What Is Taught In Third Grade?

Written by Dan

As you watch your child enter third grade, you may feel a mix of emotions – excitement for their newfound independence and ability to tackle more complex subjects, as well as uncertainty about what is taught in this next stage of elementary school. Third grade is full of new challenges and opportunities that teach important lessons beyond the classroom.

Whether it’s discovering creative writing techniques or exploring scientific concepts like force and motion, plenty of exciting experiences await your curious third grader! From hands-on activities that make learning fun to age-appropriate projects that give them the confidence to move forward with life skills, let’s explore what is typically taught in third grade .

What Maths Is Taught In Third Grade?

In third grade, students usually focus on mastering the basics of arithmetic and building a solid foundation in mathematics. This includes deepening their understanding of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division and applying these skills to solve real-life problems.

Some common topics covered in the third-grade math curriculum include:

  • Place Value: Understanding the value of digits in numbers up to three digits.
  • Addition and Subtraction: Adding and subtracting multi-digit numbers with regrouping.
  • Multiplication and Division: Basic multiplication and division facts up to 10×10, as well as understanding the relationship between multiplication and division.
  • Fractions: Identifying and comparing fractions and using fractions in real-life situations.
  • Measurement: Understanding units of measurement for time, length, weight, and capacity, as well as converting between different units.
  • Geometry: Identifying and classifying 2D and 3D shapes, understanding symmetry, and measuring angles.

Overall, third-grade math aims to help students develop a strong basic math fluency while introducing more complex concepts and real-world problem-solving skills.

What English Is Taught In Third Grade?

In third grade, students build their reading and writing skills and expand their vocabulary. The English curriculum for third grade includes a variety of topics and skills, such as:

Reading skills:

  • Developing fluency in reading, including the ability to read aloud accurately and automatically recognize frequently used words.
  • Understanding and retelling stories and non-fiction texts, identifying the main idea, and making connections to personal experiences.
  • Identifying and using text features such as headings, subheadings, bold and italicized words, and captions to better understand the text.
  • Making predictions, asking and answering questions, and summarizing what they read.

Writing skills:

  • Writing complete sentences with proper punctuation, capitalization and grammar.
  • Using descriptive words and phrases to write more complex sentences.
  • Writing paragraphs with main ideas and supporting details.
  • Writing different types of texts, such as narratives, expository, and persuasive writing.

Vocabulary skills:

  • Learning and using new words in both spoken and written language.
  • Identifying synonyms, antonyms, and homophones.
  • Understanding and correctly using nouns, verbs, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, and prepositions.
  • Using context clues to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words.

Third-grade English aims to develop students’ literacy skills, including reading comprehension and fluency, vocabulary, and writing proficiency.

What Science Is Taught In Third Grade?

In third grade, students begin to explore the world of science, focusing on life science, earth science, and physical science. The science curriculum for third grade covers a range of topics and skills, such as:

Life Science:

  • Identifying and describing the life cycles of different species, such as plants and animals.
  • Understanding the characteristics of living things and their basic survival needs.
  • Learning about diverse ecosystems and the interdependence of living and non-living things in those ecosystems.

Earth Science:

  • Understanding the different types of rocks, their properties, and how they are formed.
  • Identifying and classifying different soil types and understanding dirt’s role in plant growth.
  • Learning about natural disasters and their effects on living things and the environment.

Physical Science:

  • Understanding the properties of matter, such as mass, volume, and density.
  • Identifying the different states of matter and learning how they can change from one state to another.
  • Learning about energy and its various forms, including light, heat, and sound.

Third-grade science aims to support students in developing scientific thinking skills by encouraging them to observe, ask questions, make predictions, conduct investigations, collect and analyze data, and draw conclusions about the natural world.

What Social Studies Is Taught In Third Grade?

In third grade, students focus on developing an understanding of social studies concepts and skills, including history, geography, economics, and civic engagement. The social studies curriculum for third grade encompasses a variety of topics, such as:


  • Studying significant figures and events in U.S. history, such as Christopher Columbus, the Pilgrims, and the American Revolution.
  • Identifying the causes and effects of historical events and understanding chronology and timelines.
  • Learning about the contributions of historical groups and cultures, such as Native Americans and African Americans.


  • Understanding maps and globes to identify locations and explore the world.
  • Studying the physical and cultural characteristics of different regions and countries.
  • Learning about different types of communities, such as urban, suburban, and rural areas.


  • Understanding the basic economics concepts, such as supply and demand, goods, and services.
  • Learning about the role of money and how it is earned, spent, and used to save.
  • Understanding the concept of entrepreneurship and its importance in the economy.

Civic Engagement:

  • Developing an understanding of democratic values and citizenship.
  • Learning about the importance of laws and rules and the role of government in protecting citizens.
  • Understanding the importance of diversity and respect for different cultures and beliefs.

Third-grade social studies aim to develop students’ knowledge of society, culture, and the world and encourage them to apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they learn to become informed and engaged citizens.

What Humanities Is Taught In Third Grade?

It’s not common to have a different humanities course in third grade, but some schools might integrate aspects of humanities into their language arts or social studies curriculum.

Humanities generally refer to studying human culture, including art, literature, history, philosophy, and languages. Students might explore some aspects of these fields in third grade through various activities. For example:


  • Learning about different art styles, such as impressionism or abstract art, and creating their artworks using other mediums.
  • Studying the works of famous artists and talking about what they communicate.


  • Reading various books and stories, including fables, myths, and legends.
  • Analyzing the elements of stories, such as plot, character, and setting.
  • Learning how to read for meaning and answering comprehension questions.



  • Teaching the concepts of right and wrong and how to apply them to daily life.
  • Discussing ethical and moral dilemmas and the importance of making good choices.


  • Learning essential vocabulary words in a second language.
  • Understanding the different sounds and sentence structures of other languages.

Integrating aspects of humanities into a third-grade curriculum aims to develop students’ imagination, creativity, and critical thinking skills while fostering their appreciation for diverse expressions of human culture.

Learning the material covered in the third grade is essential if students want to prepare for future learning. A thorough understanding of materials like multiplication, grammar, phonics, science and social studies will lay the foundation for their academic success.

Third-grade students must also be equipped with essential skills such as writing, researching knowledge and thinking critically to be well prepared to advance to fourth grade and beyond. Reading should be a constant practice because this is key to comprehension and expanding their understanding.

Parents also play an important role by encouraging their children with positive reinforcement and helping them stay motivated. In summary, the third grade can instil lifelong lessons that benefit all students no matter what educational path they choose to take. So come out and join us at our website –we have plenty more helpful articles that we know you’ll enjoy reading!

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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