Grade 3 Social Studies

The third grade social studies program begins with a focus on map reading and map making skills. Map skills include cardinal and medial directions, map keys, scale, and coordinates. With these skills, students design their own treasure islands with a corresponding map key and instructions for finding their hidden treasure. Students also learn about the state of Massachusetts with an emphasis on geography, civics, government, economics, urban, suburban, and rural communities. Students design their own community as a culminating project. Third graders embark on a major research project—their State Report. The report includes researching people, places, and things from a state of their choosing. The students work closely with the librarian to build their research skills. From an in-depth exploration of the United States the students then look globally and focus on a study of China and its rich culture and varied geography. Students study a variety of maps of China: political, population, landform, biome, and industry. They learn about the Three Gorges Dam, the Silk Road, Terracotta Warriors, the Chinese zodiac, calligraphy, and other topics.

Our third grade students will:

  • develop research skills
  • develop critical thinking skills: compare and contrast, making observations, making connections, and forming inferences
  • practice presentation skills
  • develop map skills: reading and creating maps
  • describe and identify local government, goods and services, and the regions of Massachusetts
  • describe and identify the geography and regions of the United States through a in-depth study of one state (focusing on people, places, and things)
  • describe and identify the history, geography, inventions, and time periods of China
  • learn about the traditional and modern culture and customs of China
  • explore the values and beliefs of the Chinese people
  • uses globes, maps, and atlases as resources to locate continents, countries, states, cities, rivers, mountains, deserts, oceans, and bordering countries
  • respect and appreciate cultures, people, and history very different from their own
  • appreciate the contributions individuals and groups have made to this country
  • appreciate the significance of traditions celebrated within the Belmont Day community