The five topics in grade 3 science are:


Rocks and Minerals

Students learn about materials found on Earth’s surface—rocks, minerals and soil. Students learn that each kind of rock has a set of characteristics and that these characteristics can be used in classifying and identifying rocks. Students discover that the component materials of soil includes rock fragments and remains of living things, and that different soils have different compositions. Students learn that the characteristics of rock and soil are important to their use within the community.

Building With a Variety of Materials

Students use a variety of tools and simple techniques to build things for specific purposes. Their tasks may require that a bridge be built between two desks, a model lookout tower be constructed, or a water container be made, all from available materials. Through these projects, students learn the value of safety and good workmanship and that different materials and designs can be used to obtain the same result. They learn that working together on a common task is easier when ideas and materials are shared.

Testing Materials and Designs

Students study the materials and designs used in construction tasks. They compare materials such as paper, clay, cardboard, and styrofoam to see which are the strongest, which ones resist crushing or tearing and which are the most easily shaped and joined. They test different shapes and thicknesses to find out what makes a structure strong and stable. Students learn that many things are considered when materials and designs are selected and that different tasks may require different materials and designs.

Hearing and Sound

Students explore the nature of sound, its sources, its qualities and what it is. They learn that sound is vibration and that changes in vibration can affect the loudness, pitch and quality of sound. They learn about sound travel by studying what things carry sound, what things make it louder or softer, and what happens to sound when it reaches their ears. The sensitivity of human ears and those of other animals is examined, as students learn about the safe use of this valuable sense.

Life Cycles

Students learn about the growth and development of animals and discover that different animals have different life cycles. In studying these animals, students learn about the changes in needs of the young as they grow and develop and about the changing relationship between these animals and their environment.


By observing the lifecycle of one small animal from its earliest stage to adulthood, students acquire a reference point for the study of other animals and come to appreciate the beauty and fragility of life.

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