3rd Grade


The third grade religion series Faith First focuses on a deeper understanding of the sacraments, liturgical seasons, commandments, saints and Sacred Scripture. Third grade participates in the planning of selected Masses and daily devotionals. Students are challenged to find Bible passages and are required to take the Diocesan Religion Exam second semester.


Our reading series at St. Mary’s is Macmillan McGraw-Hill and it utilizes a guided reading program so that each student is able to succeed at his or her reading level. The students continue to study the rules of English grammar, punctuation, capitalization, and syntax for both written and oral contexts. Students use daily oral language and literature circles to extend the learning experience. Spelling is incorporated in writing as separate lists that are tested as themed units. The spelling and vocabulary words are also reinforced as part of reading tests. Students are challenged to use research skills such as the dictionary and encyclopedia. Letter writing, sentence structure, parts of speech and reading for content are emphasized. Students participate in daily journaling and “Flying Horse” as an extension to their writing. Social studies and science are integrated into the curriculum, as well as art and poetry. Reading comprehension skills are tested at the completion of each unit. Overall, the curriculum challenges our students to grow in reading comprehension and writing proficiency.


Instructional time should focus on four critical areas:

(1) Developing understanding of multiplication and division and strategies for multiplication and division within 100;
(2) Developing understanding of fractions, especially unit fractions (fractions with numerator 1);
(3) Developing understanding of the structure of rectangular arrays and of area; and
(4) Describing and analyzing two-dimensional shapes.

Operations and Algebraic Thinking

  • Represent and solve problems involving multiplication and division.
  • Understand properties of multiplication and the relationship between multiplication and division.
  • Multiply and divide within 100.
  • Solve problems involving the four operations, and identify and explain patterns in arithmetic.

Number and Operations in Base Ten

  • Use place value understanding and properties of operations to perform multi-digit arithmetic.
  • Number and Operations—Fractions
  • Develop understanding of fractions as numbers.

Measurement and Data

  • Solve problems involving measurement and estimation of intervals of time, liquid volumes, and masses of objects.
  • Represent and interpret data.
  • Geometric measurement: understand concepts of area and relate area to multiplication and to addition.
  • Geometric measurement: recognize perimeter as an attribute of plane figures and distinguish between linear and area measures.


  • Reason with shapes and their attributes.


Third grade science explores classifying animals, the skeletal, muscular, digestive and nervous systems of the human body through activities, internet research and experiments. The third grade participates in the University of Illinois Extension “Chick It Out” program and Prairie State study units. Study includes appropriate field trips to enhance curriculum.


The third grade social studies focuses on the history of the exploration of the United States by our forefathers. Students will use mapping skills, charts, graphs, and diagrams. Continuing their development of study skills, third grade will study in-depth comprehensive units on the state of Illinois and immigration that includes: research, written reports, and oral presentations. Local, state and national government analysis is included as part of the third grade curriculum.

McGraw-Hill National Geographic is the text used.


Students will be introduced to the elements of the visual arts. These include: line, shape, color, value, texture, form, and space. Students will do exercises that will help them understand how these elements are used to create works of visual art. Exercises include mixing colors/paints, rendering objects, sculpting from clay, and using one-point perspective.


In third grade, students continue singing, reinforcing steady beat concepts, playing instruments, and rhythm patterns. Rhythms of ties and single eighth notes and eighth rests are introduced. Dynamics are developed, and the understanding that high and low is different than low and soft. Musical motion and direction is developed. A unit of musical games from different cultures is included.


The physical education curriculum has five focus areas:  locomotor skills, manipulative skills, physical fitness, moving rhythmically, and cooperative learning. Students learn and practice skills such as balancing, jumping rope, tumbling, striking, kicking, throwing, catching, and dribbling. Students are expected to apply rules and safety procedures in physical activities. Fitness principles are taught and practiced through daily cardiovascular, strength, and stretching routines.  Sportsmanship is addressed and practiced. Exercise/equipment safety procedures are demonstrated.


Students meet two days a week for 30 minutes. The curriculum uses the Risas y Sonrisas program which utilizes CD-DVD programs to instruct spanish. Students will be expected to:

1) know terminiology for: colors, numbers, basic vocabulary
2) Sing basic songs to reinforce vocabulary
3) Begin to understand spanish orally


Third grade computers/technology curriculum focuses on expanding and building upon computers/technology terminology along with using age-appropriate software. Students learn the punctuation keys and build upon their accuracy and speed.  Second graders learn the alphabet keys and type 10-15 words per minute with 90% accuracy. 

  • Word Processing Software – create basic reports, spellchecker, deleting text and navigating through documents
  • Spreadsheet Software - Expand upon concepts by including more formulas and charts
  • Presentation Software - Expanding upon adding slides, background, transitions, and custom animation
  • Internet – Using as a research tool to complete scavenger hunts
  • Internet Safety