• Third-Grade Science Learning Objectives
    Science education should encourage an attitude of inquiry in the world around us, excite an interest in the nature and process of science and explore the relationship of science to society, technology, mathematics and other disciplines. Through the science curriculum, students gain a foundation of process skills, leading to organized reasoning, analytical thinking and problem solving abilities.
    Third-grade students in Clayton will complete the following FOSS (Full Option Science System) units:
    Structures of Life
    The Structures of Life Module consists of four investigations dealing with observable characteristics of organisms. Students observe, compare, categorize, and care for a selection of organisms. In so doing, they learn to identify properties of plants and animals and to sort and group organisms on the basis of observable properties. Students investigate structures of the organisms and learn how some of the structures function in growth and survival. In this module, students will:
    • observe and compare properties of seeds and fruits.
    • investigate the effect of water on seeds by monitoring and recording changes over time.
    • observe plant structures as they appear during the plant’s life cycle.
    • care for plants and animals and compare their needs.
    • observe crayfish structures and describe their functions in terms of growth, survival, and reproduction. Compare crayfish structures to structures of other animals.
    • analyze and interpret observations of crayfish behavior.
    • investigate food chain dynamics through a simulation.
    • study skeletal systems using bones, images, and models.
    Soils, Rocks and Landforms
    Geology is the study of our planet’s earth materials and natural resources. Because they are so ubiquitous and abundant, they are often taken for granted. The Soils, Rocks, and Landforms Module provides students with firsthand experiences with soils, rocks, and minerals, and modeling experiences to study changes to rocks and landforms at Earth’s surface. In this module, students will:
    • investigate the processes of physical and chemical weathering of rocks and minerals.
    • investigate the composition of soils from four different locations; observe and compare local soils.
    • use stream tables to investigate how the slow processes of erosion and deposition alter landforms; predict the results of a student-designed stream-table investigation, and then compare actual results to predictions.
    • use physical tools and a table of diagnostic properties to make observations and identify minerals in common rocks.
    • make observations and interpret them to develop explanations in the way that scientists do.
    • observe how earth materials are used in the community around school, and consider the ways people impact natural resources.

    Measuring Matter
    Measurement, the process of quantifying observations, is one of the cornerstones of science. Measurement compares nature - the unknown - to a standard unit - the known. Through such comparison, the organization of the world becomes more comprehensive. The Measuring Matter Module has four investigations that introduce students to tools and procedures for making comparisons of matter in its common forms - solid, liquid, and gas. In this module, students will:
    • apply the conventions of measurement - accuracy, position, orientation, and repetition.
    • use tools to make accurate measurements and represent measurements by using numbers and units; use measurement data to construct explanations.
    • plan a procedure, and apply it to solve a problem.
    • use tables and graphs to organize and display data for analysis.
    • weigh materials to confirm conservation of matter.
    • investigate the relationship between phase change and heating and cooling.
    • make and separate a number of simple mixtures; mix materials to observe solutions and reactions.