Grade 3

In Grade Three Science, students continue building their learning focusing on weather and climate, why do things move (force and motion), and a deep study of the Charles River (which is integrated with Social Studies and English Language Arts).

Unit Description Essential Questions
Weather and Climate
Students learn the difference between weather (which describes what’s happening each day in our atmosphere at a specific place) and climate (average weather patterns in a place over many years). They gather evidence on climates of different regions of the world to back up the claim that typical weather conditions over a year vary by region. Then students use what they learned about climate data to predict typical weather conditions in different locations.
What is the difference between weather and climate?

How and why do climates differ around the world?

How can we use climate data to predict weather?
Why Do Things Move?
In order to figure out what’s happening in a marble run video, students explore how different forces affect the motion of objects via hands-on investigations. They use what they learn to design and build their own marble runs using the Engineering Design Process. As a culminating assessment, they explain the forces involved in their projects.
Why do things move, speed up, slow down and stay still?
Charles River Explorations
In this place-based, interdisciplinary unit, students learn about rivers, Cambridge history, animal and plant adaptations and connections, life cycles and the human impact on the environment in the context of the Charles River. Students take action to protect the river by creating a field guide to the Charles River, which will communicate the need to protect the plants and animals of our river.
Why should we protect the Charles River and the living things that live in and near it?

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