Third Grade Curricula

  Newell Elementary School

        Grade Level Curriculum Overview


Innovamat Math Overview

Innovamat is a competency-based educational program for teaching and learning mathematics. Learning based on practices generates knowledge that is more solid, connected, critical, and long lasting; developing a comprehensive mathematical experience. Innovamat focuses on the processes of Problem Solving, Reasoning and Proof, Connections, and Communication and Representation. 

Students will build knowledge while exploring manipulative and digital materials, collaborate and discuss multiple ways to answer challenging questions, and strengthen strategies by working in meaningful contexts. 

Language Arts:


In our Launching Reading unit, students will build a positive and productive reading life--one which includes just-right books, goal-setting, and a commitment to volume.  They will improve their comprehension strategies (such as envisioning and predicting), and focus on reading fluently and with expression.

In our Nonfiction unit, students will learn to use the structures of nonfiction to help them identify main ideas and supporting details. Students will reteach content learned in nonfiction, and share their thoughts and ideas (which may differ from the author's) with other students. 

In our Mystery unit, students will learn strategies for comprehending and solving mysteries. They will identify the mystery, the crime solvers, potential suspects, motives, clues, red-herrings, and possible solutions. While doing so, students will engage in collaborations with partners, as well as self-reflection and goal setting. 

In our Characters unit, students will observe characters. They will study patterns of character behavior, and develop evidence-based theories and predictions. Students will follow a character across the arc of a story, and continue to watch and learn from the character's reaction to struggle. 

In our Research Clubs unit, students will form research clubs to preview/read text sets built around a specific topic. They will synthesize information from the set, teaching each other about the subtopics the books contain. Students will begin to build a domain-specific vocabulary, and be encouraged to share 'big thoughts' they have in response to text. 


Launching Writer’s Workshop - In this unit, students will be introduced the use of a writer's notebook as a tool, as they are not used in second grade. As they practice using this tool, they will be introduced to the structures and rhythms of Writer's Workshop.  Students will develop strategies to generate ideas in their notebooks, develop independence, and increase writing stamina by choosing to write in any genre.

Crafting True Stories - Students will craft "True Stories," or personal narratives, as a means to develop narrative writing strategies and increase independence as writers.  Students will practice skills such as adding dialogue, and strengthen the skill of elaboration to add more adjectives, adverbs, and stronger nouns and verbs.  

Adapting and Writing Fairy Tales- In this unit, students will first read a number of fairy tales, then generate a list of features and patterns they notice. They will be introduced to the idea of an 'adaptation,' and begin adapting the classic tale of Cinderella. Students will quickly realize that adapting the main character will require changing all of the other story elements to ensure cohesion. Students will plan, draft, and revise their version of the tale, acting out scenes as a platform for elaboration. 

The Art of Informational Writing - In this unit, students will aim to teach others about a topic in which they have expertise. They will create a table of contents as a planning tool, and rehearse various other text structures to solidify organization of their piece. As the unit progresses, students will study mentor texts for elaboration techniques, transitions, and craft moves. Students will be invited to try new techniques, transitions, and moves as they continue to draft, revise, and edit their final piece.

Literacy Essay - In this unit, students will study mentor literary essays on The Paper Bag Princess As they prepare to write their own. As the unit progresses, students will read the text King of the Playground and develop a claim, subsequently rereading and studying illustrations for evidence to support their claim. Students will write a literary essay, explaining their claim and arranging their evidence in order of importance.

Changing the World With Persuasive Speeches - Students will craft persuasive speeches as a means to develop opinion writing strategies and increase independence as writers. Writers will learn to write in ways that move others to action and new thinking.


Wilson Fundations is a systematic program in the foundational skills for reading and spelling, emphasizing phonemic awareness, phonics-word study, high frequency word study, fluency, vocabulary, handwriting, and spelling.


Motion and Matter- The Motion and Matter modules will allow students to build on their experiences with magnetic force, students explore other pushes and pulls, considering strength and direction and are introduced to the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces.

Structures of Life- The Structures of Life Module consists of four investigations dealing with big ideas in life science—plants and animals are organisms and exhibit a variety of strategies for life, organisms are complex and have a variety of observable structures and behaviors, organisms have varied but predictable life cycles and reproduce their own kind, and individual organisms have variations in their traits that may provide an advantage in surviving in the environment.

Water and Climate-  The Water and Climate module will allow students to explore the properties of water, the water cycle, and interactions between water and other earth materials. Students learn how humans use water as a natural resource. Students engage in science and engineering practices while investigating water, weather, and climate, and explore the crosscutting concepts of patterns; cause and effect; scale, proportion, and quantity; and systems and system models.

Social Studies:

Where In The World Is Our Community-Students learn where their community is located in the world. Students will create maps to their classroom as well as create a simple map to experience how these maps are helpful and how the terms that go along with the locations help. Students learn about geographic features on a globe such as the continents and oceans.They learn how explorers helped to prepare the way in finding new communities in North America. As we review the concept of a community, we will work together in Morning Meeting to learn how mindfulness activities can help students regulate their emotions and help them be a cooperative citizen in their community.

Where In The US is Our Community- Students learn how to use map skills by visiting various key landmarks in the United States. Students will learn the usefulness of compass directions and measurements of distance. Students will use a map and compass rose to locate their community, identify directions, and measure distances to other places. In addition, students will learn about the role of traditions, symbols, and values which unite people on a continent and in a single country.

What Is The Geography of Our Community- Students will learn how physical geography affect communities. Students will create, write and illustrate a travel brochure by learning terminology about physical geography. The brochure will be for three given communities and must include physical features, climate, and natural resources. They will then create a brochure on their own community. Students will also learn about how maps are made and use map grids and scales.

How Do People Become Part Of Our Country- Students learn about the immigrant experience. Students will describe the emotions they have felt after moving to a new place. We explore why people immigrate and the challenges they face immigrating to the United States. We look at the benefits and drawbacks of being an immigrant. For example, how people with disabilities were discriminated against when attempting to immigrate to the United States. Students will explore a family's decision to come to the United States and the personal story of a young girl's adjustment to life in her new country. Students will learn of the experiences during the Holocaust.

What Makes Our Community Diverse- Students learn how diverse cultures make contributions to life in our communities. Students are introduced to aspects of culture. We explore cultural diversity by looking at the contributions of different cultures in foods, languages, holidays, and traditions. Students learn there are many different family structures in our community. Students brainstorm additional contributions. In addition, they will discover cultural diversity among three historical American Indian communities and identify artifacts representative of these three cultures. Finally, students will share an item and present it to the class that represents their own cultural diversity.

Characteristics of a Successful Learner: In this area NES staff focuses on teaching students to be–

Effective Communicators by listening attentively and speaking 

clearly with appropriate volume.

Self-Directed Learners by taking initiative and works independently,

uses time effectively, and preservers in task completion.

Collaborative Team Member by working cooperatively with peers,is

respectful of  the ideas, rights and feelings of others.

Creative and Practical Problem Solver by taking learning risks and 

Considers multiple solutions to problems.

Mindfulness: Focuses on empowering students to:

develop self-awareness tools

develop self-management tools

to be calm

to be focused

to be connected

to be energetically balanced

These skills are taught through breath, movement and mindfulness practices in order for students to be ready to learn.