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3rd Grade Science Standards (Prior)


3rd Grade Science Skills
Prior Standards Implementation

(2nd Grade) 3rd Grade Science Skills (4th Grade)


Life Science | Earth Science | Physical Science | Review Help
For other resources, refer to our Elementary Science page
Page last edited 2/27/2009

Please go to Current 3rd Grade Science Standards for current resources.

Return to Grade Level Help.

The Exploratorium - Explore hundreds of science, art, and human perception exhibits along with hands-on science projects, on-line science activities, science news and magazines. This unique museum was founded in 1969 by noted physicist and educator Dr. Frank Oppenheimer.

Science Toy Maker - A non-commercial, teacher-created site for people who like to roll up their sleeves and make fun, mysterious science toys and projects that entice scientific investigation.

A resource for the teacher to use in planning their lessonsa site for teachers | A PowerPoint show related to this standard a PowerPoint show | An Adobe Acrobat document in .pdf format Adobe Acrobat document | A Microsoft Word document to be downloaded a Word document This resource includes voice instructions for studentssound | A video is available through this link video format | Interactiveinteractive lesson | This site includes questions for your students to check their understandinga quiz | A lesson plan can be found at this site lesson plan | This link includes something for the teacher to printto print
Life Science Standards
Cell Structure and Function
3.1.1 | 3.1.7
Accomplishments & Reporting Categories
( based on Tennessee Curriculum Standards )
Internet Resources
Identify the part that belongs to a specific plant or animal.
  1. Meet the Plant Parts - match the drawings with the names and build a salad. Interactive
  2. Parts is Parts - A Plant's Part WebQuest for Primary Grades
  3. Identify flower parts by dragging them to the right box at this interactive site from BBC. When you finish, try the quiz. Interactive
  4. " What are the parts of a Plant " - an interactive quiz from the Great Plant Escape Interactive
Identify the function of specific plant and animal parts.
  1. The Great Plant Escape has an overview of each of the parts of a plant
  2. Mixed Up Cells - [ this link opnes on a new page ] identify and explain the differences and similarities between plant and animal organelles ( Author - Julie Thompson ) Interactive
  3. Plant Parts - In this game you will try and match up the plant parts with the correct definition.
  4. Plant Parts - Structure and Function (from Ohio State)
Interactions Between Living Things and Their Environment
3.2.1 | 3.2.2 | 3.2.3 | 3.2.4
Distinguish between living and nonliving things in an illustration.
  1. Living vs Non-Living Quiz - This quiz is based on the information about the six characteristics of living things. For each of the following determine if it is a living or a non-living organism. Clicking on the answer allows you to check your answers. Good luck! Interactive
  2. Living and Nonliving - [ designed for K-2 Ohio standards ] five activities in one inquiry
  3. Living or Non-Living? - [ designed for K-1 UK standards ] use this BBC quiz to classify things as animal or non living Interactive
  4. Find the Living things - [ designed for 1-2 UK standards ] interactive quiz from the BBC Interactive
  5. Worksheet for classifying living and non living things This is an Adobe Acrobat document
Select the plants and animals found in a specific environment.
  1. Habitats/Biomes - The Earth has many different environments, varying in temperature, moisture, light, and many other factors. Each of these habitats has distinct life forms living in it. ( from Enchanted Learning )
  2. Habitats - [ designed for 3-4 UK standards ]an interactive game from the BBC Interactive
  3. Interactive map of the various types of features on the Earth's surface Interactive
Identify the sense used to collect specific information.
  1. Activities about The Senses - Many of these experiments and activities require children to be blindfolded. Remember that some people may not like to be blindfolded. In this case, have them cover their eyes with their hands.
  2. Activity: All Five - an experiment involving blindfolded students and wrapped pieces of fruit or vegetables
  3. Activity: We Need Five Senses - (lesson plan) five blindfolded volunteers try to identify five substances
  4. Seeing, Hearing, and Smelling the World - from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Identify the environment that has been impacted by pollutants.
  1. What's Wrong With This Picture?!? - Click on the spots where you think someone is doing something wrong for a surprise. Interactive
  2. Learn about pesticides . Are they good? What are they used for? (a quiz is included)
  3. How bad is the air you breathe ? Learn how the air becomes dirty. (a quiz is included)
  4. What is a hazardous waste ? How does garbage effect you? (a quiz is included)
  5. Take a test about how you use water ! Twenty five questions that will help you be a better user of water.

Food Production and Energy for Life
3.3.1 | 3.3.2 | 3.3.3

Identify the basic needs of plants and animals.
  1. Health and Growth - [ designed for 1-2 UK standards ] keep Ben healthy by providing him with what he needs Interactive
  2. Helping Plants Grow Well - [ designed for 2-3 UK standards ] can you make the plant grow to its full height? Interactive
Recognize that animals obtain their food by eating plants or other animals.
  1. Experiment with a Pond Food Web - change various population sizes to see what affect the change has Interactive
  2. Food Chains - an interactive site from the BBC Interactive
  3. Food Chains - a slide show with places to stop and ask for responses from your students
  4. Food Chain - National Geographic for Kids has a featured Quick Flick from Brain Pop on the subject. Interactive
  5. Food Chains and Webs - Basic information regarding food webs is presented here. After learning about food webs, select the link named " create a possible food web " at the bottom of the page. Click and drag to create your own food web. Interactive
  6. Habitats - investigate food chains with this interactive site from the BBC Interactive
  7. Working on the Food Chain - an animated overview Interactive
Recognize that plants use sunlight, water, and air for photosynthesis.
  1. Corn and Photosynthesis - efficient photosynthetic system and a long period of seasonal growth allow corn to produce high yields ( reading level is a bit high, but this is short and succinct )
  2. Photosynthesis - the process by which plants use energy from sunlight to produce sugar ( high reading level, but a large number of really good illustrations )
  3. Photosynthesis animation
  4. Photosynthesis - how life keeps going...and going...and going...
  5. Photosynthesis: Don't "Leaf" Out Fall's Most Valuable Lesson! - (a lesson planning article from Education World) They have raked up a pile of activities for you to "leaf" through.
  6. Virtual Photosynthesis Experiments - ( if you have projection, use this as a whole class activity ) on-line virtual experiments with Dr. Gene Splicer which show some of the ways scientists study photosynthesis
  7. Why Do Leaves Change Color in the Fall? - To answer that question, you first have to understand what leaves are and what they do.
Heredity and Reproduction
3.4.1 | 3.4.2 | 3.4.3
Choose the diagram that depicts a parent with its offspring.
  1. Animals and Their Babies - Drag the words on the right to where they belong.
  2. Animal Dads - When animals are raised by parents, it's most often the mother who does the rearing. But there are some unusual animal dads
  3. Are you my mother? - Match offspring with their parents Interactive
  4. Baby Animals - Do you know the special names of these animal babies? Interactive
  5. Baby Animals Crossword Puzzle - Click on each box to type letters into the crossword puzzle. (use this as a follow up activity after studying baby animals) Interactive
  6. Farm animals and their babies - Click on the images to learn the proper names for farm animals and their babies, and see pictures of the animals with their babies. Interactive
  7. Names of Males, Females, Babies, and Groups of Animals - What are the Males, Females, Babies, and Groups of Animals Called? (from Enchanted Learning)
  8. Virtual Petting Zoo - (1.) Touch the Whale image anywhere and you'll get a picture of an Adult animal. (2.) When you move your mouse away, the Baby Animal appears! Interactive
Select the illustration that shows an adult organism.
  1. Baby Animal Videos - (posted by the San Diego Zoo) Click on an animal in the list to begin the video. While the emphasis is on the baby, you also see the parent.
Select the illustration that shows how an organism changes as it matures.
  1. The Circle of Life - Springboard Magazine's presentation of life cycles includes a challenge for students to find other life cycle examples
Diversity and Adaptation Among Living Things
3.5.1 | 3.5.2 | 3.5.3
Identify groups of similar organisms (i.e., plants and animals).
Identify an organism that belongs in a specific environment.
Identify the characteristics that enable a specific plant and/or animal to survive in its environment.
  1. Adaptation Activity - Learn how animals adapt to their environment while playing this online game about beavers. Interactive
  2. Animal Adaptations Game - select answers and then press the big red button Interactive
  3. Animal Adaptation E-Safaris - meet some interesting animals to explore how they are adapted to their environments
  4. Build a Fish - Build a Fish by choosing a body, mouth, and color/pattern, and then release it into the reef! In the process you will learn about adaptations that help the fish survive in their environment. Interactive
  5. Dinosaur Habitat and Community - a BBC presentation about these very adaptable animals
  6. Flamingos - Adaptations for Their Environment
  7. How Cactus survive in the desert
  8. Physical Adaptation - We can see some of the results of physical adaptation by comparing the skeletons of different animals.
  9. Plant Adaptations in Arid Environments - The plants that grow in the arid eastern region near the Columbia River and the Columbia Basin have a number of traits which help them to be successful in the desert.
  10. Polar Bears' Adaptations - a neat concept map made by Logan, a first grade student
  11. Squish the Fish - Help Squish travel out across the reef to find his lunch. He needs to find friends who will help him hide from his nemesis, Big Tooth Blob. Learn about shape, color, and behavioral adaptations for survival. Interactive
Biological Change
3.6.1 | 3.6.2 | 3.6.3
Identify an example, other than a dinosaur, of an extinct organism.
  1. Planet Ocean - Explore & Learn More by clicking on Critters or Stuff Interactive
Identify evidence used to determine that an organism previously existed.

Match the organism to the evidence for its former existence.
  1. Life Has a History - an educational module sponsored by the National Science Foundation (select level 1 for K-3)

Earth Science Standards
Earth and Its Place in the Universe
3.7.1 | 3.7.2 | 3.7.3 | 3.7.4 | 3.7.5
Identify objects found in the day or nighttime sky.
  1. See where the sun and moon are located - this applet allows students to see exactly where the sun and moon are located in relation to Earth. Interactive
  2. The night sky from the same location during a year - This sequence of images shows simulated views of the night sky from Chicago, Illinois. The frames show the view from Earth at midnight, once a week over a year. Interactive
Identify the approximate time of day from a picture of the sunís position in the sky.
  1. Earth, Sun and Moon - [ designed for 4-5 UK standards ] an interactive site from the BBC that allows students to investigate movement of the earth and moon around the sun. A simple quiz is available. Interactive
  2. Rise and Set Times for the Sun and Moon - To find today's Rise and Set Times for the Sun and Moon anywhere in the continental US, click on the map at the desired location. Interactive
Choose the appropriate tool for observing a specific distant object.
  1. Astronomy Equipment Guide - information to help you in selecting the right equipment
  2. Choosing the Right Telescope - from Tasco telescopes
  3. See an animation of what the sun would look like if viewed at a variety of wavelengths of energy Interactive
  4. What Telescope is Right for You?
Identify the four basic phases of the moon.
  1. Earth and Moon Matchup - phases and other earth/moon terms are in this Quia Quiz Interactive
  2. Phases of the Moon - [ may be blocked by filter ] a great animation from the online knowledge magazine, MI Stupid.com Interactive
  3. The Moon - This lesson plan is a three-part investigation that allows students to conceptualize the earth-moon-sun relationship in our solar system.
    1. Home Observation Page to print and give to your students to use with The Moon lesson This is an Adobe Acrobat document
  4. Moon Phases - Excel workbook to use with interactive whiteboard or projection - let students drag phases to the correct position
  5. Phases of the Moon - a good diagram to print so students could list the phases in order
  6. Phases of the Moon - a detailed, accurate, and visually interesting simulation of the cause of moon phases Interactive
  7. Phases of the Moon - (whole group activity) This is one of the best animations for explaining moon phases. (from the Science Alberta Foundation) Interactive
  8. Phases of the Moon - from Harcourt School (short, simple, well done) Interactive
  9. The Phases of the Moon - from Enchanted Learning
  10. Put the Moon's Phases in the Correct Order - [ this link opens on a new page ] from Quia Interactive
  11. What Our Moon Looks Like During a Complete Lunar Cycle - from the Astronomy Picture of the Day
  12. Phases of the moon from Earth and space - For each phase, examine how the view from Earth is related to the view from space. Interactive
  13. Worksheet to use with Moon Phases - One sheet gives students places to draw and name the phase, the other worksheet asks students to identify positions of the moon and earth in relation to the sun for each of the phases
Identify the components of the solar system (e.g., planets, moon).
  1. An animation of a comet's passage through the solar system - Compared to the planets, most comets have highly elliptical orbits and widely varying orbital speeds. Comet Halley's next passage through the inner solar system will occur in the year 2061. Interactive
  2. Examine the vast distances between planets in the solar system - This animation simulates a voyage from the sun past all nine planets. In this animation, the apparent speed of the viewer is over 300 times the speed of light.
  3. Learn about the Planets - from KidsAstronomy
  4. One Page Solar System - print the sheet, cut out planets and lay them to scale [ most of them anyway ]
  5. Order it up - Measures of size and scale help us understand the magnitude of objects. Play with scales while trying to arrange planets by magnitude of mass, size, temperature, density, distance, gravity or magnetic field. Correctly order the planets and you unscramble a mystery picture! To play, click on the blue link; Play Order it Up: Solar System Edition Interactive
  6. Solar System Shuffle - At the bottom of this web page you will find a shuffled solar system deck of cards laid out for you. You will also find a description of each object in the deck. Your job is to match the card with the correct description. Interactive
  7. Space Sense - How much do you know about planets, galaxies and the universe? Play Space Sense and test your knowledge of space trivia. To play, click on the blue link; Space Sense for Kids: Easy, Medium or Hard Interactive
Select appropriate clothing for a given weather condition.
  1. Choosing the Right Clothing - Comfort and safety during a camping trip can be greatly increased by choosing the right clothing. Advice from a scouting site
  2. Cold Weather Tips - more information about dressing for camping
  3. There are several kindergarten games which ask students to select the correct clothes for weather conditions. Interactive
Identify the season when given a description of weather, plants, and animals.
Match temperature, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and cloud conditions with different weather conditions.
  1. Weather in the Science Lab - Select Weather in the list of labs. The illustration shows a water cycle. Click on The Weather Maker near the top of the weather window. Set temperature of two air masses and the relative humidity. Then see what weather develops. Click on the book in the bottom left corner to read about weather. Interactive
Identify the appropriate tools to measure temperature and precipitation.
  1. Devices Used To Make Weather Measurements - links to information about how the weather instruments work from USA Today Weather
  2. Make a Thermometer - watch how a simple thermometer works
  3. Make Your Own Weather Station - You can become an amateur meteorologist by building your own weather station and keeping a record of your measurements.
  4. Match Weather Instruments with their Function - This quiz also includes cloud types
  5. Weather Instruments - from Weather Wiz Kids
  6. Weather Instruments - from Cool Lessons
  7. Weather Tools - a short slide show illustrating five kinds of weather tools
  8. Weather Tools - instructions on how to make a variety of weather measuring instruments
Match the cloud type to a specific kind of weather.
  1. Cloud Boutique - explanations of and access to detailed pictures of some basic cloud forms provided by the Plymouth State Meteorology Program
  2. Cloud Clues - How to forecast the weather by studying clouds
  3. Cloud Forecasting - Clouds can tell you many things about what the weather will do.
    1. Use what you learned to make a forecast for your Dad . Interactive
    2. Help Dad plan the rest of your trip . Interactive
  4. Cloud Matching Game - Drag the photos of clouds on left to the correct name for that cloud on the right. Wrong matches will snap back! Right matches will stick! Interactive
  5. Clouds and Precipitation - The purpose of this module is to introduce a number of cloud classifications, different types of precipitation, and the mechanisms responsible for producing them
  6. Cloud Types - this page provides information about each cloud group and any cloud classes associated with them
  7. Compare and contrast warm and cold fronts - excellent animations of each type of front
  8. How to be a Storm Spotter - clouds and the weather associated with them
  9. National Severe Storms Laboratory Photo Album - use these to ask students about types of weather associated
  10. Radar Loop of the last 2 hours covering the contiguous United States. This Doppler radar site indicates clouds, rain and snow with different colors, and refreshes 4 times per hour.
  11. Tips for Forecasting the Weather -
  12. Weather Associated with Cloud Types - Caution! The background of this page is horrible. The easiest way to make the page easier to read is to select all text. Hold down the Ctrl key (or the Apple key) and tap the A key one time.
  13. Wetter or Better? - this twelve-slide show presents cloud types and asks students to make a forecast
Earth Features
3.9.1 | 3.9.2 | 3.9.3
Identify the labeled part of a map or illustration as a continent, ocean, lake, river, mountain, or island.
  1. Label Maps at iKnowThat.com - [ this link opens on a new page ] Note : this link takes you to an index of activities. To work on this SPI , select any of the five entries in the Physical Features section, click on the green Maybe Later button to go to the activity, and then select either Puzzle or Labels to begin. Interactive
Select the illustration that identifies a specific geological feature.
Identify a geological feature given specific information.
Earth Resources
3.10.1 | 3.10.2 | 3.10.3
Identify an object as natural or man-made.
Recognize the properties used to identify specific earth materials.
  1. Raw Materials Line-up - Can you pick out which items come from which raw materials? Look at the line-ups on the following screens and click on the suspect that fits the raw material description. Interactive .
  2. Rock Cycle - includes link to each of the three types of rocks
Identify methods for conserving natural resources.
  1. Waste Management Quiz - answer questions correctly to add to your stack of green dollars

Physical Science Standards
Identify that an unbalanced force is needed to change the direction of an object.
  1. Forces and Motion - [ designed for 1-2 UK standards ] investigate how various forces affect movement Interactive
  2. Forces - After you finish the movie, move on to the fact sheet and then take the test. Interactive
Select an object that would be attracted by a magnet.
  1. Magnets and Springs - [ designed for 2-3 UK standards ] use this interactive BBC site to experiment with which objects are attracted to a magnet, then take a quiz. Interactive
  2. What is attracted to magnets? - Experiments with magnets and our surroundings
  3. Take a Magnet quiz at Quia [ this link opens on a new page ] Interactive
  4. Magnet quiz in the form of a Who Wants to be a Millionaire game [ this link opens on a new page ] Interactive
Identify how weights affect a balanced scale.
  1. Dissolving Substances - investigate the effect of solar energy on a balanced system Interactive
  2. Math Cats Balance - You can choose from a wide range of objects to place on this scale - from electrons to galaxies! Interactive
Select how surface characteristics affect the movement of an object.
  1. Friction and Inertia - a Quia Quiz Interactive
  2. Friction - [ designed for 3-4 UK standards ] use this BBC interactive to investigate the effect of different surfaces Interactive
Structure and Properties of Matter
3.12.1 | 3.12.2 | 3.12.3 | 3.12.4
Select an object according to a particular property.
  1. Characteristics of Materials - [ designed for 2-3 UK standards ] an interactive quiz from the BBC Interactive
  2. Use this BBC quiz - [ designed for K-1 UK standards ] determine whether items are waterproof or not. Interactive
  3. Select which items give out light - [ designed for K-1 UK standards ] a BBC interactive quiz Interactive
Order objects according to a specific property (e.g., longest to shortest, heaviest to lightest).
  1. Heaviest to Lightest - Look at the figures on each line. Click once on the lightest object. Click twice on the heaviest object. [ designed for 1st grade ] Interactive
Identify appropriate tools for determining the weight or length of materials.
  1. Centimeters - to nearest whole number ( from FunBrain ) Interactive
  2. Centimeters - to half centimeter ( from FunBrain ) Interactive
  3. Inches - to nearest whole number ( from FunBrain ) Interactive
  4. Inches - to quarter inch ( from FunBrain ) Interactive
Identify an object when given its properties.
Interactions of Matter
3.13.1 | 3.13.2 | 3.13.3
Identify the effects of mixing two types of materials (e.g., salt and pepper).
  1. Mixtures - formed by physically, not chemically, mixing substances together.

Choose features associated with physical changes.

  1. Matter in the Science Lab - Select Matter in the list of labs. The illustration names the physical state of objects. Next, click on Water Changes State near the top of the matter window. Hold down the blue button to lower the temperature of water to freezing, then hold down the red button till water boils. Click on the book in the bottom left corner to read about matter. Interactive
Identify methods for separating mixtures.
Identify the source of the Earthís heat and light energy.
  1. Radiation - background information
    1. Radiation lab lesson plan
  2. Conduction - background information
    1. Conduction lab lesson plan
  3. Convection - background information
    1. Convection lab lesson plan
Identify how sounds are produced.
  1. Changing Sounds - an interactive site from the BBC that allows students to investigate factors affecting sound. A quiz is also available. Interactive
  2. Introduction to what sound is - a good animation (from Fear of Physics) Interactive
  3. Sound in the Science Lab - Select Sound in the list of labs. The illustration is animated and shows how clapping hands make sound. Next, click on Exploring Pitch and Volume near the top of the sound window. Strike the glasses hard and then gently and observe the difference. Now look at the sound waves as you strike different glasses. Click on the book in the bottom left corner to read about sound. Interactive
  4. Sound Quiz - [ designed for 5th grade ] seventeen multiple choice questions regarding the science of sound
  5. Sounds: Allow the wave to expand - a good animation (from Fear of Physics) Interactive
  6. Sounds: How We Hear - a good animation (from Fear of Physics)
  7. The Science of Sound
  8. Sound Lessons by 5th Graders - experiments to try
Identify the illustration that demonstrates the effects of the sun on various materials.
  1. Radiation - background information
    1. Radiation lab lesson plan
  2. Solar Oven - instructions on building a pizza box solar oven
Review Help
Practice Tests!
  1. Council on Competiveness presents a truly rigorous exam - select 3rd Grade and then Science [timed exam]
  2. Virginia State Standards of Learning - Select Science 3 , and then select 10, 20, or 40 questions.

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