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
  • Create and fly kites in conjunction with science
  • International Fair 



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. Third graders do various research-based projects and use the library to find books to support their project.

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

Field Trips

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