“Laaa-dieees and gen-tle-men. . .Wel-come to the niine-teeen-oh-four World’s Fair!”
By far, the students’ favorite highlight of third grade has to be their re-creation of St. Louis’ 1904 World’s Fair, a major theatrical production performed for their parents and the entire school. They also do differentiated projects based on the World's Fair. While one student might be working on a Google Slides presentation on the entertainment presented at the Fair, another might be building a model of one of the Palaces, and a third could be writing a script for a skit about the Olympics.
Third grade is the year when students officially enter “Upper Elementary” at Community. They fine-tune their skills in reading, writing, and math. Students continue to use literature as a base and are immersed in language. Exploring voice in writing, writing a blues song, and edible book reports are just a few of the ways that language arts comes to life. Writing focuses on creative and expository projects, such as the “Bio Poem” and journals from the perspective of a slave, Native American or French settler in St. Louis during the 1700s. Using the strategy approach in mathematics, students learn that problems can be solved in many different ways. Manipulatives and journal writing help children gain an understanding of their own style of learning.
In social studies, students study St. Louis as a community in the past and present; Native Americans; and colonial settlements. Related field trips include Cahokia Mounds, and a St. Louis history tour. Japan is also studied extensively, and children learn to write haikus, eat out at a Japanese restaurant, visit the Japanese Garden, and have “Japan Day.”
Although they have participated in the buddy program since Junior Kindergarten; for the first time, third graders get to be the older buddy, and they take great pride in and responsibility for their younger friends.