English Language Arts

3rd Grade

Course Summary

Our complete 3rd grade English Language Arts curriculum is made up of three main components: Literature units, Science and Social Studies units, and independent reading. Together, these three components build students' knowledge and understanding of the world, and support student mastery of all literature, informational, writing, speaking and listening, language, and foundational skills standards. To learn more, see the Pacing Guide for this course.


In 3rd grade Literature, students explore what it means to be a good person. In Unit 1 students explore how to effectively solve problems and in Units 2 and 3 students think about how lessons from folktales and myths transfer to their own lives. Then, in Unit 4, students explore the different roles people play in bullying and what it means to be accepting of ourselves, and in Unit 5 analyze the characteristics of strong friendships. It is our hope that students reflect on what they’ve learned in these units as they build and develop their own identity.

Science and Social Studies

Our 3rd grade Science and Social Studies units focus on building students’ understanding and appreciation of cultures and civilizations that may be different than their own. First in Social Studies, students learn about the key characteristics and influences of the Roman Empire, and then learn about the Wampanoag and the Pilgrims and are challenged to think about the importance of looking at history from multiple perspectives. Then, students explore Indigenous cultures in the United States and the important role Indigenous People have in the United States, and finally, students learn about different world religions. In Science, students learn how animals have adapted to survive.

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Literature Units

Unit 1

21 Lessons

Defining Identity: Dyamonde Daniel and My Name is MarĂ­a Isabel

Students explore the concept of identity and what makes a person who they are by reading the core texts Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel and My Name is María Isabel.

Unit 2

25 Lessons

Passing Down Wisdom: Hispanic and African American Folktales

Students explore the power of oral storytelling in African-American and Hispanic cultures through folktales that have been passed down within families and communities for generations.

Unit 3

22 Lessons

Discovering Mythology: Roman Myths

Students read, discuss and analyze a collection of Roman myths as they learn about the values and beliefs of the ancient Roman Empire and consider the role that myths, gods, and storytelling held.

Unit 4

31 Lessons

Embracing Difference: The Hundred Dresses and Garvey's Choice

Students explore acceptance of themselves and others in order to start discussions about bullying, tolerance, acceptance, and forgiveness, and focus on identifying the central message in a longer text.

Unit 5

29 Lessons

The Power of Friendship: Charlotte's Web

Students explore the meaning of true friendship by reading E.B. White's classic novel Charlotte's Web, examining its themes, setting, character and language, and learning to develop empathy for others.

Science and Social Studies Units

Unit 1

22 Lessons

Exploring Ancient Civilizations: Rome

Students explore the rise and fall of the ancient Roman Empire and Roman civilization, its various leaders, routines, and rituals, while practicing multiple informational reading strategies.

Unit 2

25 Lessons

Rediscovering Thanksgiving: Fact vs. Fiction

Students learn about the Pilgrims and the first Massachusetts colonies, including why the Pilgrims came to the New World, their relationship with the Native peoples, and the truth behind the first Thanksgiving. 

Unit 3

24 Lessons

Understanding the Animal Kingdom

Students explore the relationship between living things and their environment, and how the environment can impact a species' ability to survive, while referring to the text to ask and answer questions.

Unit 4

18 Lessons

Honoring Indigenous Peoples

Students learn about Indigenous peoples and their history, including investigating Indigenous nations and Indigenous heroes, and build an understanding that Indigenous people are an important part of our country. 

Unit 5

19 Lessons

Exploring World Religions

Students build a deeper appreciation and respect for world religions in the aim of better understanding the differences and similarities among the religions and cultures of their classmates.

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Visit our archives to find units that we've retired from our core curriculum.
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