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What 3rd Grade Students Should Learn in Social Studies Class

Updated on February 13, 2018
Diane Lockridge profile image

Lockridge holds an EdS in Curriculum and Instruction, an MS in Elementary Education, and a BA in History. She also homeschools her children.

Help students learn how to analyze information.
Help students learn how to analyze information. | Source

What a 3rd Grade student from Georgia should learn

The following is a list of suggested standards and teaching topics that the average third grade social studies student should learn about.

Information Processing

  • The student will apply and improve in the expression of the similarities and differences between geographical locations and learn how to express how geography affects the habitat of animals.
  • The student will master organizing events in chronological order.
  • The student will develop the ability to identify social issues and alternative solutions to social and environmental problems.
  • The student will master discerning the difference between opinion and fact.
  • The student will develop the ability to identify the main ideas, sequence of events, and cause/effect relationships in a social science context.
  • The student will develop the ability to differentiate between primary and secondary sources.
  • The student will develop the ability to interpret timelines.
  • The student will master identifying appropriate references and resources.
  • The student will master constructing charts and tables for use in the social science realm.
  • The student will develop the ability to analyze artifacts for appropriateness in the social science realm.
  • The student will learn to draw conclusion and make generalizations.
  • The student will learn to analyze graphs and diagrams.
  • The student will learn to categorize dates into centuries/eras/ages.

Map & Globe Skills

  • The student will master memorization of the continents and oceans of the world.
  • The student will apply and improve the expression cardinal directions.
  • The student will apply and improve in the skill of intermediate directions.
  • The student will master using the grid system to determine a location.
  • The student will master comparing and contrasting natural, cultural and political features.
  • The student will master determining distance on a map using an inch scale on a map.
  • The student will develop using the map key/legend to find information about a location, including information such as physical characteristics, politics, resources, products and economics.
  • The student will develop expressing the impact of geography on a location’s historical and current events.
  • The student will learn to draw conclusions make generalizations from viewing maps and globes.
  • The student will learn how to determine a location by using longitude and latitude on a map or globe.
  • The student will apply knowledge of the relationship between the sun and the earth, and describe how the season affects the weather.
  • The student will learn to draw a mental map or blueprint of an area, such as a classroom or home, and translate the mental map on paper.

U.S. History

  • The student will master memorization of the states in the USA.
  • The student will develop understanding of their American heritage through learning about important historical characters such as: Columbus, John Smith, Pocahontas, Milkes Standish, Squanto, William Penn, Ben Franklin, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Daniele Boone, Noah Webster, John Greenleaf Whittier, Robert E. Lee, Abraham Lincoln, Clara Barton, Ulysses S. Grant, Louisa May Alcott, Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Billy Sunday and Martin Luther King Jr.


The standard suggestions listed above were compiled from several sources, including the Georgia Department of Education, The National Center for History in the Schools, A Beka Book- Scope and Sequence, and National Geographic Xpeditions.


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