Written expression focuses on the craft of writing, including organization, idea development, language use, word choice and writer’s voice. In writing workshop, students prepare narratives, informational pieces, letters, nonfiction and poetry, and practice note taking. Writing mechanics instruction includes conventions of text layout, grammar, capitalization, punctuation and spelling. Students begin to learn how to conduct research including using reference materials, organizing and keeping track of information, sorting and assembling acquired information, working effectively in groups, reporting before a group and meeting deadlines.
Students continue to apply computation strategies when solving addition and subtraction problems. Students begin to compute using multiplication. Division concepts are introduced.
The third graders study several units that are chosen from the chemical, physical and biological sciences including: Identifying Materials, Living and Non-living Things, and Plant Nutrition - Brassica rapa. Third graders also meet weekly for Science Centers. In Science Centers, students work independently to complete self-selected laboratory investigations of special interest.
Students are involved in extensive study of the following: Native Americans, physical geography of the United States and famous persons. Students do multiple research projects. The primary focus is on providing the children with experience using reference materials, organizing and keeping track of papers and information, sorting and assembling acquired information, working effectively in groups, reporting before a group and meeting deadlines.
Students add word processing, and presentation software to their arsenal of tools and continue to work on keyboard skills, use the Internet and navigate Tatnall’s network.
Third graders create works of art based on imagination, personal experiences, art history, recall and observation. The program focuses on further strengthening basic skills, learning to identify themes and appreciating various types and styles of art. Students learn the concept of living with art in everyday life and develop the vocabulary necessary for describing, analyzing, and interpreting works of art. The process of creating art to express an idea, feeling, or non-verbal message is emphasized.
In the third grade, the vocal development of proper tone quality, pitch, breathing, diction and easy part-singing are stressed. Movement activities stress both large and small motor control; our dancing is structured and more intricate. Instrumental work is expanded to include recorder instruction. Note reading, rhythm, playing with a group and tone quality is emphasized. Students are taught to sight-sing the melodies as part of learning to perform them on recorders. As well as singing solos and singing in small groups, students learn to sing in harmony through descants, partner songs and rounds.
Third grade students participate in physical education classes three times a week. In the third grade, physical education incorporates team skills as well as individual skills. The basics of soccer, football, volleyball, basketball and floor hockey are taught in modified form. Individual abilities are continually assessed and improved upon, and students are given more opportunity for self-direction. For two weeks in both the fall and the spring, the students engage in a fitness-training program.
Lower School Spanish is a four-year program, focusing on the development of the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students start reading and recognizing rhyming words, and participate in activities that promote an appreciation and understanding of Spanish culture. Interactive lessons include video clips and games. Spanish integrates with other academic classes such as social studies, reading and math. The goal of the Lower School foreign language program is to allow students the time to develop proficiency in a language, so they can become better linguists in the future.
Each third grade class spends one hour each week in the library. Students are introduced to higher-level library skills and advanced OPAC (online catalog) searches. Students become familiar with reference resources such as encyclopedias, almanacs, thesauri, and atlases. Research skills are strengthened to support a number of classroom reports and oral presentations. Students check out books each week for both pleasure and class assignments. Book talks are scheduled with third grade reading teachers to bring students into the library in small groups for in-depth discussion of genre and to aid students in selecting books for monthly book projects.