Social studies is a subject that includes many different topics. Within social studies, students will explore geography, history, government, and economics. They’ll study people, cultures, and industries. They’ll explore similarities and differences among different places and people around the globe. They’ll look at different landforms, use maps, and learn to read and create charts and graphs. State standards and district curriculums vary, but grade levels tend to have similar themes and focus on similar topics in schools across the United States.
In third grade social studies, students will begin to explore more about relationships between things. For example, they’ll come to understand why societies often develop in certain places, like near rivers. They’ll discuss why some cities have high populations- possibly because of their geographic location and climate. Students will study the boundaries of cities and countries and why some are formed from natural landforms while others are drawn. Many curriculums in third grade will focus on areas within each of the world’s ecosystems or biomes, possibly including countries or continents in areas of desert, forest, wetland, plains, tundra, mountains, and tropics. Study of these areas will include natural resources, how they have adapted to their environment, how they have changed their environment, the geography of the location, and the climate. It will also include the nation’s government, economy, and history.
At this level, students will gain a better understand of the meaning of culture and what it includes. Especially when they start to study different areas of the world, they’ll see that people do things differently from them. It is interesting to study the clothing, food, customs, holidays, and family traditions of different cultures. Culture also involves language, religion, and the arts. Sometimes classes will connect with pen pals in different parts of the world so they can share information about themselves and learn about other children at the same time. Students will also continue to learn what it means to be a good citizen and what their roles and responsibilities are within their own community.
When learning about social studies, it is important to practice new third grade social studies vocabulary. This includes general terms that will be covered at each grade level, like government, economy, currency, and elections. It also includes vocabulary that is specific to the unit of study, whether it’s a unit on Japan, map skills, or government. Teachers will also have students practice social studies writing. This might include labeling a map, adding information to a chart, writing a caption for a photograph, or writing down definitions. It might also be writing short answers to questions or learning how to write a basic essay.
Whether children are learning about social studies in school or at home, it’s important that they have the opportunity to explore topics they’re interested in. For example, if a child shows interest in a specific country or culture, parents can help them gain access to magazines, books, newspapers, and online texts.