3rd Grade Lessons

Third grade is a very thrilling year filled with many new concepts to learn. Below you will find a variety of lesson plans to help guide your instruction. In order to help you integrate these lessons into your existing curriculum, many of the lessons are aligned to the Common Core State Standards. These lessons are the work of the talented teachers from our Teacher.org community. With that said, the third grade lessons plans will continuously grow as more teachers submit their work. Contact us if you would like to submit lessons. You have the power to inspire our future!

3rd Grade Arts Lesson Plans

Art Outside

Length of Time: 30-40 Minutes

In this visual and performing arts lesson, students will explore their artistic skills while becoming more connected with nature. Students will look for fallen plants outside or in the garden and they will use them in the classroom to make art.

Bugs and Design

Length of Time: About 45 Minites

This lesson is designed to help students use their skills to analyze art elements and various principles of design.

Camouflage and Environment

Length of Time: 30 Minutes

Students will make butterflies of various colors and then they will experience the advantage that butterflies that are the same color as their environment have against predators.

Chinese New Year - Fan Dance

Length of Time: 50-60 minutes

A hands-on lesson which integrates Social Studies concepts with performing arts (dance). Students will delve into customs of Chinese New Year by exploring traditional artifacts and dance.

Christmas Around the World Part 1

Length of Time: 30-40 Minutes

This lesson combines Visual Arts with Social Studies. Students will read about how Christmas is celebrated in different parts of the world and draw a scene depicting that location.

Christmas Around the World Part 2

Length of Time: 30-40 Minutes

This lesson combines Music and Social Studies. Students will listen to and learn Christmas songs from around the world and analyze.

Kwanzaa Art

Length of Time: 30-40 Minutes

Students will discuss the 7 principals of Kwanzaa and then draw pictures of an example of each.

Mini Diorama

Length of Time: Several Class Periods

This visual arts lesson will allow students to share some personal interests in the form of a diorama. Sample rubric included.

Upside Down Art

Length of Time: 20 minutes to 2 hours depending on grade level

This lesson will allow students to practice creating art from a unique perspective while learning about Michelangelo.

Yarn Painting

Length of Time: 20 to 60 minutes depending on grade level and design

This lesson will allow students to practice creating art using a unique medium, yarn.

3rd Grade English/Language Arts Lesson Plans

Author's Purpose

Length of Time: 40-50 minutes

Students will have the opportunity to delve into the world of "Author's Purpose" with this engaging lesson. This lesson is aligned with 2nd grade standards and expectations.

Collaborative Questioning

Length of Time: About 60 - 90 Minutes

Students will read a teacher selected, standards-based science or history text. Students will then develop questions based on Costa’s levels of questioning to encourage collaborative discussion of the reading.

Discovering Adjectives

Length of Time: About 40 - 60 Minutes

Students will work in groups to describe various objects based on taste, smell, look, touch, and emotional feeling.

Hiding Homophones

Length of Time: 30 - 40 Minutes

This lesson offers a simple introduction or refresher course in homophones, words that are pronounced the same, but spell and mean differently. Students will create a visual reminder of some of the more common homophones.  

Main Idea

Length of Time: About 45 Minutes

This lesson is designed to help students' comprehension and Analysis of Grade-Level Appropriate Text.

Main Idea and Details

Length of Time: About 45 Minutes

This lesson is designed to teach students to use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.

Moody Reading: Reading with Expression

Length of Time: Varied Depending on Usage

This lesson will be used to help students understand how to read with expression by choosing an expression to read with regardless of what is written.

Short Stories

Length of Time: About 45 Minutes

This lesson is designed to help students ask questions and support answers by connecting prior knowledge with literal information found in, and inferred from, the text.

Story Themes

Length of Time: About 45 Minutes

This lesson is designed to help students understand “describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.” -CCSS

Tearing Into Vocabulary

Length of Time: 15-30 Minutes

This is a quick activity to allow students to work cooperatively while increasing awareness of vocabulary for a given lesson.

Web of Ideas

Length of Time: Five 45 minute sessions

This lesson will allow students to practice reading out loud and determine character traits of various characters.

What is a Fable?

Length of Time: About 45 Minutes

In this lesson, students will use Internet sources, graphic organizers and group activities to analyze and discuss the characteristics and story lines of two different fables, "The Owl and The Grasshopper" and "The Town Mouse and The Country Mouse."  After students read and brainstorm story elements of the folktales, they will then write a fable of their own.

What is a Verb?

Length of Time: 30 - 40 Minutes

Students will be able to define and give examples of verbs by telling about how they celebrate their birthdays.

Writing Main Idea

Length of Time: About 45 Minutes

This lesson is designed to help student’s organization and focus their grade appropriate writing.

Writing Narratives

Length of Time: About 45 Minutes

In this lesson, students will use a graphic organizer for narrative writing.

Writing to a Photograph

Length of Time: About 45-60 Minutes

Students will develop a plan for a fictional story based on a picture.

3rd Grade Environmental Lesson Plans

Angles in Nature

Length of Time: 50 - 60 Minutes

Students will take a walk outside with their protractor and measure the angles in nature. They will record the angles that they find in branches, trees, bushes, flowers, etc… and then determine the supplementary angle.

Beach Day

Length of Time: 45 - 75 Minutes

This lesson will allow students to learn about the beach environment and experience working with sand.

Camouflage and Environment

Length of Time: 30 Minutes

Students will make butterflies of various colors and then they will experience the advantage that butterflies that are the same color as their environment have against predators.

Classroom Garden From Trash

Length of Time: 10-15 per day for several weeks

Students will create several plants (a garden) from parts of a plant that are normally thrown away.

Food Chain Tag

Length of Time: 20-40 Minutes

Students will learn a brief background about energy transfer between the sun, producers, primary consumers, and secondary consumers. ½ of the students are primary consumers (plants) and ¼ of the students are primary consumers (rabbits) and ¼ of the students are secondary consumers (hawks).

Food Web Art Project

Length of Time: About 60 Minutes

Students will discuss food webs and how animals interact together in an ocean biosphere and make a model of how animals get their energy from other animals and the sun.

Ozone Layer

Length of Time: 1-2 Class Periods

Students will think about how people affect the environment and what they can do to help it and prevent further damage.

Rainfall Gauge

Length of Time: 20 - 30 Minutes

This lesson will allow students to learn about the rain amounts in their area as well as offer a hands-on science experiment that could lead to discussions about the water cycle.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (In That Order)

Length of Time: 30-40 Minutes

Students will watch a video about reduce, reuse, and recycle and then complete a gallery walk to discuss ideas of other ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Save the World

Length of Time: Two 45 Minute Lessons

This lesson is intended to motivate students to become environmental superheroes.

We Must Recycle

Length of Time: About 20 Minutes

Students will use creativity to use something considered trash to create something new.

Window Garden

Length of Time: About 20 Minutes. Several more days to watch growth process.

Students will plan, experiment, and observe as seeds grow in a window garden. Students will explore why this is important to the sustainability of our environment.

3rd Grade Math Lesson Plans

Angles in Nature

Length of Time: 50 - 60 Minutes

Students will take a walk outside with their protractor and measure the angles in nature. They will record the angles that they find in branches, trees, bushes, flowers, etc… and then determine the supplementary angle.

Comparing Multiplication Facts (Hey Tocayo!)

Length of Time: 30 - 40 Minutes

Students will be assigned a number that has various factors and they will find partners with different factors that have the same product.

Even or Odd Nature Walk

Length of Time: 30 - 40 Minutes

Students will do a nature walk to find things in nature that are grouped in pairs that are odd or even.

Exchanging Time

Length of Time: 2-3 class periods

The lesson is used for students to practice basic time measurement, and understanding the basic units of time.

Feed the Gator

Length of Time: About 20 minutes (depends on # of problems)

Students will compare numbers with three or more digits using visual cues.

Fun Fraction Pizza

Length of Time: About 45 Minutes

Students will create a “pizza” from construction paper divided into 8 slices. They will decorate each slice and then exchange slices with classmates and then evaluate the fractions of slices that they have at the end. For example, 1/8 slices of my own pizza, 4/8 or ½ of pizza that was made by a female, 2/8 or ¼ that was made by my buddy.  Note: Students should have already had some lessons about simplification of fractions.

Graphing With Insects

Length of Time: About 45 Minutes

This lesson is designed to teach students to draw a picture graph and a bar graph (with single-unit scale) to represent a data set with up to four categories. Plus, solve simple put-together, take-apart, and compare problems.

Odd or Even

Length of Time: 20-30 minutes

This engaging lesson will help students determine whether a group of objects (up to 20) has an odd or even number of members. 

Scale It Up

Length of Time: 15-25 minutes

This lesson will allow students to demonstrate knowledge use of scale.

Shape Up

Length of Time: 15-20 Minutes

This lesson will allow students to demonstrate knowledge of various grade appropriate shapes.

Symmetry Search

Length of Time: 1-2 class periods

The students will locate manmade objects or things in nature that are symmetrical.

The Value of a Number

Length of Time: 1-2 Class Periods

The students will work in groups of 4-6 physically learning and reviewing place value.

3rd Grade P.E. Lesson Plans

And Freeze!

Length of Time: As Desired

Students will practice listening skills and basic physical concepts as required in physical education class. Students will also work on balance and coordination.

Animal Laps

Length of Time: 1 class period

Combining information about the speed of animals, the students will run laps in the gym or outdoors.

Basketball Relay

Length of Time: As Desired

Students will practice teamwork, dribbling, and shooting a basketball.

Bear Hunt Obstacle Course

Length of Time: About 30 Minutes

This plan will combine reading with balance and coordination skills to allow students to navigate a simple obstacle course.

Boom Over Movement Game

Length of Time: 15 - 20 Minutes

Students will play a game in which they need to change direction quickly. Students are to pretend that they are on a sailboat that is in the middle of a storm. They will have to run and change direction based on verbal commands and duck quickly to avoid being hit by the imaginary boom.

Butterfly Stretches

Length of Time: About 45 Minites

This lesson is designed to help students learn the importance and reasons for exercise through multiple activities and discussions.

Coordination Course

Length of Time: 10-40 Minutes

This plan will allow students to practice coordination while staying physical.

Food Chain Tag

Length of Time: 20-40 Minutes

Students will learn a brief background about energy transfer between the sun, producers, primary consumers, and secondary consumers. ½ of the students are primary consumers (plants) and ¼ of the students are primary consumers (rabbits) and ¼ of the students are secondary consumers (hawks).

Music Movement

Length of Time: 1 class period

The students will move to the music based on its beat, words, tune, and other variables.

On Top of Spaghetti

Length of Time: 10 - 40 Minutes

This plan will allow students to practice coordination while staying physical.

Pass It Off

Length of Time: 20 - 30 Minutes

This lesson will allow students to practice passing, dribbling, and bouncing skills using basketballs

Race to the Answer

Length of Time: 20 - 30 Minutes

This lesson will allow students to practice teamwork, basic math skills, and get exercise through a relay race.Note: Problems/difficulty level can be altered by grade

Simon Says

Length of Time: As Desired

Students will practice listening skills and basic physical concepts as required in physical education class.

Trust Me

Length of Time: 20 - 30 Minutes

This lesson will allow students to practice teamwork and trust building, as well as working on directionality for younger students.

What Time is it FOX?

Length of Time: 20 - 40 Minutes

The students play a game where they practice different movements including jumping, galloping, skipping, running, jogging, leaping, and walking. Based on National Physical Education Standards, students should have been learning these skills for the last 4 years.

3rd Grade Science Lesson Plans

All About Pollination

Length of Time: About 45 Minutes

This lesson is designed to help students develop a simple model that mimics the function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants.

Camouflage and Environment

Length of Time: 30 Minutes

Students will make butterflies of various colors and then they will experience the advantage that butterflies that are the same color as their environment have against predators.

Classroom Garden From Trash

Length of Time: 10-15 per day for several weeks

Students will create several plants (a garden) from parts of a plant that are normally thrown away.

Food Chain Tag

Length of Time: 20-40 Minutes

Students will learn a brief background about energy transfer between the sun, producers, primary consumers, and secondary consumers. ½ of the students are primary consumers (plants) and ¼ of the students are primary consumers (rabbits) and ¼ of the students are secondary consumers (hawks).

Food Web Art Project

Length of Time: About 60 Minutes

Students will discuss food webs and how animals interact together in an ocean biosphere and make a model of how animals get their energy from other animals and the sun.

Layers of the Earth

Length of Time: About 45 Minutes

This lesson is designed to help students understand that the Earth has a layered structure.

Planets and Solar System

Length of Time: 10 - 20 Minutes

Students will create a mini poster with pictures and a ‘memory phrase’ to teach others the planets in order.

Solar System

Length of Time: About 45 Minutes

The students will learn about the Solar System, the  order of the 8 planets, special words such as orbit and asteroid.

Thanksgiving Food Pyramid

Length of Time: 30 - 40 Minutes

Students will discuss the foods that are traditionally eaten at Thanksgiving in the United States and place them into food groups based on the food pyramid.

Window Garden

Length of Time: About 20 Minutes. Several more days to watch growth process.

Students will plan, experiment, and observe as seeds grow in a window garden. Students will explore why this is important to the sustainability of our environment.

3rd Grade Social Studies Lesson Plans

Chinese New Year - Fan Dance

Length of Time: 50-60 minutes

A hands-on lesson which integrates Social Studies concepts with performing arts (dance). Students will delve into customs of Chinese New Year by exploring traditional artifacts and dance.

Christmas Around the World Part 1

Length of Time: 30-40 Minutes

This lesson combines Visual Arts with Social Studies. Students will read about how Christmas is celebrated in different parts of the world and draw a scene depicting that location.

Christmas Around the World Part 2

Length of Time: 30-40 Minutes

This lesson combines Music and Social Studies. Students will listen to and learn Christmas songs from around the world and analyze.

Native California's Diverse Cultures

Length of Time: About 45 Minutes

In this lesson, students will learn about the origin of stories from tribes, and understand how to demonstrate respect for others’ beliefs. American Indian origin stories are not to be treated or told as a simple fairy tale, and therefore this lesson will teach students the appreciation of diverse cultures and communities.

We Must Recycle

Length of Time: About 20 Minutes

Students will use creativity to use something considered trash to create something new.