Fort Dodge Community School District

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Third Grade Social Studies Overview

The Social Studies Curriculum in Third Grade acquaints students with their community and beyond.  Resources for the Social Studies Curriculum are varied, but the basic curriculum is the Social Studies Alive Curriculum developed by Teachers Curriculum Institute.

Social Studies Alive: The third grade level of Social Studies Alive!  offers a full-year program with 14 lessons that help children explore social studies concepts while continuing to develop their reading skills.  A colorful, considerate text contains companion readings for each learning activity.

  • Chapter  1:   Where in the World is Our Community?  Students act as astronauts returning to Earth as they learn about geographic features of the globe and the location of their community.
  • Chapter 2:  Where in the United States is Our Community? Students use geography skills to map and measure   distances from their community to other locations in the country.
  •  Chapter 3:  What is the Geography of Our Community?  Students create travel brochures as they learn about the geography of communities around the United States.
  • Chapter 4 :  How Do People Become Part of Our Country?  Students explore why people immigrate and discover the challenges faced by immigrants to the United States.
  • Chapter 5 :  What Makes Our Community Diverse?  Students learn what people of different cultures have contributed to life in the United States - foods, languages, holidays.
  • Chapter 6 :  How Do People Improve Their Communities? Students create "human statues" to commemorate four individuals who have made a difference in their communities.
  • Chapter 7:  How Are We Alike Around the World? Students learn how their lives compare to the lives of children in six other countries.
  • Chapter 8: How Does Our Economy Work? Students become "buyers" and "sellers" at a fruit market to learn about the economic concepts of supply and demand.
  • Chapter 9:  How Does Global Trade Affect Our Community?  Students learn how global trade ties together different parts of the world.
  •  Chapter 10: What Are the Public Service in Our Community?  Students explore the significance of health, child care, police, fire fighting, education and transportation services in our communities.
  • Chapter 11:  Who Works at City Hall?  Students explore the roles and responsibilities of different positions and departments in the city government.
  • Chapter 12:  How Do We Have a Voice in Our Community?  As students bring to life images, they see how public meetings, demonstrations, and voting give people a voice in their community.
  • Chapter 13:  Whose Planet Is It, Anyway? Through case studies, students discover how people have solved environmental problems.
  • Chapter 14:  How Can Wel Help the Global Community?  Students propose and implement a class project to help the global community.

Through the study of the lessons above, as well as units integrated with reading, students in third grade will continue their study of the following Iowa Core Social Studies Standards:

  • Understand how "acceptable" human behavior varies from one culture to another over time.
  • Understand the role of scarcity and economic trade-offs and how economic conditions impact people's lives.
  • Understand the functions of economic institutions.
  • Understand how governments throughout the world influence economic behavior.
  • Understand factors that create patterns of interdependence in the world economy.
  • Understand that advancing technologies impact the global economy.
  • Understand that all economies throughout the world rely upon universal concepts.
  • Understand the use of geographic tools to locate and analyze information about people, places, and environments.
  • Understand how and why people create, maintain, or change systems of power, authority, and governance.
  • Understand the role of culture and cultural diffusion on the development and maintenance of societies.
  • Understand the effect of economic needs and wants on individual and group decisions.
  • Understand the rights and responsibilities of each citizen and demonstrate the value of lifelong civic action.
  • Understand how the government established by the Constitution embodies the enduring values and principles of democracy and republicanism.


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