Third Grade Curriculum

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District 205 recently adopted a Standards Based Curriculum in the Fall of 2016. This curriculum is called Schoolwide and divided into four units that are taught throughout the year. Each Unit of Study Includes the following:


  • Focus Standards
  • Targets made of multiple standards
  • Formative and summative assessments
  • Anchor and suggested texts
  • Examples of  academic vocabulary

The strands of reading, writing, listening/speaking, language standards are interrelated and call for integration of the strands to develop together and be mutually supportive. 


Trimester 1

  • Launching Unit -students are introduced to the reading workshop model. They will learn about whole group mini-lessons, partner/independent work, guided reading groups, 1:1 conferencing, and reflection.
  • Fiction Unit - students will read fiction mentor texts with teacher support and identify character traits, setting, theme, and main ideas related to the stories presented.

Trimester 2

  • Informational Unit- students will look at biographies, literary nonfiction, and reference books. They will identify with nonfiction text features and determine the differences among these three types of nonfiction texts. 

Trimester 3

  • Government- Students will learn about the history of how the United States became its own country free from British rule. They will learn about important historical figures as well as identify how our government is divided. 


The State Standards require students to:

  1. Analyze and interpret complex text
  2. Engage in rich evidence-based conversations about text
  3. Critically think and question
  4. Communicate with clarity about a text
  5. Select and create texts for different needs and purposes
  6. Interact with and utilize digital technologies and contexts for a variety of purposes
  7. Develop personal identities as communicators and literate individuals
  8. Appreciate reading and writing across genres


Below are a few links that provide lists of book suggestions for independent reading.  These sites are helpful because they recommend books by genre interests, as well as age-appropriate suggestions.

Have fun curling up to a great book!

Elmhurst Public Library Booklists 


Words Their Way® is a program that takes a developmental approach to phonics, spelling and vocabulary instruction. It provides K-12 teachers with instruction and word lists that correlate to students’ developmental stage of word study.

There are 5 Targeted Levels for the Words Their Way Program

  • Emergent
  • Letter Name
  • Within Word Pattern
  • Syllables and Affixes
  • Derivational Relations



Below is a link that will provide our students with skill based practice that can enhance their abilities with a variety of reading skills.  Review your child's RIT band scores from the MAP Assessment data that you have received.  Simply, click on this link and have the students click on the RIT band number range that matches your child's scores.  As your child masters skills by practicing the different lessons and games, allow your child to move on to the next RIT band to practice higher level skills.  Please note that not all of these games have been reviewed entirely by our staff, some of them are subject to exposing advertisements.  As always, please make sure you are reviewing the websites your child is visiting.

MAP Reading Skill Practice


Lucy Calkins writing program was adopted by District 205 in 2014. This program is a balanced approach that includes different models of presentation to accommodate all learners. The workshop model includes:

  • a whole group mini lesson
  • independent practice
  • individual conferencing with the teacher
  • group conferencing targeting a specific strategy/goal
  • presentation of writing pieces (celebrations)

The three main units in third grade are:

  1. Narrative
  2. Informational 
  3. Opinion 




  • make sense of never-before-seen, “messy” problems and persevere in solving them.
  • construct viable arguments using mathematics and statistics and critique the reasoning of others.

It is broken down into the following segments:

  • Fluency Practice - less than 10 minutes a day with a focus on flexible number sense
  • Application - novel application of math concepts is expected from all students
  • Concept Development - develop existing mathematical skills or encounter a new one
  • Student Debrief - reflect on the day’s learning, includes an exit ticket the teacher uses to diagnose future learning needs


  • Module - unit of study, does not necessarily match each D205 unit number. Third grade's first unit of study is however Module 1. 
  • Most units will have a preassessment, a mid-module-assessment in the middle of the unit and an end-of-module-assessment at the end. Some units have no mid-module-assessment because they are short.
  • Preassessments allow teachers to diagnose advanced learners and also to measure learning growth for all students. Performance on preassessments is usually not communicated to parents because of their diagnostic nature.



FunBrain Tic-Tac-Toe


Here is a game to practice estimating when adding and subtracting numbers!

AAA Math Estimation


Here are some great sites for practice with money!


Below are links the students can review and practice to assist them with their understanding of POLYGONS!

Below are links the students can review and practice to assist them with their understanding of SYMMETRY!

Below is a link the students can review and practice to assist them with their understanding of TRANSFORMATIONS!


We are so excited to tell you about a new social-emotional learning program we’ll be doing with your students this year called The Nora Project Primer Pack. The Nora Project’s mission is to teach empathy by sparking friendships between students and their peers with disabilities. Through the Primer Pack, students are introduced to a variety of topics which will help them to develop meaningful relationships with their peers of all abilities.  

The Primer Pack aims to teach students the critical skill and value of empathy while also normalizing difference and demystifying disability. As you undoubtedly know, empathy is defined as “the ability to understand how someone else is feeling or to understand the situation they are in.” Knowing what empathy means is one thing; putting it into practice is another. Many believe that empathy is a character trait you either have or you don’t, but studies show that talking about kindness, role-modeling altruism, and practicing teamwork positively impact character development and cultivate empathetic students and supportive, connected communities. The Primer Pack lays the foundation for these all-important empathy skills by providing students with opportunities to identify as “includers,” or individuals who demonstrate kindness, empathy, and emotional literacy towards others.

The Primer Pack is a one-year program including weekly lessons which address the following learning     outcomes:

Outcome 1: Students Will Develop Emotional Literacy

  • Students learn about how to recognize and label emotions in themselves and others. They practice emotional regulation strategies and learn about how using a growth mindset can improve their relationships.

Outcome 2: Students Will Recognize Emotion in Peers and Begin to Understand Empathy

  • Students develop an understanding of the definition of empathy and learn about how to show empathy toward others. They learn that all people have similarities and differences and that empathy should be and can be extended to all people of all abilities.

Outcome 3: Students Will Demonstrate Ways to Be a Good Friend

  • Armed with an understanding of empathy, students begin to think about their relationships with their peers and what it means to be a good friend. They learn that being a good friend means being inclusive and adapting their behaviors or activities to include everyone.

Outcome 4: Students Will Recognize That Differences Make Us Who We Are and Develop Skills to Interact Respectfully With People of All Abilities

  • Students receive explicit instruction about visible and invisible disabilities in an effort to normalize difference and demystify disability. Students learn that disability is one part of human diversity.




The websites below will give the students  interactive practice by using and identifying simple machines.

Goldburger to Go!

EdHeads Simple Machines


Let's Explore the Nine Planets

Kid-friendly version of The Nine Planets (see below).

Solar System

Explore the solar system through interactive links where you can find statistics, size comparisons and how much you weigh on each planet?

**Star Child: The Solar System

Listen and Learn with NASA.  This site was created for elementary students.  For more detailed information select Level 2.

Welcome to the Planets

Great images of the planets.  Includes RealAudio or MP3 Audio of text.

Zoom Astronomy

Student friendly content.  Brief information, statistical tables and good graphics.  Beware of the advertising banner at the top of the page.

Fun Activities

NASA Kids Club
Have a little fun playing games as you learn about the Solar System.

NASA Play and Learn
Have a little fun playing games as you learn about the Solar System.

NASA Space Place

Learn about astronomy as you play games or make craft projects.

Starchild: Where, Oh Where Does That Little Object Go?
Identify the planets rotating  around the Sun.

Social Studies


  • Economics
  • Geography

  • Culture
  • Chicago History


District 205 uses the TCI Our Community and Beyond and Communities Here and There program. There is also a focus on geography. The district principles behind this curriculum are based on the program:

  1. Engaging students with compelling questions
  2. Hands-on geography lessons
  3. Online student texts from Grades 2-5
  4. Online resources for teachers and students
  5. Incorporating technology
  6. Engaging and interactive activities for students of all ages that encourage and support rich discussions

Our three units are as follows: 

  • Trimester 1 - Economics 
  • Trimester 2 - Culture 
  • Trimester 3- Immigration

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