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Science in Third Grade

Integrated Physical, Life, Earth and Space Science Exploration

Through the integrated science lens, students in Third Grade understand topics through a hands-on and inquiry-based approach in which they study concepts including the foundation of energy, waves (which includes light and sound), structure function and information processing, earth systems, and the processes that shape the Earth (including the history of the planet and plate tectonics). Additionally, as in all the other lower school science courses, the students explore ideas optimizing design solutions.

Units of study include:


  • Use evidence to construct an explanation relating the speed of an object to the energy of that object.
  • Make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents.
  • Ask questions and predict outcomes about the changes in energy that occur when objects collide.
  • Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another.

Internal and External Structures and Functions of Living Organisms

  • Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
  • Use a model to describe that animals receive different types of information through their senses, process the information in their brain, and respond to the information in different ways.

Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems

  • Construct an argument that some animals form groups that help members survive.
  • Develop models to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death.
  • Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence that plants and animals have traits inherited from parents and that variation of these traits exists in a group of similar organisms.

Earth Systems: Processes that Shape the Earth

  • Identify evidence from patterns in rock formations and fossils in rock layers to support an explanation for changes in a landscape over time.
  • Make observations and/or measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation.
  • Analyze and interpret data from maps to describe patterns of Earth’s features.
Lower School Science
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Lower School Science