Elementary Science - Grade 3

 

Children exerimenting with force and motion.

(Image Courtesy of Creative Commons.)

A Work In Process

 

Essential Unit Outcomes

In this unit, our third grade scientists and engineers will

  • Explain what a process is.
  • Research possible solutions.
  • Design tests to assess the feasibility of solutions.
  • Establish criteria for testing the quality of play dough.
  • Design and implement controlled experiments to test, observe, and record the physical reactions between different play dough materials.
  • Identify and describe properties of matter.
  • Examine materials that appear similar to determine properties that can be examined to determine if the materials are the same.
  • Explore properties of materials to see how they contribute to mixtures.
  • Describe and classify  objects by their observable properties (e.g., visual, aural, textural), by their uses, and by whether they occur naturally or are manufactured.
  • Apply what they know about these materials to create a hypothesis (plan) for creating a mixture with certain properties (high quality play dough).
  • Analyze data to draw conclusions.
 Energy, Force and Motion
Essential Unit Outcomes
In this unit, our third grade scientists will
  • Cite evidence from observations to describe the motion of an object using position and speed.
  • Explain that changes in the ways objects move are caused by forces.
  • Recognize and describe that heat is transferred between objects that are at different temperatures.
  • Provide evidence that heat can be transferred in different ways.
  • Gather and question data from many different forms of scientific investigations which include reviewing appropriate print resources, observing what things are like or what is happening somewhere, collecting specimens for analysis, and doing experiments.
  • Seek better reasons for believing something than "Everybody knows that . . ." or "I just know" and discount such reasons when given by others.
  • Recognize that clear communication is an essential part of doing science because it enables scientists to inform others about their work, expose their ideas to criticism by other scientists, and stay informed about scientific discoveries around the world.
  • Develop designs and analyze the products: "Does it work?" "Could I make it work better?" "Could I have used better materials?"
 
Living Things
Essential Unit Outcomes
In this unit, our third grade scientists will
  • Explain how animals and plants can be grouped according to observable features.
  • Explore the world of minute living things to describe what they look like, how they live, and how they interact with their environment.
 
Planet Earth
Essential Unit Outcomes
In this unit, our third grade scientists will
  • Gather information and provide evidence about the physical environment, becoming familiar with the details of geological features, observing and mapping locations of hills, valleys, rivers, and canyons. 
  • Recognize and describe that water can be found as a liquid or a solid on the Earth’s surface and as a gas in the Earth’s atmosphere.
  • Recognize and describe that each season has different weather conditions. 
  • Gather and question data from many different forms of scientific investigations which include reviewing appropriate print resources, observing what things are like or what is happening somewhere, collecting specimens for analysis, and doing experiments.
  • Seek better reasons for believing something than "Everybody knows that . . ." or "I just know" and discount such reasons when given by others.
  • Recognize that clear communication is an essential part of doing science because it enables scientists to inform others about their work, expose their ideas to criticism by other scientists, and stay informed about scientific discoveries around the world.
  • Develop designs and analyze the products: "Does it work?" "Could I make it work better?" "Could I have used better materials?"
 
HELPFUL PARENT TIPS
  • Encourage your children to enjoy science. Help them believe that they are scientists!
  • Plan a family outing. As you travel, observe and talk about land forms.
  • Design a garden. Allow your child to plan every stage from measuring the area and selecting seeds to observing and charting the growth.
  • Read books, magazines and websites about science.
  • Take a trip to the Maryland Science Center.
  • Take trips to local nature/environmental centers.
  • Talk about how you and your family recycles.
  • For more parent tips visit the U.S. Department of Education Website, “Helping Your Child Learn Science.” http://www.ed.gov/parents/academic/help/science/brochure.html