Third Grade

Learning Expeditions
Students Reading BooksEach of our learning expeditions challenges students to engage actively in new content and skills. Specific Learning Expeditions vary from year to year in response to current events and/or students’ needs and interests. Examples are described below.

Eat Food, Mostly Plants
We learn about plants by growing plants from seed and conducting observations and investigations in the G&P courtyard garden. We also explore the importance of plants in our diet and we learn about local and seasonal fruits and vegetables. We visit a local Farmers Market as well as a traditional supermarket to compare the “food value” of items available.  For our culminating project, we work together to create a “Local Food Guide” that features interviews with experts on food issues and articles about plants and plant-based foods.

Colonial Massachusetts
We investigate the history of the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay Colonies during the years of 1620 – 1776. Our exploration builds on students’ study of the Wampanoag people and culture in Grades 1 and 2. In Grade 3, we look at what happens when Europeans arrive in the land settled by the Wampanoags and we consider the collaboration and conflict between these groups. We also learn about the Massachusetts colonists’ growing tensions with England and we come to understand the Patriots’ eventual determination to separate.

Rocks, Minerals and Mysteries
In this learning expedition, we use clues to identify rocks, just like detectives use evidence to solve mysteries. We practice closely observing and comparing characteristics, and using these skills to make inferences. While we undertake the work of geologists, we read and write mysteries and look at how inferential thinking takes place in both the sciences and the humanities.

Our Habitat: Cambridge
We look at how Cambridge provides a habitat for plants and animals, and consider why particular organisms are suitably adapted to life in our local environment. Then we ask ourselves, “What other needs do human beings require in a habitat?” We look at the way a city’s government and economy meet the needs of its residents, and we consider the role that art plays in people’s lives. Finally, we immerse ourselves in the history of our unique human habitat, from the 1620’s through the present day.

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