3rd Grade Lesson Ideas

Using Seesaw

*All standards reference the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills from February 2017.

ELA Activities

  • Standard: 3 - Students read grade-level text with fluency and comprehension. Students are expected to read aloud grade-level appropriate text with fluency (rate, accuracy, expression, appropriate phrasing) and comprehension. Activity: Students can: 1) get with a buddy so that Partner A read a book while Partner B films the text in the book (there's a 5 minute limit if recording with Seesaw, but students could use the built-in camera app on their device to record and then import the video to Seesaw from the camera roll if more time is needed) -OR- 2) take pictures of each page in a book, put those pictures into Shadow Puppet Edu, record themselves reading the text over the top of the pictures, save the project to the camera roll, and then import the video file into Seesaw from the camera roll.
  • Standard: 8(A) - Sequence and summarize the plot's main events and explain their influence on future events. Activity: Students can sequence the main events of a story using Popplet Lite. Export the timeline to the camera roll and import the image into Shadow Puppet Edu. Use the voice narration, zoom, and "magic wand" feature to narrate the timeline, explaining each event and its influence on future events. Save the video file to the camera roll, and then import the final project into Seesaw.
  • Standard: 12 - Students analyze, make inferences and draw conclusions about the author's purpose in cultural, historical, and contemporary contexts and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding. Students are expected to identify the topic and locate the author's stated purposes in writing the text. Activity: The teacher can create a prompt in Recap that asks students to analyze, make inferences, and draw conclusions about an assigned piece of literature. The teacher can drop the link and/or class PIN into Seesaw. Students can then: 1) click the link within Seesaw on a computer and record their video reaction to the prompt, -OR- use the PIN in Seesaw to access the class via the Recap iOS app before recording their video reaction within Recap.
  • Standard: 13(C) - Identify explicit cause and effect relationships among ideas in texts. Activity: In Popplet, create a series of timeline-like chains that show multiple causes and their effects from a piece of literature. Save the image to the camera roll, import into Seesaw, and use the built-in voice narration to explain the thinking behind each cause and effect chain before turning into the Seesaw journal.
  • Standard: 14 - Students analyze, make inferences and draw conclusions about persuasive text and provide evidence from text to support their analysis. Students are expected to identify what the author is trying to persuade the reader to think or do. Activity: The teacher can create an AnswerGarden and drop the link into Seesaw. Then, the teacher can introduce students a variety of persuasive text, giving students time to contribute their inferences and conclusions to the AnswerGarden. Discuss the most commonly-submitted answers from the AnswerGarden (these will be the answers that are largest on the screen) and have students provide evidence from the text to support their claim. Clear the AnswerGarden and repeat with a new piece of text.
  • Standard: 17(D) and (E) - Edit drafts for grammar, mechanics, and spelling using a teacher-developed rubric; and publish written work for a specific audience. Activity: Students can write their first draft on paper or using an online tool, such as Google Docs. Import the first draft into Seesaw (either by taking a photo of the paper or dropping in the link to the document). Students can copy/edit their own work or their peers' work, annotate over the top of it to make edits, and even add voice narration to explain their changes before turning back in to Seesaw.

Math Activities

  • Standard: 2(D) - Compare and order whole numbers up to 100,000 and represent comparisons using the symbols >, <, or =. Activity: Give each student a device with Whiteboard Lite. Allow students to connect to a partner in the room using the Wifi Connect feature. Students can take turns: Partner A writes two numbers between 0-100,000, and Partner B compares them using less than, greater than, or equal to. Take screenshots of each round. After 4-6 rounds, students can import the screenshots into Pic Collage, save the collage to the camera roll, and import the work into their Seesaw journal for the teacher to review.
  • Standard: 3 - The student applies mathematical process standards to represent and explain fractional units. Activity: Students can use the built-in whiteboard, voice narration, imported photos of manipulatives, image annotation, and even app-smashing to demonstrate knowledge of fractions before turning in to their Seesaw journal.
  • Standard: 4(A), (E), (G), and (K) - solve with fluency one-step and two-step problems involving addition and subtraction within 1,000 using strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and the relationship between addition and subtraction; represent multiplication facts by using a variety of approaches such as repeated addition, equal-sized groups, arrays, area models, equal jumps on a number line, and skip counting; use strategies and algorithms, including the standard algorithm, to multiply a two-digit number by a one-digit number. Strategies may include mental math, partial products, and the commutative, associative, and distributive properties; AND solve one-step and two-step problems involving multiplication and division within 100 using strategies based on objects; pictorial models, including arrays, area models, and equal groups; properties of operations; or recall of facts. Activity: Students can use the built-in whiteboard to draw and solve various math problems with a stylus or finger. Use the recording feature to record the student's voice and writing simultaneously so the student can explain his/her thinking along the way.
  • Standard: 6(A) and (B) - Classify and sort 2D and 3D figures based on attributes using formal geometric language, and use attributes to recognize rhombuses, parallelograms, trapezoids, rectangles, and squares as examples of quadrilaterals and draw examples of quadrilaterals that do not belong to any of these subcategories. Activity: The teacher can create a Padlet, and then drop the link to the Padlet into Seesaw. Students can retrieve the link from Seesaw, take pictures of 2D and 3D shapes, upload them to the Padlet, and move them around on the screen to sort into two categories. Students can also use an external drawing app (such as Whiteboard Lite or Doodle Buddy) to draw an example of a quadrilateral that does not belong in any subcategory and then upload it to the Padlet. Afterward, students can take a screenshot of the Padletd and upload it into their personal Seesaw journal along with a voice narrative that explains the attributes (using formal geometric language) of each category.
  • Standard: 8(A) and (B) - Summarize a data set with multiple categories using a frequency table, dot plot, pictograph, or bar graph with scaled intervals; and solve one- and two-step problems using categorical data represented with a frequency table, dot plot, pictograph, or bar graph with scaled intervals. Activity: Students can create their own graph to represent a given set of data (use a drawing app such as Whiteboard Lite or Doodle Buddy). Export the image to the camera roll and import into Seesaw. Students can include a caption with a question (that they make up) regarding the data. Afterward, students can add voice comments to their peers' work to solve the data questions.

Science Activities

  • Standard: 2 - The student uses scientific inquiry methods during laboratory and outdoor investigations. Activity: In any experiment or investigation, students can use the built-in digital notebook paper or built-in camera or video recorder to record oral, written, or pictorial observations. Students could also app-smash with Shadow Puppet Edu (by creating a picture slideshow), Padlet or Popplet (by creating a brainstorm wall or web), or Pic Collage (by creating a collage of images), importing into Seesaw through the camera roll, and [optionally] adding voice narration to explain the data.
  • Standard: 5(C) and (D) - Predict, observe, and record changes in the state of matter caused by heating or cooling; and explore and recognize that a mixture is created when two materials are combined such as gravel and sand and metal and plastic paper clips. Activity: Students can take before/after pictures of the matter, import them into Pic Collage to create a side-by-side "before and after" view, save the image to the camera roll, and then import into Seesaw. Add voice narration over the top of the image to explain the changes between the two sides of the photo collage.
  • Standard: 9(B) - Identify and describe the flow of energy in a food chain and predict how changes in a food chain affect the ecosystem such as removal of frogs from a pond or bees from a field. Activity: Students can brainstorm a food chain of their choice and draw each step in a drawing app (such as Whiteboard Lite or Doodle Buddy). Save each image to the camera roll, then import the images into a slideshow in Shadow Puppet Edu. Students can add voice narration to describe each step of the food chain, including its energy source. End the video with an explanation of what might happen if one or more parts of this food chain were missing. Save the video to the camera roll, and upload the final project to Seesaw.

Social Studies Activities

  • Standard: 1(B) and (C) - Identify individuals who have helped to shape communities, and describe how individuals have contributed to the expansion of existing communities or to the creation of new communities. Activity: Students can choose an individual to research. After researching, students can import a picture of the person into Chatterpix and describe how that individual has helped shape, create, and contribute to communities. Save the video file to the camera roll and import into Seesaw.
  • Standard: 3 - The student understands the concepts of time and chronology. Activity: Students can: 1) use a free timeline creator on a computer (such as this one by SoftSchools) to generate a timeline of a famous person's life or a historical event. When finished, the student can take a screenshot of the timeline, go to Seesaw's website, and upload the image to their journal from the computer. -OR- use Popplet (either the app or on the website -- on a computer) to create a timeline, including photos and/or drawings. When finished, students can save the image of their timeline to the camera roll and import that photo to Seesaw. -OR- students can use a specialized timeline app (such as RWT Timeline) on an iPad to create their timeline. Then either save the project as an image that is then imported into Seesaw from the camera roll -or- copy the link to the finished project to the clipboard and paste into the Seesaw journal from the link feature.
  • Standard: 5(A) - Use cardinal and intermediate directions to locate places on maps and globe in relation to the local community. Activity: Students can use the built-in maps to display various places in our state, country, and world in a Shadow Puppet Edu slideshow. Add voice narration to identify places and explain their location relative to our city with appropriate geographical terms. Save the video file to the camera roll, and then import the finished project into Seesaw.
  • Standard: 6(B) - Create a simple budget that allocates money for spending, saving, and donating. Activity: In an Excel document or Google Sheet, students can create a budget (you can use this sample, provided by PBS Kids, or create your own). Then students can upload the final document, screenshot of the document, or link to the document into their Seesaw journal.
  • Standard: 11(A) - identify characteristics of good citizenship. Activity: The teacher can create an AnswerGarden that asks students for characteristics of good citizenship and drop the link to the AnswerGarden into Seesaw. Give students 3-5 minutes to add as many characteristics as possible. (The AnswerGarden will generate a word cloud of answers, where the most-submitted answers will appear largest on the screen.) Use the word cloud as a discussion-starter about this TEK.

All Subjects

Tricks or activities you can use in all subject areas include:


  • Getting images to students (so they don't have to conduct Google searches on their own!): AirDrop the image to [newer] student iOS devices -OR- place the image(s) in a folder in the cloud (Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.) and provide students with the link or access to the folder so they can download a copy.
  • Directing students to instructional videos: Find the video in YouTube, filter it through SafeShare or ViewPure, and drop the final link in Seesaw.
  • Guiding students toward a particular link: Drop the link in Seesaw. The link will open within Seesaw (on an iOS app) or in a new tab (on a computer) so the student doesn't have to navigate to the URL on his/her own.
  • Presentations: Students can record themselves with Seesaw's built-in video recorder for up to 5 minutes, -OR- you can app-smash with another presentation tool such as Shadow Puppet Edu, Padlet, ThingLink, Chatterpix, Pic Collage, or Popplet Lite. As long as you can save the final project to the camera roll or take a screenshot of it, students can import the assignment into Seesaw to turn in.

More Resources


For more lesson ideas, check these resources: