Age 3 through 6th Grade

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Third Grade Overview

Student working on computer with teacher assisting

“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.


  • Choose a book at appropriate reading level
  • Recognize various genres
  • Read with fluency and expression to support comprehension
  • Use phonics and word analysis skills to decode words
  • Define unfamiliar words using context clues
  • Use self-correction strategies
  • Visualize the events of the story or text
  • Analyze relationships within and between texts
  • Monitor reading for sense and understanding
  • Identify main idea and key details of a text or story
  • Predict events based on context clues
  • Set goals for increasing challenges
  • Reading Units of Study by Lucy Calkins are used

Language Arts

  • Respond using complete sentences
  • Write a personal narrative, persuasive speech, and informational essay
  • Include several paragraphs incorporating leads, transitions, dialogue, and details in essays
  • Identify nouns, verbs, contractions, antonyms, synonyms
  • Use basic mechanics correctly
  • Write poetry
  • Cursive writing is introduced
  • Set goals for increasing challenges
  • Writing Units of Study by Lucy Calkins are used


  • Use place value models to read, write, add and subtract numbers to 10,000
  • Compare fractions using models and number lines
  • Add and subtract like fractions and money
  • Model regrouping in addition and subtraction with place value
  • Solve one- and two-step multiplication and division problems
  • Identify angles, perpendicular and parallel lines, polygons, quadrilaterals, symmetry and congruent figures
  • Select appropriate units and tools to estimate and measure length, weight, volume and capacity
  • Determine elapsed time
  • Use bar graphs, picture graphs and line plots to solve and check real-world problems
  • Use a calculator to solve real-world problems using all operations
  • Discuss and share ideas in paired or small-group activities
  • Use bar models to represent real-world problems

Social Studies

  • Theme: What qualities make a productive member of a community?
  • Learn basic geography skills and vocabulary of Missouri and U.S.
  • Identify and label continents, oceans, prime meridian, equator, countries of North America, and major mountain ranges and rivers of the United States
  • Study lifestyles of early people of this area and list needs for survival
  • Practice note-taking skills using two-column note graphic organizers
  • Discuss current events and their impact on people’s lives
  • Research basic information using resources provided by the teacher
  • Learn qualities that make a productive member of a community
  • Learn about the founding of St. Louis
  • Discuss cultural perspectives of the settlers of St. Louis: Native Americans, Colonial French, enslaved and freed African Americans, American settlers
  • Research a nearby historic landmark and present information as a commercial
  • Order on a timeline major events of Missouri history in relation to U.S. history
  • Compare North American culture to Japanese culture
  • Country studied: Japan


  • Formulate testable questions and explanations
  • Make qualitative and quantitative observations using the five senses
  • Make inferences based on observations and evidence
  • Investigate forms of energy and how they are stored, transformed and transferred
  • Identify how energy changes from one form to another
  • Distinguish between potential and kinetic energy
  • Carry out experiments testing different forms of energy
  • Observe and describe ecosystems
  • Analyze unbalanced ecosystems and discuss causes
  • Identify consumers and producers and their needs in an ecosystem
  • Observe and analyze various types of plants
  • Units of study: plants, motion, animals, simple machines


  • Recognize printed form of vocabulary words
  • Read sentences and short paragraphs
  • Begin to generate original sentences
  • Use greetings and farewell courtesies
  • Indicate date
  • Use numbers to 31
  • Describe the weather
  • Describe school subjects, supplies
  • Acquire vocabulary for animals

Physical Education

  • Demonstrate ability to problem solve and communicate during a group challenge
  • Demonstrate leadership qualities and participation during group activities
  • Demonstrate skills in units of study: soccer, football, field hockey, basketball, volleyball and softball
  • Complete an 800-meter cross country run
  • Demonstrateknowledge of passing and receiving the baton during relays
  • Exert maximum effort during various runs and exercises
  • Show an understanding of various tumbling levels
  • Demonstrate strength, agility, and technique during combative activities
  • Participate in creating a new game and present to class
  • Recognize and appreciate the cultural origin of each game
  • Establish and agree upon game rules and boundaries in all games
  • Foster an appreciation of nature through orienteering activities and outdoor education

Visual Arts

Studio Art

  • Define edges of paper in pictures
  • Demonstrate geometric and organic shapes and forms in various media
  • Create large and small space in a picture plane
  • Progressively alter patterns for rhythmic effect
  • Apply characteristics of style in a work of art
  • Present evidence to support self-generated ideas
  • Use a rubric to accurately assess outcomes
  • Connect concepts to social studies and math


  • Prepare work station
  • Make individual design decisions
  • Use coping saw for cutting lines
  • Demonstrate proper use of half-round file, bit and brace, hand twist drill and sandpaper
  • Analyze quality of each project and set goals for improvement
  • Share completed work with class and teachers

Performing Arts


  • Memorize the line and space names of the treble clef
  • Maintain a steady beat while playing rhythmic and melodic instruments
  • Define and utilize head and chest voice registers
  • Sing with accurate pitch and intonation
  • Use clear vocal enunciation and diction
  • Pronounce various languages correctly
  • Maintain melody/harmony in an ensemble setting
  • Use correct fingerings on recorder
  • Play with good tone and pitch on recorder
  • Transition note reading to recorder fingering
  • Aurally identify “ragtime” style of music
  • Produce facts on composer’s life and music


  • Demonstrate competency in fluency, enunciation, projection, cheating out, posture, expression, eye contact and visualization during public speaking and performances
  • Use the tools of an actor to become a character
  • Work cooperatively to solve problems both onstage and off
  • Develop skills on stage to react to other characters and give and take focus
  • Connect historical time period with physicality of people living during the early 1900s to portray characters
  • Repeat basic dance steps
  • Perform Readers Theater and Meet Me In St. Louis