Grade 3 at US

Third grade boys explore themes that are broad in scope, and basic core disciplines are readily and logically integrated. They study the concepts of interdependence between indigenous peoples and their environments; interactions between cultures, and the development by all cultures of intellectual life. Themes include Ancient Egypt, Native Americans, and Australia.

Core Curriculum

In an environment that encourages exploration and risk taking, boys are able to deepen their mathematical understanding. Third graders expand their math knowledge in multiplication, division, fractions, rectangular arrays, area, and two-dimensional objects using the Bridges math curriculum. They continue to develop and expand their problem-solving abilities through open-ended mathematical exploration, the use of algorithms, and the modeling of word problems in multiple formats.
In third grade, boys refine their ability to comprehend, sequence, draw inferences, compare and contrast, identify the main idea, and explore plot and character development. They write original and experience-based stories. They gather and assess information from a variety of sources. They also learn to find and synthesize new information into their research assignments and to be responsible for editing and organizing their research into final drafts. Cursive writing instruction continues.

In third grade, boys engage in interactive science activities with the science teacher that connect with their classroom theme. The science teacher’s role is to plan experiences that enable students to ask questions, make discoveries, and practice skills necessary for inquiry-based science investigations. Key concepts and topics include the impact of cultures on the environment, ecosystems, constellations, latitude and longitude, plant life cycles, birds of prey, coral reefs, decomposition, food webs, Australian animals, geography, mapping, climate zones, rocks and minerals, rivers, nutrition and maple sugaring.

Co-curricular Disciplines

Speaking and reading in Spanish gives boys the opportunity to expand their thinking and comprehension. Third grade boys study Spanish four out of the seven days in our rotating schedule. They build on Spanish vocabulary and concepts, looking at more verbs and writing more complex sentences and stories. They gain important cultural understandings by studying the historical ties among Native Americans, Maya, Aztec and Inca cultures. 

Third grade boys learn through play, experiencing musical concepts and gaining skills through their own active involvement. Listening acuity, expressive performance and considerate participation are stressed in every lesson. Boys engage in creative holistic music making using the Orff-Schulwerk approach to music education. Third graders learn melodic singing in two or three parts including partner songs and canons. They explore more complex rhythms including whole notes and some dotted rhythms. They learn dances with singing and a more complex structure. They learn to play the recorder and join the Junior Choir.
Art is a place where the boys discover that art is everywhere. We explore the theme-based curriculum at each grade level and dive a little deeper into cultural art forms. Introductions to artists and traditional cultures play a key role in learning, but it is the student who makes that technique his own. In third grade, we explore nature as a base of art. What is a medium? Where does it come from? How does culture play a role in art? The boys explore different cultural art forms by working with clay, paper mâche and weaving.
We provide successful physical experiences for all boys through a curriculum designed to foster and develop the knowledge and values, physical skills, and practices necessary for personal physical fitness and lifetime wellness. In third grade, boys learn body control with an emphasis on balance and coordination, and spatial judgments. Rhythms, games, tumbling, large apparatus stunts, and swimming are taught. 

Young boys have boundless energy and a natural tendency to explore and discover.

The Third Grade Curriculum at a Glance

Native Americans
Ancient Egypt
  • How does the environment determine the development of a culture?
  • Why do societies develop social, political economic and religious structures?
  • How do cultures respond to conflict with other cultures?


Boys learn to love reading, researching, and expressing themselves through literature-based activities. In third grade, boys visit the library as a class or to do individual research on a flexible basis. They use a more advanced research process and practice skills such as note taking, using an index, creating a bibliography and accessing multiple reference materials. They learn about Internet use and safety. The boys continue to study authors and illustrators, read and listen to legends, stories, and nonfiction, and are expected to critically evaluate the difficulty of the books they select for their pleasure reading. They are introduced to different genres of fiction and are encouraged to share their reading with friends. 


Shaker Heights Campus

20701 Brantley Road
Shaker Heights, Ohio 44122
Phone: 216-321-8260

Hunting Valley Campus

2785 SOM Center Road
Hunting Valley, Ohio 44022
GRADES 9 – 12
Phone: 216-831-2200
University School serves over 850 boys in Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 on two campuses in suburban Cleveland, Ohio. The School’s mission is to inspire boys of promise to become young men of character who lead and serve. Dedicated faculty, rigorous curriculum, and experiential programs foster intellectual, physical, creative, and moral excellence. University School is a diverse and inclusive community where each boy is known and loved. 
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