Fort Dodge Community School District

Third Grade Science Overview

The Third Grade Science program consists of hands-on experiences in which students are taught to investigate and explore.  The inquiry-based, hands-on science curriculum is designed to provide children with exciting science experiences to extend their fascination with the world and help them learn the science skills and concepts they will need later in school and in life.

The Science Curriculum for Third Grade consists of three basic units:

Ideas and Inventions:  This module consists of four sequential investigations that promote student creativity and inventiveness.  Each investigation provides valuable science content while introducing a conventional technique for revealing the unseen.                      

Physics of Sound:  This module consists of four sequential investigations, each designed to expose a specific set of concepts.  Students learn to discriminate between sounds generated by dropped objects, how sounds can be made louder or softer and higher or lower, how sounds travel through a variety of materials, and how sounds get from a source to a receiver.  The investigations provide opportunities for students to explore the natural and humanmade worlds by observing and manipulating materials in focused settings using simple tools.                                       

Water:  Water is the most important substance on Earth.  Water dominates the surface of our planet, changes the face of the land, and defines life.  These powerful, pervasive ideas are introduced here.  The Water Module consists of four investigations in which students explore properties of water, changes in water, interactions between water and other earth materials, and how humans use water.

Through exploration of the units above and various activities integrated with reading and math, students will continue their study in the following Iowa Core Science Standards:

Science as Inquiry

  • Identify and generate questions that can be answered through scientific investigations.
  • Recognize that scientists perform different types of investigations.
  • Plan and conduct scientific investigations.
  • Use appropriate tools and techniques to gather, process, and analyze data.
  • Incorporate mathematics in science inquiries.
  • Use evidence to develop reasonable explanations.
  • Communicate scienfitic procedures and explanations.


Earth and Space

  • Understand and apply knowledge of properties and uses of earth materials.
  • Understand and apply knowledge of processes and changes on or in the earth's land, oceans, and atmosphere.
  • Understand and apply knowledge of fossils and the evidence they provide of past life on earth.
  • Understand and apply knowledge of weather and weather patterns.
  • Understand and apply knowledge of the properties, movements, and locations of objects in our solar system.


Life Science

  • Understand and apply knowledge of organisms and their environments.
  • Understand and apply knowledge of environmental stewardship
  • Understand and apply knowledge of basic human body systems and how they work together.
  • Understand and apply knowledge of personal health and wellness issues.


Physical Science

  • Understand and apply knowledge of how to describe and identify substances based on characteristic properties.
  • Understand and apply knowledge of states of matter and changes in states of matter.
  • Understand and apply knowledge of the concept of conservation of mass/matter.
  • Understand and apply knowledge of sound, light, electricity, magnetism, and heat.
  • Understand and apply knowledge of how forces are related to an object's motion.
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