Grade Three is marked by the physiological, psychological, and cognitive changes taking place during the ninth year. The child’s walk is firmer and more balanced, and the constitution is substantially stronger. Growth begins to focus more on the limbs and metabolism, and there is an increase in the breadth of the child’s trunk. At the same time, a significant step in self-awareness occurs during this year. The children are developing a strong sense of separation from their surroundings, perhaps for the first time. Feelings of being alone can contrast with a sense of wonder at seeing the world in a new way. These mixed feelings often lead to confusion and insecurity as questions of purpose and identity begin to emerge. There is a longing for increased independence and autonomy as the students moves into this new phase of childhood. They have a tendency to criticize and question authority as they seek to define themselves as individuals.Third graders are presented with the theme of “living on the earth.” While Main Lesson block topics range from Farming and Gardening to Measurement, each block is fully integrated with mathematics, social studies, music, visual art, movement, and language arts.
The images from Hebrew myths and folktales, with their laws and guidance, foster inner security during this unsettled period. Practical activities such as farming and house building help ground the children in the physical world. When the whole group works together on these activities, feelings of separateness can be transformed into feelings of responsibility for the whole. With their new interest in the practical, material world, the children can now apply the skills learned in the first two grades to a wide range of everyday situations like measuring, weighing, and cooking. Third graders explore the culture and dwellings of Native Americans as well as other native cultures from around the world. The children research and gain meaning about different cultures through story, literature, and experience.
The ‘beginning’ of all of our food sources is learned through the growth of food and food processing. Third graders plant and tend a garden, harvest and preserve, and cook. The class may grind wheat to make flour, process apples or wool, or learn the process for making maple syrup. The children learn the perseverance needed to work the land, and they come away with a greater understanding of the food we eat. The class may also learn about various artisans and their crafts. Community members are welcomed to share their craft and answer questions.
The students engage in daily recitations and speech work. They study creation stories as well as stories from cultures that developed numeric and measurement systems. Numerous poems and speech exercises are chosen by the teacher for the class to learn and recite. Through poetry, the children are exposed not only to quality literature, but also content related to science, social studies, and grammar. The children hear and read many stories relating to blocks and based on their interest. Students are asked to read aloud, and are also encouraged to read quietly in books of their choosing.
The third grade class continues to work with the four processes: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division as well as studying measurement systems in depth. They learn the origins of measurement systems and learn to make their own measurements tools. Measurement tools may then be used in a practical way through a building project.
Third grade students continue their foreign language study of Spanish, enjoy movement and physical education curriculum through Games and Movement, and continue painting, crayon drawing, clay modeling, knitting and crocheting.
Hebrew stories, Native American stories, Creation stories
Counting to 10,000
Regrouping in subtraction and addition
Measurement (distance and volume)
Habitats and house building
Games & Movement
"Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purchase and direction in their lives."