Third Grade Specials

NFS Curriculum Update :: April, 2014


Third grade artists will step into spring exploring the art of Asia. We will be connecting to their social studies cureiculum and to the world around us in new and exciting ways beginning with a trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Later we will investigate the traditions, use and kinds of masks from many different areas of Asia and students will create their own unique work of art.


Third grade will continue reading folktales, comparing variations of well-known fairy tales. We will discuss plot, character, setting and theme in traditional tales and in their modern retellings. We will read Chicken Sunday, an Easter story. At the end of the month students will complete a library scavenger hunt to assess their ability to identify and locate library resources using the online catalog and their knowledge of the Dewey Decimal System.


The third graders have completed their unit on world music and have moved on to a music theory review. This month we will be finishing up our review on rhythm, and adding on a review of the musical staff and reading notes in treble clef. We be playing lots of games!


In physical education class we will continue to develop our physical fitness and work on muscular strength with a focus on core. Our floor hockey unit begins with learning and practicing the skills of stick handling, passing and shooting. Students will develop individual skills used in game play. As the weather warms, PE class will move outside for activities like Capture the Diamond and Charlie Brown & the Pumpkin Patch. We will also introduce new games this month called Hoop House Attack, Pin Ball and Boom Ball.


In April, students start learning about fossils. They are introduced to terminology such as body fossils, mold fossils, and trace fossils. Then students have the opportunity to look at 12 different types of fossils, such as fossilized fish and ferns, trilobites, petrified wood, bones, shark teeth and brachiopods. Students will touch and look at each fossil, and will be then given an extended time to observe their favorite fossil and record their observations. Students will create a fossil of their own using plaster of paris. The culminating activity of the geology unit will be to test a rock of their own choosing and using all the knowledge they have learned, be able to figure out what kind it is. The “Rock Study” poster will be displayed in the hallway for all to see. We end the month by revisiting our life cycles unit. Hopefully the weather will be beautiful so we can observe our tree as spring makes everything bloom. We will also watch seeds germinate in the classroom and learn about seeds and their parts. The favorite activity of the year, and the most talked about experience is to watch and record our own caterpillar as they start and change during their lifecycle. In May, we have a butterfly release party.


In April we will add some food vocabulary to our knowledge base to expand the things we are able to say we like and dislike. Third grade will participate in many activities designed to push them to speak in Spanish and to ask/answer questions in the target language. At the close of the month, in keeping with the third grade social studies curriculum we will also begin to explore the countries of Latin America by learning country names, capitals, geographic locations, etc. This provides much practice with reading and correct pronunciation. A great way to recycle questions we’ve learned about asking where someone is from, an opportunity to learn some geographic/map/directional terms in Spanish (north, south, east, west, beside, below, above, to the north of…etc. As usual we will continue to review previously learned vocabulary and push ourselves to grow in all four language skill areas: reading, writing, listening and speaking.

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