Third graders at Marin Preparatory School move from learning to read to reading to learn. Their natural love of talking allows for group work that promotes conferencing with peers, and sharing reflections of their work. At this time, children’s love of tall tales and exaggeration weaves its way into literature and writing. They also begin to think and act in a more logical manner and are excited by classification and the way things work. Project-based learning takes on a deeper meaning and third grade allows for deeper exploration across the disciplines.

Our 3rd Grade Curriculum Spotlights

3rd Grade Reading Activities & Skills


  • Multi-cultural stories and comprehension
  • Character descriptions
  • Distinguishing own point of view
  • Reading with accuracy, fluency, purpose & understanding
3rd Grade Writing Skills & Activities


  • Opinion writing with purpose
  • Informative and explanatory writing
  • Narrative writing using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear sequences
  • Research projects that build knowledge around a topic
3rd Grade Math Curriculum


  • Products and quotients
  • Multiplication and division within 100
  • Place values and multi-digit arithmetic
  • Fractions
  • Areas, perimeters, polygons & quadrilaterals
3rd Grade Science Curriculum


  • Energy and matter
  • Lights, shadows, colors, lightspeed
  • Biodiversity & evolution
  • Scientific research
3rd Grade Social Studies & History Lessons

Social Studies

  • Physical and human geography
  • Explorers, immigrants, settlers
  • Historical facts and fiction
  • US Constitution and government
  • Economic choices: benefits v. costs
  • Study of Peru

3rd Grade Spanish Infusion

3rd Grade Spanish Classes

In 3rd grade, students build upon the foundation gained in kindergarten through second grades. This stage aims to develop such fundamental skills as: listening comprehension, oral expression, as well as reading and writing development. Such skills are fostered through a language- and culture-rich environment that includes singing, playing games, storytelling, poetry, art, and other multi-sensory experiences, and an environment that addresses young learners’ educational development as well as their emotional needs.

By the end of 3rd grade, students will have acquired basic, age-appropriate knowledge of Spanish and reached similarly appropriate developmental milestones in their English language skills. Students will be able to:

  • Talk about self and ask questions to strengthen bond with peers.
  • Learn about basic world geography, capital cities and flag colors.
  • Describe actions and people.
  • Propose invitations and politely accept or refuse them.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the alphabet and common spelling rules.
  • Go shopping in town.
  • Describe favorite foods and follow recipe instructions in the target language.
  • Make future plans.
  • Listen to basic dilemmas and propose solutions.
  • Talk about general rules in class or society.
  • Learn about mathematical rules that are also covered in English.
  • Talk about the frequency of household chores.
  • Address specific elements of school, classrooms, schedules, subjects, numbers, time, directions and everyday objects.
  • Use the alphabet and phonology to create and understand words, phrases and complete sentences in meaningful contexts.
  • Use the target language in predictable and familiar contexts such as greetings and introductions, as well as unpredictable ones (expressing everyday needs).

3rd Grade Enrichments


3rd Grade Art Class & Painting

By the 3rd grade, students begin to utilize knowledge gained on foreground, middle ground, and background to show an illusion of depth (space) in a landscape work of art. They learn how to mix tints, shades, and neutral colors, and then use these in an expressive painting. Students also start to use appropriate art vocabulary to analyze and discuss artwork made by past and present cultures. A sketchbook is also encouraged to capture thumbnail sketches and to document ideas for art activities.


Music & Performing Arts

3rd Grade Music Class & Guitar Lesson

Third grade significantly increases students’ repertoire of songs, dances, and musical games, now including materials of greater length and musical intricacy, and enabling increased proficiency with musicality and in-tune singing. Songs from many genres are introduced. Through the sequential introduction of musical elements and notation with the Kodály approach, students continue to develop musical literacy, particularly in the areas of expanded pentatonic scale, and more complex rhythmic concepts such as syncopa (the irregular subdivision of beat) and anacrusis (rhythms that commence before the arrival of the downbeat). Students will also learn to compose simple pieces and, as the year progresses, they’ll develop plays and skits to gain greater confidence in performing in front of an audience.


Physical Education

3rd Grade PE Class & Yoga

To support the strong link between physical education and learning, MPS third graders are encouraged to explore movement and develop gross motor skills. By offering a series of well-considered and developmentally appropriate activities, MPS helps children gain confidence in their athletic abilities, and promotes a “can-do” attitude that supports fun and learning for all.