coronavirus top image

You are here: Home / #CHSSPLive: Coronavirus Support / History-Social Science in Third Grade

History-Social Science in Third Grade

Parents - what your child is expected to learn in third grade

What You Need to Know:

Students in third grade learn about history-social science with themselves at the center of their studies.  Third grade content is regional; that is, students study the physical and cultural geographic and economic makeup of their communities today and in the past.  Third grade is the first time students learn in a systematic way about the histories of their communities, which most often involve studying native California groups that populated the state long before statehood, and continue to shape it in important ways.  Third grade serves as an important bridge year for students to develop a strong sense of their place on a map, in their communities, and in their place in time.  Some of the questions that students consider are:

  • Why did people move to my community?
  • How has my community changed over time?

Between April and June:  

Between April and June third-grade students might:

  • Look through this set of sources that illustrate why people settled in California (3.1)
  • Look through this set of sources about native communities in California (3.2)
  • Make a topographical map of California with distinct regions and waterways of the state displayed prominently.
  • Learn about the key industries in their part of the state by looking at local city council websites.
  • Use a family story (whether their own, a neighbor, or someone they don’t know) to explain how the family arrived in California.  Students can use the language of “push” and “pull” factors to describe the forces that made a family settle where they did.
  • Learn about their own community through photographs that are easily accessible through Calisphere, a massive collection of well-organized materials from California’s libraries.

Lessons and Source Sets:

Native Californian Communities (3rd grade primary source set)
Why Did People Settle in California? (3rd grade primary source set)

Back to CHSSP Homeschool page