• Overview

    With recent changes in academic standards in classrooms across the country, parents are likely hearing a lot about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and wondering: What are they? And how will they affect my children? To date, 46 states and the District of Columbia have adopted these new academic standards, which are already changing the way students are being taught. The standards are designed to ensure college and career readiness in an increasingly competitive and fast-paced world.
    There are 3 important ways that the new standards will impact daily classroom instruction of Reading and Writing.
    1. There will be instructional shifts: The Common Core introduced three major shifts in classroom instruction designed to guide critical readers through a range of grade-level, complex texts or reading materials. Classroom instruction will be focused on:
    • Building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction and informational textsIn addition to stories and literature, your child will read more informational texts and non-fiction that provide facts and knowledge in areas such as science and social studies.
    • Reading and writing grounded in evidence from textChildren will read more challenging texts and be asked more questions that will require them to refer back to what they have read to provide evidence that supports their answers.
    • Regular practice with complex texts and its vocabulary: Teachers will emphasize building a strong vocabulary so that students can read and understand challenging material.
    2. There are fewer, clearer standards, that aim higher: Teachers will focus on five standard areas to prepare children to meet grade-level expectations. Your child’s teachers will focus on shifts in the following standards:
    • Common Core Learning Standards for Reading Literature
    • Common Core Learning Standards for Reading Informational Text
    • Common Core Learning Standards for Writing
    • Common Core Learning Standards for Speaking and Listening
    • Common Core Learning Standards for Language
    3.    Types of texts: Across the grades, students will read both literature (fiction) and informational texts (non-fiction) and respond using a range of writing types. The chart below illustrates what percent of teaching time will focus on the necessary reading and writing standards at each grade level 


    To log-in to the Student Portal for Pearson click on the picture to the left. You will then be asked to identify the School District. Begin to type in Temecula, and our school district will show up as a choice. Select it and press Next. Then you will need your child's log-in information to do so which can be found on the blue sheet you were given at Back-to-School Night. Any question please email me.


           Students entering third grade who have met the second grade CCSS for mathematics have an understanding of place value and can read, write, order and compare whole numbers within 1,000. Students know how to add and subtract (within 1,000) and are fluent with these operations within 100. They can use addition and subtraction to solve one- and two-step word problems with unknowns in all positions (within 100) and know from memory all sums of two one-digit numbers.
         At the start of third grade, students understand simple concepts of multiplication and division. They can use repeated addition and counting by multiples to demonstrate multiplication and can use repeated subtraction and Mathematics 3.20 Prepublication Edition: January 2011 Students apply their knowledge and skills with the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) to solve word problems. equal group sharing to demonstrate division.
         Students entering third grade are aware of standard units of measurements and can measure the length of an object using appropriate tools. They can also relate addition and subtraction to length by representing positive whole numbers (from 0) and whole-number sums and differences within 100 on a number line diagram. They know how to model and solve problems involving amounts of money and can use picture graphs and bar graphs to represent and interpret data. By third grade, students have an understanding of plane and solid geometric shapes and can recognize and describe shapes by various attributes (e.g., the number and shape of faces). They understand the early concepts of area by partitioning rectangles into rows and columns and then counting the number of squares. They can also partition circles and rectangles into two, three and four equal shares and know the associated vocabulary of fractions (e.g., thirds, a third of).

    What Students Learn in Third Grade
        Third grade students deepen their understanding of place value and their knowledge of and skill with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of whole numbers. Students develop an understanding of fractions as numbers, concepts of area and perimeter of plane figures and attributes of various shapes.

    Operations and Algebraic Thinking
       The 1997 California mathematics standards and the CCSS foster an understanding of the relationship between multiplication and division. Third graders fluently multiply and divide (within 100) and use simple multiplication and division to solve word problems (using drawings and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem). They understand division as an unknown-factor problem (e.g., find 32 ÷ 8 by finding the number that makes 32 when multiplied by 8) and use the inverse relationship between multiplication and division to compute and check results. Students apply their knowledge and skills with the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) to solve word problems.
        By the end of third grade students will know from memory all products of numbers from 1 to 9 (the multiplication tables for 2s and 5s are introduced at grade two in the 1997 California standards). Students discover that the associative and commutative laws reduce the number of multiplication facts they need to learn. For example, if a student knows 5 x 9, then they also know 9 x 5. 
         With full implementation of the CCSS, multiplication and division of a whole number (with up to four digits) and a one-digit whole number, (e.g., 3,671 × 3 = __ or 1,035 ÷ 5 = __) will be covered at grade four, a grade three topic in the 1997 California standards. 

    Number and Operations in Base Ten 
         In both the 1997 California mathematics standards and the CCSS, third grade students extend their place value understanding to include numbers with four digits. They round whole numbers to the nearest 10 or 100, a critical prerequisite for working estimation problems. With full implementation of the CCSS, rounding numbers to the nearest thousands will be covered at grade four. 
         Students also apply their understanding of place value as they fluently add and subtract (within 1000) in which regrouping or composing a ten (i.e., carrying and borrowing) is required in more than one column. 3.21 Prepublication Edition: January 2011 Students may need extra practice solving problems requiring regrouping across columns with zeros, which can be confusing. With full implementation of the CCSS, addition and subtraction with two whole numbers (within 1,000 – 10,000) will be covered at grade four.

    Number and Operations—Fractions 
         Student proficiency with fractions is essential to success in algebra at later grades. In grade three, both the 1997 California mathematics standards and the CCSS develop an understanding of fractions as numbers. Students use visual fractional models to represent fractions as parts of a whole. They also use visual models and a number line to represent, explain, and compare unit fractions (fractions with a numerator 1), equivalent fractions (e.g., 1/2 = 2/4), whole numbers as fractions (e.g., 3 = 3/1), and fractions with the same numerator or the same denominator. 
         With full implementation of the CCSS, third grade students will learn to recognize, name, and compare fractions (a grade two topic in the 1997 California mathematics standards) and use a number line to represent positive fractions (a grade four topic in the 1997 California mathematics standards). Also, operations with decimals will be introduced at grade five (a grade three topic in the 1997 California mathematics standards). 
    Measurement and Data
         In grade three, the 1997 California mathematics standards and the CCSS focus on measurement. Students measure lengths (using a ruler), liquid volume (using standard units), and the area of plane figures (by counting unit squares). Students demonstrate an understanding of fractions as they measure lengths using rulers marked with halves and fourths of an inch. Students solve problems involving the perimeter of polygons. They relate the concept of area to the operations of multiplication and division and show that the area of a rectangle can be found by multiplying the side lengths. 
         With full implementation of the CCSS, the probability of a chance event and simple predictions, a grade three topic in the 1997 California mathematics standards, will be introduced and developed at grade seven. Also, simple unit conversions, for example centimeters to meters, a grade three topic in the 1997 California mathematics standards, will be studied at grade five as students use conversions to solve problems. 
         In grade three, the 1997 California mathematics standards and the CCSS focus on the attributes of shapes. Students compare common geometric shapes (e.g., rectangles and quadrilaterals) based on common attributes (e.g., having four sides). Students also relate their work with fractions to geometry as they partition shapes into parts with equal areas and represent each part as a unit fraction of the whole. 
        With full implementation of the CCSS, identifying right angles in geometric shapes, a grade three topic in the 1997 California mathematics standards, will be covered at grade four, beginning with right triangles. 


    Back to top


    The following section is organized according to three major areas: reading standards for literature, for informational text, and in foundational skills. 
    Reading Standards for Literature
        In third grade, students read and comprehend a wide variety of grade level literature, including fables, folktales, and myths from around the world, as well as poetry and drama. They deepen their understanding of the elements of narrative text. Theme is added to the story elements students already know, which enhances their comprehension and appreciation of stories. As students add to their understanding of character as an element of a story, they may need prompts or structures to assist in the analysis of character. This framework, or map, may be a simple structure that makes visible and obvious the traits that students should recognize. 
          In both the 1997 California English language arts standards and the CCSS, comprehension skills focus on the plot, characters, and the author’s message or the theme of the text. Students learn to identify and comprehend basic plots of fairy tales, myths, folktales, legends, and fables from diverse cultures. They determine what characters are like based on how the author or illustrator portrays them. With instruction and practice, students learn to determine the underlying theme or the author’s message in fiction. Students generate and respond to essential questions about a text and explicitly refer to information in the text to answer questions. Identifying answers in the text is one way students demonstrate their comprehension of the text. 
         The CCSS introduce additional skills and strategies for analyzing and comprehending literature. For example, one 1997 California English language arts standard calls for students to determine the underlying theme or author’s message. A comparable standard from the CCSS builds on this basic analytical skill by asking students to explain how the message is conveyed through the key details of the text. Under the CCSS, students 3.3 October 2011 Edition not only determine what characters are like based on what the author says about them, but also learn to describe the characters based on their traits, motives, and feelings. In addition, students learn how the characters’ actions contribute to the sequence of events and to distinguish their own point of view from those of the characters. 
         Under the CCSS, students learn to distinguish between literal and nonliteral language and to determine the meaning of words and phrases in context. Students use academic language (e.g., chapter, scene, stanza) when writing or speaking about stories, dramas, and poems. They learn about the relationship between the illustrations and the words in a story and how they work together to create a mood or emphasize aspects of a character or setting. They compare and contrast stories written by one author that have the same or similar characters (e.g., in books from a series). 

    Reading Standards for Informational Text 
        As students are expected to read more informational text in English language arts and other third-grade subjects, comprehension becomes increasingly important. A student’s success in developing complex reading comprehension skills depends upon a progressive approach. Such an approach As students are expected will at first use text in which the main idea is clear and explicitly stated. The ideas to read more follow a logical order and then progress to longer passages with more complex informational text in structures in which main ideas are not explicit. A similar progression from texts English language arts with familiar topics to texts with unfamiliar topics supports students’ learning of and other third-grade comprehension strategies. subjects, comprehension
        Both the 1997 California English language arts standards and the CCSS becomes increasingly reflect the importance of comprehension and text-analysis skills and strategies for important. students’ academic success. Students learn to identify the main idea and supporting details of informational texts and to recall the major points in a text. They demonstrate their understanding of a text by asking questions about what they have read. Another way students demonstrate their understanding is to use information found in the text as a basis for answers to questions about it. Students learn to locate information efficiently using the features of text (e.g., titles, chapter headings, indexes). 
         The CCSS focus more on informational text than do the 1997 California English language arts standards and present additional skills and strategies for analyzing and comprehending informational text. These additional skills and strategies provide students with tools for a deeper analysis of informational texts, including history– social science, science, and technical texts. Students learn to recognize the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas, or steps in a technical procedure and describe the relationship in language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect. Students learn and use vocabulary development strategies to determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in texts on third-grade topics. They use information from illustrations, such as maps and photographs, along with the text, to demonstrate their understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why key events occur). Students also learn to identify and then describe the logical connection between particular sentences and paragraphs in a text (e.g., first, second, third in a sequence). They compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same subject. They also learn to use digital search tools (e.g., key words, hyperlinks) to efficiently locate relevant information on a given topic.

    Reading Standards in Foundational Skills 
         In third grade, the CCSS and the 1997 California English language art standards focus less on phonics than in previous grades. Students who have learned strategies for analyzing words through explicit decoding instruction in earlier grades are ready to learn and apply more sophisticated word-recognition skills. For example, they learn how to decode multisyllabic words. Under the 1997 California English language arts standards, students also learn to use complex word families (e.g., -ight) to decode unfamiliar words. 3.4 October 2011 Edition 3.5 October 2011 Edition 
        The CCSS call for students to read grade-appropriate, irregularly spelled words and to decode words in both isolation and text. Students also learn to decode words with common Latin suffixes. They learn to recognize, and know the meaning of most common prefixes and derivational suffixes. 
       Third-grade students understand the basic features of language and apply their knowledge to reading literature and informational text. With practice, opportunities to read high-quality texts, and teacher modeling and feedback, students become fluent in silent and oral reading of grade-level texts. They learn to read grade level narrative and informational texts aloud with accuracy, appropriate pacing, and expression. The CCSS extend these expectations by also calling for students to read with purpose and understanding. Students are to use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary. 




         Third-graders have a natural curiosity about the world and how it works. The grade-three science standards introduce students to some of the most fundamental patterns in nature and develop the concept that science helps to make the world understandable. 
         Grade-three students are expected to learn both the content and process of science. Effective science programs reflect a balanced, comprehensive approach that includes the teaching of investigation and experimentation skills along with direct instruction. Key elements of a balanced science program include explicit teaching of science content and concepts, identifying students’ prior knowledge, and addressing student misconceptions. Investigation skills should also be highlighted, with students encouraged to find answers or reach conclusions using their own experiences or observations. High-quality science instruction should also develop students’ command of the academic language of science and use standards-based connections with other core subjects to reinforce science learning. 
         Safety should always be the foremost consideration in teacher modeling, the design of demonstrations, investigation and experiments, and science projects. Safety must be taught. Knowing and following safe practices in science are a part of understanding the nature of science and scientific enterprise. Everyone involved in science education should become familiar with the Science Safety Handbook for California Public Schools.

    What Third-Grade Students Should Know
         By the time students reach third grade, they already have some basic foundations in science. In physical science, students have studied the phenomena of motion and force and have basic understandings of gravity, magnetism, and the ability of vibrating objects to make sounds. In the life sciences, students have learned that plants and animals have life cycles typical of their species. They have also been introduced to the ideas of inherited characteristics, variation within a species, and environmentally induced changes. 
          Students entering third grade have learned about the composition, processes, and materials of Earth’s crust. They have studied the relationship of weathering (the process that leads to breaking rocks into smaller pieces) and soil formation and know that soil has an important effect on the growth and survival of plants. The concept of geologic time and the study of fossils have also been introduced, and students are able to discuss and identify the origin of things they use in their everyday lives. Students are able to observe patterns and make simple predictions. They have learned observation, measurement, and record keeping skills, including creating graphs and making drawings to record, organize, interpret, and display data. 

    What Students Learn in Third Grade
         During third grade, students further develop the important skills of making careful, replicable, and validated observations; recognizing patterns; categorizing; developing questions and answers; and communicating findings both in writing and orally. They conduct research, read about new topics, and learn more about the important role of technology in the sciences. 
         Students in grade three further develop their understandings of the structure of matter and forces of interaction. They study the properties of light and learn how light affects the perception of direction, shadow, and color. They extend their knowledge of ecology by learning about different environments, such as oceans, deserts, tundra, forests, grasslands, and wetlands, and the types of organisms adapted to live in each. They learn that objects in the sky move in regular and predictable patterns. 
         Third-graders practice making precise measurements and learn that even careful measurements are sometimes subject to error. They also learn that predictions are not guesses and that predictions must be verified by experiments and the analysis of learning about different data gathered through careful measurements.  
         Grade-three science topics are organized into five standards sets: Physical oceans, deserts, tundra, Sciences (Energy and Matter), Physical Sciences (Light), Life Sciences, Earth forests, grasslands, and Sciences, and Investigation and Experimentation. As students learn the content wetlands, and the types of defined by the standards in the Life, Earth, and Physical Sciences strands, they are organisms adapted to live also practicing investigation and experimentation skills. That is, the investigation in each. and experimentation standards should be infused throughout science instruction. 

    Physical Sciences (Energy and Matter) 
         The discussion of energy and matter in grade three is at a simple level, but it sets a foundation for further study in later grades. Students learn that energy may be stored in various ways and that both living organisms and machines convert stored energy into heat and motion. Third-grade students learn that energy is the ability to do work; to make things move, stretch, or grow; or cause physical and chemical changes. They begin to understand that Earth’s major source of energy is the Sun and that the Sun’s energy is seen as light and felt as heat. They also learn that energy movement or transfer may result from waves (e.g., light, sound, seismic or earthquake, and ocean waves), through electricity, or by moving objects.             Students study matter in more detail than at the previous grade levels. Third-grade students learn that matter is a substance that occupies space and may assume the form of a solid, liquid, or gas. They learn that atoms are the smallest component of the elements that compose all matter. Students learn the different kinds of atoms and the names and symbols displayed on the periodic table of the elements. These standards prepare students for a more detailed treatment of the properties of the elements and their combinations in grade five. 

    Physical Sciences (Light) 
         Third-graders learn that light, like heat, is a form of energy. Students learn some of the properties of light but are not yet required to understand light as energy in a waveform. They experiment with shadows and think about the source and direction of light. They know that light can be reflected and then continue to travel in a straight line away from its source, and that the color of an object is affected by the color of light that strikes it.  

    Life Sciences 
         The life sciences standards in grade three continue to develop the concepts of ecology and evolution by relating adaptation to the survival and fitness of the organism. Although natural selection is not formally discussed at this grade level, the foundation is set for teaching that principle in later grades. Students learn about Earth’s different habitats or biomes and are able to describe the characteristics of some of the plants and animals living in each. 
         Students consider the effects of environmental changes on organisms. They learn that living organisms, including humans, inevitably cause changes (both minor and major) in the environment as the organisms compete for food, shelter, light, and water, and that both plants and animals may be adversely affected by some environmental changes. The concept of extinction is introduced, and organisms in the fossil record are compared with contemporary organisms. 

    Earth Sciences 
         Earth science standards in grade three develop the concept that objects in the sky move in regular and predictable patterns.  Students learn that seasonal changes correlate with patterns and movements changes in both the amount of daily sunlight and the position of the Sun in the sky of the Sun, Moon, and and that these changes are caused by the tilt of Earth’s axis of rotation and the stars―both as those position of Earth relative to the Sun. Students also learn about the relationships bodies actually move between the phases of the Moon and the changes in the positions of the Sun and and as they appear to Moon. They learn that Earth is one of eight planets1 in the solar system that orbit move when viewed from the Sun and that the Moon orbits the Earth. Using models and telescopes may help Earth. students grasp the concepts presented in the standards.

    Investigation and Experimentation 
         Grade-three students practice making careful measurements and learn that some errors in measurement are unavoidable. They will discover that errors may occur through carelessness, misuse of measurement instruments, or recording mistakes. Students will learn that these human errors can be minimized by receiving proper instruction and through practice in measuring carefully and properly and by double-checking (or triple checking) measurements. However, they also learn that even then errors may occur as a result of limitations in the precision of the instruments used to make the measurements. Students learn how to make the most precise measurements possible with the tools available and learn to repeat their measurements several times. There are occasions when students will obtain different results each time. If those differences are significant, students learn to evaluate their measurement methods to determine whether an obvious error occurred. 
        In the context of activities that support mastery of the physical, earth, and life sciences standards, students make predictions based on observations, prior knowledge, and logic and learn that predictions are not to be confused with random guesses. They know that their predictions must be verified by experiments and the analysis of data gathered from careful measurements. 1 Under resolutions passed by the International Astronomical Union on August 24, 200
     Back to top

    Social Studies

          Third-graders prepare for learning California history and geography in the fourth grade and United States history and geography in the fifth grade by thinking about continuity and change in their local community. Through exploration of their local community, students have an opportunity to make contact with times past and with the people whose activities have left their mark on the land. In third grade, Through exploration students build on their knowledge of geography, civics, historical thinking, of their local chronology, and national identity. The emphasis is on understanding how some things community, students change and others remain the same. To understand changes occurring today, students have an opportunity explore the ways in which their locality continues to evolve and how they can to make contact with contribute to improvement of their community. Finally, teachers introduce students to times past and with the great legacy of local, regional, and national traditions that provide common the people whose memories and a shared sense of cultural and national identity. Students who have activities have left constructed a family history in grade two are now ready to think about constructing a their mark on the history of the place where they live today. With sensitivity toward children from land. transient families, teachers can ask students to recall how the decision of their parents or grandparents to move to this place made an important difference in their lives. Discovering who these people were, when they lived here, and how they used the land gives students a focus for grade three.
        Teachers are also encouraged to build understanding of history–social science concepts while furthering beginning literacy skills as outlined in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). For example, shared readings of narrative and expository text related to the history–social science standards can reinforce academic content vocabulary and comprehension skills.          California’s Historical and Social Sciences Analysis Skills for kindergarten through grade five are an integral part of the state’s content standards for elementary school. As students learn the content outlined in the standards, they should also be practicing the skills described under the headings “Chronological and Spatial Thinking,” “Research, Evidence, and Point of View,” and “Historical Interpretation.” All the standards for third-grade history–social science, including the analysis skills, are provided in full at the end of this section.

    What Third-Grade Students Should Know 
        The standards for second grade are entitled, “People Who Make a Difference.” Students coming from second grade should understand basic concepts necessary for their more detailed study of their local regions in third grade. For example, second-graders learned to distinguish events that happened long ago from events that happened recently. They studied basic map skills, including issues of land use that are revisited in the third grade standards. They learned about governments and economic concepts, both of which will be explored in more depth in third grade. Finally, students were exposed to significant historical figures through biographies, which helped them learn the importance of individual action and character in making a difference in other people’s lives. 3.34 October 2011 Edition

    What Students Learn in Third Grade 

                                                                              Geography of the Local Region 
         Throughout California, the geographic setting has had important effects on where and how localities developed. Students begin their third-grade studies with the natural landscape. Thus, teachers may utilize photographs, Internet resources, DVDs, and field trips to establish familiarity with the major natural features and landforms of their county and California. Students should have a clear understanding of the mountains, valleys, hills, coastal areas, oceans, lakes, desert landscapes, and other natural features of the region. In conducting research for this activity, students learn to differentiate between major landforms in the landscape and develop an understanding of the physical setting in which their region’s history has unfolded..
                                                                         American Indians of the Local Region  
         Students study the American Indians who lived in the local region, how they used the resources of this region, and in what ways they modified the natural environment. American Indians who lived in the region are presented authentically; students learn about the Indians’ tribal identity; their social organization and customs; the location of their villages and the reasons for the tribe’s locale; the structures they built and the relationship of these structures to the climate; their methods of getting food, clothing, tools, and utensils and whether they traded with others for any of those things; and their art and folklore. Museums that specialize in California Indian cultures are a rich source of publications, pictures, and artifacts that can help students appreciate the daily lives and the adaptation of these cultures to the environment of the region. 

                                                                         Development of the Local Community: 
          Change Over Time Third-grade students are ready to consider those who migrated or immigrated to their region and the impact each new group has had on those who came before. To organize this sequence of events, students may develop a community timeline by illustrating events and placing the illustrations on the timeline with a caption under each. Depending on the local history, this may include the explorers who visited the area; the newcomers who settled there; the economy they established; their impact on the American Indians of the region; and their lasting marks on the landscape, including the buildings, streets, political boundaries, names, and the rich legacy of cultural traditions that newcomers brought with them.        Students observe how their community has changed over time and also why certain features have remained the same. Books such as Bonnie Pryor’s The House on Maple Street can demonstrate how a place changes over 300 years and may be used to introduce the study of the students’ local community. Other literature, specific to their local region, can deepen their appreciation for and understanding of their community. Students compare the kinds of transportation people used, the ways in which people provided water for their growing community and farmlands, the sources of power, and the kinds of work people engaged in long ago. They discover that the changing history of their locality was, at all stages, closely related to the physical geography of its region: its topography, soil, water, mineral resources, and relative location. Students can analyze how successive groups of settlers have made different uses of the land, depending on their skills, technology, and values.       Students may observe how each period of settlement in their locality left its mark on the land and predict how decisions being made today in their communities will impact their communities in the future. Through this focus on place, students also deepen their understanding of California’s environment. By studying the state’s Environmental 3.35 October 2011 Edition Principles and Concepts (and the associated curriculum provided by the Education and the Environment Initiative), as well as relevant science standards, children can deepen their understanding of their local region. 
         To bring the past to life, teachers may have students study historical photos and observe the changes in the ways families lived, worked, played, dressed, and traveled. Primary sources, such as maps and photographs, can be utilized to observe how a given place looked long ago and how it looks today. Students can compare changes in their community with picture displays provided by the teacher. 
         The local community newspaper, the historical society, or other community organizations often can provide photos and articles on past events in the region. When available, old maps can be a source of discoveries: the location of the early ranchos that once occupied California; where people constructed streets in previous times and how many of them and their names survive today; how boundaries have changed over the years and how settlements have grown; how once-open fields have changed to dense urban development; how a river or coastline has changed in location or size because of a dam constructed upstream, a great earthquake in the past, or breakwaters that have been built to change the action of the sea; and so on. 

                                                               American Citizens, Symbols, and Government 
          Third-grade students continue preparing to become active and responsible citizens of their communities, California, and the United States. Students focus on developing and understanding Students focus on citizenship, civic engagement, the basic structure of government, and the lives of developing and famous national and local Americans who took risks to secure freedoms. Through understanding stories and the celebration of local and national holidays, students learn the meaning citizenship, civic of holidays, landmarks, and the symbols that provide continuity and a sense of engagement, the community across time. The U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence basic structure of are reintroduced. Students can discuss the responsibilities of citizens and make a list, government, and the or create an illustration of what is considered a “good citizen.”  
        Students learn about the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of national and local government, with an emphasis on the local government. Teachers may use literature Americans who took and role-playing activities—for example, reading The True Story of the Three Little risks to secure Pigs by Jon Scieska and holding a mock trial of Pig Brothers versus A. Wolf. freedoms. Teachers can also use informational texts such as How the U.S. Government Works by Syl Sobel, as well as information from local, state, and U.S. government Web sites, such as http://www.Kids.gov (Outside Source), to help students understand the functions of government and the people who are part of each level and branch. Students can also write a classroom constitution. In a discussion of what to include, teachers may ask questions such as the following: Should the constitution protect your rights? Should your responsibilities as citizens be included? 
         Students also learn about American heroes on the national level, such as Anne Hutchinson, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Clara Barton, and Martin Luther King, Jr.; leaders from all walks of life who have helped to solve community problems, worked for better schools, or improved living conditions and lifelong opportunities for workers, families, women, and students; and students, as well as adults, who have been honored locally for displaying courage, responsibility, and concern while contributing to the safety, welfare, and happiness of others. Teachers may invite a local leader to visit the classroom through the chamber of commerce, local government, or a local nonprofit organization. Students interview the leader about a local problem (for example, homelessness or hunger) and ask how that person is helping the community (for example, through a food bank, soup kitchen, or new law). Students can also ask the speaker to describe ways for students to help and what the leader thinks it means to be a citizen. In addition, students work together to plan a class project to address the problem, such as a food drive, recycling program, clothing drive, or letter-writing campaign to propose or oppose a law. 3.36 October 2011 Edition Economics of the Local Region: Choices, Costs, and Human Capital Students should continue to develop their cost–benefit skills and recognize the importance of education in developing their human capital. Elected officials, or volunteers who are knowledgeable about community service, may be invited to describe different sides of an important economic issue identified by the students. 

    Core Literature




    Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte's Web, high up in Zuckerman's barn. Charlotte's spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur's life when he was born the runt of his litter.


    In 1707, young Sarah Noble and her father traveled through the wilderness to build a new home for their family. "Keep up you courage, Sarah Noble," her mother had said, but Sarah found that it was not always easy to feel brave inside. The dark woods were full of animals and Indians, too, and Sarah was only eight! The true story of Sarah's journey is inspiring. And as she cares for her father and befriends her Indian neighbors, she learns that to be afraid and to be brave is the greatest courage of all.


    "There was a girl in the village who loved horses... She led the horses to drink at the river. She spoke softly and they followed. People noticed that she understood horses in a special way." 
    And so begins the story of a young Native American girl devoted to the care of her tribe's horses. With simple text and brilliant illustrations. Paul Goble tells how she eventually becomes one of them to forever run free.


    Laura Ingalls's story begins in 1871 in a little log cabin on the edge of the Big Woods of Wisconsin. Four-year-old Laura lives in the little house with her Pa, her Ma, her sisters Mary and Carrie, and their trusty dog, Jack.
    Pioneer life is sometimes hard, since the family must grow or catch all their own food as they get ready for the cold winter. But it is also exciting as Laura and her folks celebrate Christmas with homemade toys and treats, do the spring planting, bring in the harvest, and make their first trip into town. And every night they are safe and warm in their little house, with the happy sound of Pa's fiddle sending Laura and her sisters off to sleep.
    And so begins Laura Ingalls Wilder's beloved story of a pioneer girl and her family. The nine Little House books have been cherished by generations of readers as both a unique glimpse into America's frontier past and a heartwarming, unforgettable story.