Curriculum Guide for Grade 3



Note about mathematics curriculum:

Mathematics curriculum at any grade level or for any topic identifies what students should know and be able to do at a particular grade level or course. However, intricately connected to and supporting all mathematics content and curriculum are mathematical processes that are common to all strands and specific expectations. Students at all levels need experiences with and growing proficiency in these practices. Educators and parents keep these in mind and integrate them constantly into mathematics instruction. The practices describe ways that students need to engage with mathematical subject matter increasingly as they progress through the grades.

1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
4. Model with mathematics.
5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
6. Attend to precision.
7. Look for and make use of structure.
8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

Source: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics process standards, National Research Council’s report on helping children learn mathematics, Adding It Up. 

Measurement and Data

  • Tell and write time to nearest minute
  • Solve word problems involving addition and subtraction of time
  • Measure and estimate liquid volumes and masses of objects
  • Solve word problems involving four operations with masses or volumes
  • Generate measurement data, measuring lengths to halves and fourths of an inch
  • Understand how concepts of area relate to multiplication and to addition
  • Recognize and measure perimeter
  • Measure areas by counting unit squares
  • Multiply side lengths to find areas of rectangles in real-world problems
  • Recognize area as additive
  • Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving perimeters of polygons
  • Use tiles and pictures to represent areas
  • Understand that data are sets of individual numerical facts or measurements
  • Interpret information and solve problems from data on graphs and tables
  • Draw a picture graph or scaled bar graph to represent a set of data

Algebraic Thinking and Operations with Whole Numbers

  • Understand products as total number of objects in a number of same-size groups
  • Understand quotients as the number of objects in each share when a total is equally partitioned
  • Understand division as a problem of finding an unknown factor
  • Know from memory all products of two one-digit numbers
  • Apply commutative, associative, and distributive properties to multiply and divide
  • Multiply and divide fluently within 100
  • Find unknown numbers in multiplication or division problems within 100
  • Use drawings and equations with a symbol to represent an unknown number
  • Solve two-step word problems involving the four operations
  • Identify arithmetic patterns (5 times a number always ends in 5 or 0)
  • Assess the reasonableness of answers (using estimation and mental calculation)

Fractions and Operations

  • Understand a fraction as a quantity formed when a whole is partitioned into equal parts
  • Understand that a unit fraction (1/b) is the quantity formed by one part when the whole is partitioned into b equal parts
  • Represent fractions on a number line diagram
  • Compare fractions by reasoning about their size
  • Explain the concept of fraction equivalence
  • Recognize and generate simple equivalent fractions
  • Create models to show equivalent fractions

Geometry and Spatial Relationships

  • Identify and describe a variety of 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional shapes
  • Understand that shapes in different categories may share attributes
  • Understand that rectangles, rhombuses, squares, and trapezoids are all quadrilaterals
  • Categorize shapes by their attributes
  • Partition shapes into equal areas, describing each part as a unit fraction of the whole (for a shape partitioned into 6 parts with equal area, each part is 1/6 of the whole)

Numbers and Operations

  • Understand and use place value to 1,000
  • Round numbers to the nearest 10 or 100
  • Add and subtract within 1,000 using place value understandings
  • Multiply one-digit whole numbers by multiples of 10

Social Science -  World Communities

Notes about social science curriculum:

1. These ten themes of social studies serve as a background framework for the teaching of the social sciences at all grade levels. They weave through all content and are interrelated with one another. Students need exposure to and development of these themes throughout the grades.

Source: National Council for the Social Studies 

Ten Themes of Social Studies

1. Culture
2. Time, continuity, and change
3. People, places, and environments
4. Individual development and identity
5. Individuals, groups, and institutions
6. Power, authority, and governance
7. Production, distribution, and consumption
8. Science, technology, and society
9. Global connections
10. Civic ideals and practices 

2. In addition, there are social studies practices and habits and literacy skills that should be fostered and integrated with all social studies content. Students at all levels need grade-level appropriate experiences that develop and polish these practices.

1. Gathering, interpreting, and using evidence from various sources
2. Applying critical thinking skills to organize, use, and evaluate information
3. Problem solving and decision making processes
4. Chronological reasoning and understanding of causation
5. Comparing and understanding events and relationships in context
6. Comparing different ways of looking at an event or problem
7. Considering how people might be affected by events, changes, settings, or problems
8. Communicating knowledge, research conclusions, and ideas in written, oral, and visual forms
9. Geographic reasoning and use of geographic tools
10. Describing and explaining economics and economic systems
11. Civic understanding and participation 


  • Uniqueness of the history of each community or culture
  • Ways cultural history is passed from one generation to the next (legends, oral histories, folktales, etc.)
  • Key events in history of selected world communities
  • Key places and people in history of selected world communities
  • Timelines of historical features of selected world communities
  • Technological developments in transportation and communication in selected world communities
  • Development of trade in selected world communities


  • Available resources, human and natural, for the selected world community
  • How the selected community uses resources to meet basic needs and wants
  • Concepts of surplus and scarcity in relation to the selected community
  • Ways of meeting basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter in the selected community
  • Ways people earn a living now and in the past in the selected community
  • Goods and services produced in each selected community
  • Goods products or services exported and imported in the selected community
  • The role of trade in the selected community

Community and Culture

  • Comparison of family and school activities in own community with those of selected world communities
  • Comparison of cultural traditions in own community with those of selected world communities
  • Components of culture and diversity of communities (language, customs, traditions, beliefs, practices, celebrations)
  • Cultural features, traditions, and symbols of selected world communities
  • Arts, music, dance, and literature of selected world communities
  • Concept of cultural diffusion and how it happens
  • Comparison of effects of cultural communities in selected world communities on people, ideas, practices, and products


  • Earth’s equator, hemispheres, continents, and oceans
  • Earth’s regions
  • Earth’s grid system (lines of latitude and longitude)
  • Understanding of map features and use, including scale
  • Comparing locations of selected world communities to one’s own country
  • Use of a variety of maps to locate and examine selected world communities
  • Political and physical features of selected communities
  • Ways physical and climate features influence people in selected communities
  • Use of maps to identify one’s own location and relative locations
  • Location of one’s own local land, regions, river systems, and highways
  • Physical and human features of state (or province, territory) and neighboring states (or provinces, territories)
  • How geographical features affect population patterns
  • Human adaptations to the geography of the specified world community
  • Construction of maps, tables, graphs, charts


  • Concept of democracy and principles of democratic government
  • Type of government in the selected community; comparison to other governments
  • How leaders are chosen in the selected world community
  • How problems are solved in the selected world community
  • Ways the government keeps people safe, maintains order, provides for needs
  • Role of citizens in the selected community
  • Concept of universal human rights of fair treatment and fulfillment of needs
  • Examination of the concept of human rights in the selected community
Language Arts

Language Arts

Reading Literature and Informational Text

  • Identify main topic, idea, lesson, moral, or argument in grade-level text
  • Show understanding of key details in a text
  • Identify text evidence to support the author’s message or reader’s responses
  • Retell stories, including tales from diverse cultures
  • Describe characters in a story and how characters' actions contribute to the plot
  • Determine meanings of words or phrases as used in a text
  • Describe effects and uses of words and phrases in passages
  • Describe overall structure of a passage and its effect on the message
  • Describe how parts of a story, poem, or drama build on other parts
  • Use text features and search tools to locate relevant information
  • Explain connections between events, ideas, concepts, or steps in a text
  • Explain differences in points of view of characters, narrators, or writers
  • Explain differences between an author’s point of view and their own
  • Explain how visual images and graphics contribute to and clarify a text
  • Compare and contrast themes, settings, plots, or ideas in two texts on the same topic or by the same author
  • By the end of the academic year, read and understand grade-level literary and informational texts at grade level independently and with proficiency

Speaking and Listening

  • Express ideas and feelings clearly
  • Speak clearly and audibly in sensible sentences
  • Describe people, places, things, and events with relevant details
  • Add visual components to a speech to clarify ideas, feelings, and thoughts
  • Give and follow simple two-step directions
  • Participate in conversations with diverse partners and groups
  • Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions
  • Listen and respond to others with focus and care
  • Ask and answer questions about key details in a text or in an oral presentation
  • Present a report or tell a story with appropriate facts and relevant details
  • Create audio recordings of stories or poems

Foundational Skills

  • Apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in reading words
  • Know meanings of most common prefixes and suffixes
  • Decode irregularly spelled grade-level words and multi-syllable words
  • Read grade-level texts with purpose and understanding
  • Orally read grade-level texts with accuracy, expression, and appropriate rate
  • Confirm and self-correct words during oral reading


  • Use context clues to determine word and phrase meanings
  • Use word structure clues to determine word meanings
  • Use synonyms and antonyms to clarify and explain word meanings
  • Use dictionaries and glossaries (print and digital) to determine or clarify word meaning
  • Understand and use figurative language (similes, metaphors, idioms, adages, proverbs, etc.)
  • Distinguish literal and nonliteral meanings of words in context
  • Distinguish shades of meanings among related words
  • Learn and use grade-level general academic vocabulary

English Language Skills

  • Identify nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs and their functions in specific sentences
  • Form and use regular and irregular nouns and verbs and verb tenses
  • Form and use conjunctions, superlative adjectives, and superlative adverbs
  • Produce complete simple, compound, and complex sentences
  • Capitalize proper nouns and appropriate words in titles
  • Use end punctuation, commas, and apostrophes
  • Punctuate dialogue correctly
  • Use grade-level spelling patterns and rules
  • Consult reference materials to check spellings
  • Correctly use the English language when speaking, reading, or writing
  • Know when to use formal and informal English


  • Write opinion, informative, or explanatory pieces that state a topic or purpose, supply relevant facts and reasons, and present a conclusion
  • Write stories that include details, put events in order, and provide a conclusion
  • Make improvements and needed changes to written work
  • Use transitional words and phrases to connect ideas
  • Add dialogue and descriptions to develop characters and events
  • Take part in shared research and writing projects
  • Conduct short research task on a topic or question
  • Gather information from print and digital sources and take notes
  • Create written and visual works to summarize and share information
  • Use tools, including digital tools, to produce and publish writing
  • Write regularly for a variety of tasks, purposes, and audiences


Note about science curriculum:

The Next Generation Science and Engineering Standards (developed in 2013 in a joint collaboration among the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association, and Achieve) describe scientific practices that scientists use as they investigate the natural world and engineering practices that engineers use as they design and build models and systems. In addition, they present seven crosscutting concepts that apply across all the topics and fields of science. The teaching of science topics and standards at all grade levels K-12 are intricately interwoven with these practices and crosscutting concepts. Students need consistent experience and connection with these two
[k1]  dimensions of science education (practices and cross-cutting concepts) as they work with the third dimension (core science content topics).

Science and Engineering Practices

1. Asking questions (science) and defining problems (engineering)
2. Developing and using models
3. Designing and carrying out investigations
4. Organizing and interpreting data
5. Using mathematics and computational thinking
6. Constructing explanations (science) and designing solutions (engineering)
7. Engaging in argument from evidence
8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communication information 

Crosscutting Concepts

1. Patterns
2. Cause and effect
3. Scale, proportion, and quantity 
4. Systems and system models
5. Energy and matter: Flows, cycles, and conservation
6. Structure and function
7. Stability and change

Life Science

  • Life cycles of plants and animals
  • Plant and animal adaptation and survival
  • Plant and animal behaviors
  • Learned and inherited traits of living things
  • Variations of inherited traits
  • Relationships between traits of organisms and their survival
  • Influence of environment on plant and animal traits
  • Relationships in an ecosystem
  • Effects of environmental changes on organisms in the environment
  • Animal behavior and social interactions
  • Evidence of extinct plant and animals
  • Biodiversity

Earth and Space Science

  • Weather and climate patterns and predictions
  • Climate variations
  • Natural hazards resulting from natural processes

Physical Science

  • Physical properties of matter (size, shape, weight, volume, flexibility, luster, color, texture, hardness, odor, etc.)
  • Forms of energy (heat, sound, chemical, mechanical, and electrical)
  • Heat release and transfer
  • Energy transformations (such as heat to light)
  • Interactions of matter and energy
  • Sound (pitch, vibrations, volume) and how sound travels
  • Sizes and kinds of forces, including gravity
  • Relationships between force and motion
  • Effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on an object
  • Patterns and measurements of an object’s motion
  • Electric or magnetic interactions between objects not in contact with each other
  • Simple machines

Health and Safety

  • Concept and examples of health choices and their consequences
  • Influences on health choices (peers, media, family, community, culture)
  • Elements of and reasons for good personal hygiene
  • Types of nutrients and healthy choices for food
  • Regular participation in active play and other physical activities (contingent on any physical or other limitations)
  • Reasons to get enough sleep and relaxation
  • Strategies for a personal health plan
  • Safety rules for daily and recreational activities (walking, being near streets, water play, riding in a car, biking, etc.)
  • Ways to prevent common childhood injuries (including poisoning)
  • Basic structures and functions of the human body
  • Symptoms of common illnesses; causes of diseases
  • Ways body defends against germs
  • Measures to prevent spread of disease
  • Practicing procedures for response to emergencies, including using telephone
  • Getting out of house or school in event of fire
  • Appropriate skills to identify, avoid, and cope with potentially dangerous situations
  • Identify safe behaviors around strangers
  • Harmful effects of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs on health
  • Understanding of human development and changes
  • Development of self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Respect and consideration for all individuals
  • Ways to identify, express, and manage feelings appropriately
  • Positive social practices with peers, in home, and community
  • Differences between tattling and reporting
  • Bullying, alternative behaviors to bullying, and appropriate responses to bullying
  • Strategies for resolving conflicts with peers and others
  • Skills for meeting people, making friends, and being a good friend
  • Getting personal support from family; communication with family
  • How and where to get help in making health decisions
Typical Course of Study arts


  • Perform and create artistic movements and patterns
  • Identify melody, rhythm, harmony, and timbre in musical selections
  • Respond to sounds and sound patterns with body movements
  • Improvise music with classroom instruments
  • Listen, describe, and respond to a variety of music
  • Read and write patterns with musical notes
  • Identify some common musical instruments by sight and sound
  • Identify some musical forms
  • Sing age-appropriate songs with accuracy from memory
  • Improvise dramatizations of stories or ideas
  • Take part in writing scripts, designing sets, and performing group dramas
  • Create costumes and props for a performance
  • Observe patterns in nature and works of art
  • Identify and describe elements in works of visual art (line, color, texture, shapes/form, space, value)
  • Create original works of visual art in various media and dimensions
  • Express observations, ideas, or feelings through music, drama, or visual art
  • Identify and discuss some well-known works of dance, drama, music, or visual arts and some artists, actors, writers, musicians, choreographers, or composers
  • Analyze a variety of works of dance, music, drama, and visual arts
  • Learn and use vocabulary of dance, music, drama, and visual arts
  • Describe techniques for a given form of art
  • Compare and contrast two works of art
  • Understand how culture affects art and how art reflects culture
  • Demonstrate appropriate audience skills for live artistic performances


  • Concepts, characteristics, and real-life uses of technology
  • Basic parts of technology systems and basic technological devices
  • Continued development of keyboard skills
  • Opening, closing, saving, sending, and storing files, applications, and programs
  • Effective use of available grade-level technology
  • Use of tools and devices to complete tasks and solve problems
  • Use of tools to produce creative original works
  • Use of tools to interact and exchange ideas with peers, teacher, parents, or other students
  • Use of tools and devices to develop cultural understanding
  • Use of tools to access information for an inquiry project
  • Exploring virtual environments, simulations, programs, models, and applications
  • Participation in group collaborative interactive projects and activities
  • Developing, printing, and publishing in print and digital formats
  • Evaluating content, applications, and programs
  • Digital citizenship, etiquette, fair use guidelines, and copyrights
  • Practice of safe online behavior
  • Responsible care of digital equipment
  • Positive attitudes toward technology for learning
  • Demonstrating openness to learning and using new technologies

Download World Book's Typical Course of Study