In third grade science, students love to ask questions and find answers.  Filled with projects, investigations, and problem-solving third grade science allows students to act as scientists, working independently or in small lab groups to conduct in-depth experiments and produce detailed presentations that identify their scientific process and findings.  In third grade, students often present their work orally and have to support their findings with evidence. Third graders ask questions and define problems built on their K–2 experiences.  This year in science progresses to specifying qualitative relationships.
• Students ask the essential question, “How do forces on an object affect its motion?”
• Students identify and explain motion and patterns in motion.
• Students study various forces in motion and conduct experiments with balanced and unbalanced forces
• Students ask questions that can be investigated based on patterns such as cause and effect relationships
• Students define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool
• Students plan and conduct an investigation collaboratively to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence, using fair tests in which variables are controlled and the number of trials considered
• Students make observations and/or measurements to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence for an explanation of a phenomenon or test a design solution
• Students conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects’ forces on the motion of an object
• Students make observations and/or measurements of an object’s motion.

Lessons/activities may include a paper airplane investigation, a push/pull lab experiment, experimentation with friction, and magnet investigation and data-recording.

• Students ask the essential question, “How can you describe the way matter changes?”
• Students understand the difference between electric forces and magnetic forces
• Students determine cause and effect relationships of electric or magnetic interactions between two objects not in contact with each other.
• Students experiments with objects moving without touch
• Students discover that each force acts on one particular object and has both strength and a direction. An object at rest typically has multiple forces acting on it, but they add to give zero net force on the object. Forces that do not sum to zero can cause changes in the object’s speed or direction of motion.
• Students conduct experiments with the patterns of an object’s motion in various situations can be observed and measured; when that past motion exhibits a regular pattern, future motion can be predicted from it.
• Students describe the relationship between a series scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.
• Students ask the essential question, “How are living things suited to their environment?”
• Students use prior knowledge to construct a deeper understanding of Life Cycles
• Students differentiate inherited traits vs. traits influenced by the environment
• Students examine why organisms of the same kind are both alike and different
• Students make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of plants and animals that live there may change.
• Students conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.
• Students engage in scientific process that are based on recognizing patterns.
• Students develop models to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death.
• Students analyze and interpret data to provide evidence that plants and animals have traits inherited from parents and that variation of these traits exists in a group of similar organisms.
• Students use evidence to support the explanation that traits can be influenced by the environment.
• Students use evidence to construct an explanation for how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing

*Lessons, Activities, and Labs may include:

• Observe plant and animal life cycles
• Research project into animal groups, studying the benefits and disadvantages of the animal groups
• Study: Verte what? Vertebrates!
• Meet My Invertebrate: Hands-on experimentation and discovery of invertebrates
• Identifying structures and investigating purposes/bats and their amazing hearing
• Conduct a Biome research project
• Students ask the essential question, “What happens to living things when their environments change?”
• Students differentiate between the survival of individuals vs. the survival of groups
• Students investigate survival when environments change
• Students construct an argument that some animals form groups that help members survive.
• Students make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of plants and animals that live there may change.
• Students construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
• Students develop models to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death.
•  Students analyze and interpret data to provide evidence that plants and animals have traits inherited from parents and that variation of these traits exists in a group of similar organisms.
• Students use evidence to support the explanation that traits can be influenced by the environment.
• Students use evidence to construct an explanation for how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing.

*Lessons, activities, and labs may be:

• Create and animal that can survive in more than one biome
• Create hypotheses and study invasive species
• Students ask the essential question, “How have living things and environments changed?”
• Students study fossils to understand how a fossil is created
• Students make observations, from hypothesis, ad record data from fossils
• Students investigate how climate change has affected living things
• Students recognize patterns of change can be used to make predictions.
• Students ask questions that can be investigated based on patterns such as cause and effect relationships.

*Lessons, activities, and labs may be:

• Examination of fossils
• Study of what happened to California’s Big Mammals
• Connection to current events: Wooly Mammoth
• Students ask the essential questions, “What are ways to reduce the impacts of hazardous weather?” and “How can you explain climate in different places?”
• Students investigate the relationship between water and weather
• Students inquire about seasonal weather changes and weather hazards
• Students research climates around the world
• Students understand the difference between climate and weather
• Students use data to compare climates
• Students are able to articulate with evidence what climate change is and it causes and effects
• Students represent data in tables and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season.
• Students obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world.
• Students make a claim about the merit of a design solution that reduces the impacts of a weather-related hazard.

*Lessons, activities, and labs may be:

• Recording data and tracking weather?
• Making connections to math: plotting climate data or Sweltering Summer
• Making connections to real world: Research into causes and effects of fearsome flash floods
• Students ask the essential questions, “What are ways to reduce the impacts of hazardous weather?” and “How can you explain climate in different places?”
• Students investigate the relationship between water and weather
• Students inquire about seasonal weather changes and weather hazards
• Students research climates around the world
• Students understand the difference between climate and weather
• Students use data to compare climates
• Students are able to articulate with evidence what climate change is and it causes and effects
• Students represent data in tables and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season.
• Students obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world.
• Students make a claim about the merit of a design solution that reduces the impacts of a weather-related hazard.

*Lessons, activities, and labs may be:

• Recording data and tracking weather?
• Making connections to math: plotting climate data or Sweltering Summer
• Making connections to real world: Research into causes and effects of fearsome flash floods