Third Grade

Third graders bring increased attention spans and capacity for inquiry to new learning opportunities this year, featuring activities ranging from student-led hand-puppet book reports and an afternoon of kite-flying while learning of its origins.

Our third grade homeroom teachers provide instruction in Language Arts, Math, and Social Studies.



Language Arts

  • Literary excerpts for reading discussion
  • Higher-level thinking skills of predicting, summarizing, comparing and evaluating
  • Spelling
  • Book reports with oral/written presentations
  • Composition/creative writing with proofreading
  • Vocabulary development
  • Listening and oral communication skills


  • Nationally-recognized Bridges math curriculum
  • Rigorous program encompassing use of strategies, number sense, critical thinking, and inquiry-based, hands-on learning activities
  • Addition/subtraction two digit and above numbers
  • Multiplication/division
  • Logical thinking and reasoning
  • Application of an equation to word problem; use of various methods to solve
  • Tables, graphs, fractions
  • Algebraic functions, basic geometry
  • Area and perimeter
  • Measurement
  • Number Corner daily math enrichment activities

Social Studies

  • Themes related to the traditions, cultural events and history of countries around the world
  • Comparing and contrasting lifestyles
  • Identifying map elements and understanding geographic terms



Students learn the fundamentals of performance during 4 weeks of rehearsing a full-length musical theater performance. Each student gains self-confidence by actively performing on the stage. The students' efforts culminate in a final production with two live performances for students and parents.

  • Learn memorization, characterization
  • Develop acting and performance skills including music and singing, timing and choreography
  • Recognize the values of team-building, goal-setting, and working toward a deadline
  • Activate creativity, imagination, empathy

Drama teacher, 4 week unit


Music at ACDS incorporates tonal instruments, dance, and voice in the Orff Program.

  • Basic music theory as a foundation for reading music
  • Integrate movement and dance while developing their voices and discovering the joy of singing
  • Learn the songs of our country and other cultures
  • Experience the beauty of great works of music and learn about the composers who wrote them
  • Learn to perform and create alone and with others

Music teacher, 1 class per week


In conjunction with their social studies curriculum, third grade art focuses on exploring rich cultural art traditions and practices around the world including:

  • 20th century American art
  • Ancient Greek art
  • The French Impressionists
  • Batik art from India
  • Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) traditions from Mexico
  • British traditional coat of arms

Art teacher, 2 classes per week


  • Incorporate coding with French history and culture
  • Learn basic computation in French (math integration)
  • Student-led activities and projects
  • Small group collaboration with technology
  • Oral dialogue and role-play
  • Integrate with Social Studies; French-speaking countries around the world
  • Learn about French family life, culture and traditions
  • Study of French Impressionist painters

French teacher, 2 classes per week


The following conceptual units are studied in third grade:

  • Sticky Burr, an investigation of our garden
  • Mapping the garden and the world
  • Designing hand pollinators
  • Physics of Angry Birds
  • Force and Motion Lego*
  • Building
  • Bridges and arches*
  • Build a house
  • The physics of sound
  • All elementary science units contain STEM elements and activities; however, those with asterisks have a particularly strong STEM focus.

Elementary science teacher, 3 classes per week


  • Interactive projectors, laptops, and iPads are available for small group work and collaboration on projects
  • Students learn how to use basic presentation word processing skills to better communication ideas and understanding, create stories, and learning games


Third grade students visit the library once a week. Our full-time librarian reads stories to the class, and students are encouraged to check out books to bring home.

Librarian, 1 class per week

Physical Education

  • Indoor aerobic sequences are taught using dance
  • The concept of pacing is introduced as running distances increase
  • Cooperative games how include strategic elements related to offensive and defensive positions

P.E. teacher, 3 classes per week


Third grade students visit the library once a week. Our full-time librarian reads stories to the class, and students are encouraged to check out books to bring home. Third graders do various research-based projects and use the library to find books to support their project.

Field Trips

Third grade students embark on one or more offsite field trips during the year such as the San Francisco Zoo.


Our All School Student Exhibition and Talent Showcase (ASSETS) has been a popular ACDS tradition for more than a decade. This three-day event is a lively celebration of student success and skills in a wide variety of activities. Each May, ASSETS exhibits and performances highlight school artwork, enrichment projects and unique performing talents of individual students and groups across the grade levels.

Other Experiential Learning

Kite Day

In the early Spring, students, teachers and parents gather on the playground to fly kites in conjunction with their study of China, where kites were originally made.

International Fair

International Fair is a culmination activity for third graders who have spent their year traveling the globe in the classroom. Across the continents, they’ve learned about culture, history, geography and literature. Students travel from booth to booth with passports to learn about the traditions, customs and food of various countries around the world. Proud parents and family members staff the booths and bring family heirlooms, old photographs and home-made food from their family’s heritage to share with the students.