Learning / Lower School

Third Grade Glimpse


English Curriculum Unit: Everyone Can Make a Change

In a corner of the English classroom, three students in a book club look over the Post-it notes they gathered while reading Tiger Rising. The Literary Leader of the group asks questions and the Connection Creator describes how the character overcame a series of obstacles, such as poverty and loss. A teaching associate leans into the conversation to ask the group what issues they feel might have been important to the author. Nearby, a group talks about The Hundred Dresses, and one student mentions how the main character’s past impacts her decisions and that learning about this makes the reader better able to empathize with the character. Later in the unit, the students think back on social issues discussed throughout their readings and ask themselves how they can use their writing to bring attention to a social issue that is important to each of them and use their voices to be advocates. Students explore the idea that everyone has the power to bring awareness to issues through their writing and using the power of words. One student chooses to write about access to education, persuading the audience about why all children should have access to great schools. Another writes about homelessness and how all people should have the right to live in a place where they not only feel safe and have access to healthy food, but can also have a sense of dignity and pride about their home.

Chinese Curriculum Unit: 助人为快乐之本 Helping Others is the Foundation of Happiness

Meanwhile in Chinese class, students are having a lively discussion about the various ways in which they can do things for the people in their communities. Having read a text about a family who loses their home in a fire, students see how the community reaches out to help the family fulfill basic needs such as food, clothing, and furniture. Their imaginations are sparked as they discuss ways that communities can come together to help those in need. Through role plays in small groups, students brainstorm a scenario in which people encounter a major life challenge and design what they would do to help these people. Completing a community service activity together as a class, students reflect on the meaning of the famous Chinese proverb saying “助人为快乐之本” (helping others is the foundation of happiness).

Examples of Enduring UnderstandingsExamples of Essential QuestionsFocus of Integration
ChineseIndividuals can create change in their communities.Why is helping one another important in a community?

How do we make our community a better place?
Global Citizenship, Change and Continuity
EnglishEveryone has the power to bring awareness to important issues.What responsibilities do I have to others in my local and global community?

How can I bring awareness to social issues?
Global Citizenship