the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP), the curriculum provides a framework for inquiry-based learning that focuses on the development of the whole child, both in the classroom and beyond.

Grade 3 Curriculum

List of 12 items.

  • Language Arts

    The Grade 3 language arts curriculum helps students to write with greater clarity and read with deeper understanding. Students identify and apply strategies for comprehension and vocabulary development using Scholastic Guided Reading groups and shared inquiry in the Junior Great Books program. Elements and topics of fiction and nonfiction are explored. Students study word patterns through the Words Their Way program which enhances both reading and writing. Within the Six Trait Writing program, Grade 3 writers learn to expand word choice, adjust sentence structure for fluency, edit for proper conventions and grammar, and identify audience to develop voice. Writing opportunities include paragraphs within the modes of descriptive, narrative, and expository writing.
  • Mathematics

    In Grade 3, students continue to learn mathematics through the Math in Focus® curriculum. Students learn math daily, working independently, in small and in large groups. The Grade 3 curriculum focuses on understanding of place value, mental math strategies and estimation, operations with numbers, using models to help solve real-world problems, measurement, time, geometry, building understanding of fractions and equivalent fractions, and interpreting data.
  • Science

    The Grade 3 science study is integrated within the units of inquiry in the PYP; inquiry-based lessons engage students in discovering science concepts and in applying science process skills. Scientific method is practiced through the individual student POE experiments (Predict, Observe, Explain).

    Grade 3 scientists explore elements of sound and the anatomy of the ear; weather, climate, geography, and landforms on earth; animal adaptations and human interactions with animal habitats; ancient civilizations, their inventions and engineering practices; and natural disasters and emergency management systems throughout the world.
  • Technology

    Grade 3 students continue their focus on keyboarding, increasing both speed and accuracy when typing, and using computers and iPads as important learning tools. Students use a variety of applications and begin to make decisions on the appropriate way to communicate information via technology. They use word processing, presentation, spreadsheet and drawing software, interact with multiple programs simultaneously, and begin to use digital cameras to insert graphics into their projects. Students begin to use search engines and practice basic troubleshooting procedures, solving routine hardware and software problems without the assistance of a teacher.
  • Social Studies

    The Grade 3 social studies curriculum is integrated within the units of inquiry in the PYP and cultivates individual learners to build necessary skills to become global learners and thinkers. Third graders focus on the concepts of communication and expression through music; world geography, climates, and major landforms; human nature, ethics and responsibility in sharing the planet; ancient civilizations and societal organization; natural disasters and their impact on communities and relations; and decision making and consequences. The program nurtures skills acquisition and creativity by challenging students with diverse resources, open-ended projects, and high-level yet age-appropriate reading materials.
  • Spanish

    Grade 3 students have Spanish class every day. They practice the language in pairs, small groups and whole class activities and are introduced to various study skills, such as the use of note cards, mnemonics and paired associations, to help them remember and use Spanish vocabulary.
  • Learning Resources

    Teachers recognize students’ unique learning styles and assist them in reaching their full potential by helping them develop strategies for success. Learning resources are also available from Learning Specialists, who provide both extra challenges and extra support with specific skill work as necessary. Social/emotional resources are also available from the Lower School Counselor, who offers parent education; meets with teachers, individual students, small groups and entire classes; and provides the social/emotional support that helps children feel secure, successful and happy.
  • Art

    Grade 3 art lessons provide imaginative outlets and opportunities for creative expression, cultural exploration and experimentation with a variety of artistic techniques. Students continue to learn and build upon the basic elements and principles of design taught in Grade 2 including line, shape, color, texture, value, perspective and form. Students engage with a variety of media, create their own sketchbook and work on projects integrated into the curriculum, for example northwest animal masks, spiders in the style of artist Eric Carle and the color theory of Leonardo da Vinci.
  • Library

    Grade 3 visits the library once a week for stories, books and library activities. During group story time, students listen to adventures of irrepressible Swede Pippi Longstocking as well as complete units on different genres of literature. Students also begin identifying and using print resources for use in classroom work. Throughout the year, third graders continue taking computer quizzes on books they read, independently browsing by sight and card catalog, and discovering new favorite authors, series and subjects.
  • Music

    Grade 3 musicians build their note reading skills in their recorder unit. Ear training, sight singing, and performance skills are also stressed throughout the year. Students continue to learn written music notation through reading, playing and singing as well as listening and writing. Students practice performance skills, often as soloists or in small groups. Composition, improvisation, dancing and movement are integral parts of the program. Orff instruments are used in Kindergarten - Grade 5.
  • Physical Education

    In Grade 3, students transition from use of fundamental movement skills to learning sport-specific skills through sequential and progressive age-appropriate activities and games. Fitness improvement is an inherent aspect of the program. Cooperative and self-esteem building activities and games help integrate other subject areas into the curriculum. The main class activities include: track and field, modified team sports, gymnastics, and fitness.  
  • Swimming

    Grade 3 students swim the width of the pool to learn or refine specific skill techniques and swim the length of the pool to build muscle strength and endurance. After school swim clubs are offered for Kindergarten - Grade 5.

    Grade 3 swim will cover: 
    • Endurance building
    • Flutter kick
    • Backstroke
    • Crawl stroke
    • Breaststroke
    • Dolphin kick
    • Treading water
    • Swim under-water
    • Dive review
    • Pool rule comprehension