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Third Grade Lesson Plans (48 results)

Science Buddies' third grade science projects are the perfect way for third grade students to have fun exploring science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Our third grade projects are written and tested by scientists and are specifically created for use by students in the third grade. Students can choose to follow the science experiment as written or put their own spin on the project.

For a personalized list of science projects, third graders can use the Science Buddies Topic Selection Wizard. The wizard asks students to respond to a series of simple statements and then uses their answers to recommend age-appropriate projects that fit their interests.

Let us help you find a science project that fits your interests, with our Topic Selection Wizard.
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Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd
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Help the budding meteorologists in your classroom learn how to measure wind speed by building their own anemometers (wind speed meters) with paper cups and straws. Then do a simple experiment in which students change the "wind" speed using a fan and measure how fast their anemometer spins. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-ESS2-1. Represent data in tables and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season.
Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd-5th
Teach your students about the engineering design process with this fun lesson plan. They will design and build the tallest possible tower using nothing but paper and tape, but there's an additional twist on this classic activity. The tower must support a heavy weight at the top without collapsing! Teachers, note that middle school and high school versions of this lesson plan are also available. The 2021 Fluor Engineering Challenge is over, but you can still try this fun lesson with your… Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-5-ETS1-3. Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd-5th
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Are paper airplanes a nuisance in your classroom? They don't have to be! Those distractions can be a constructive learning opportunity: use them to teach your students about the engineering design process. In this fun lesson, you will be the "customer" ordering a paper airplane, and your student teams will be engineering companies that will manufacture planes. Before they start making planes, they need to define the criteria and constraints of this engineering problem. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-5-ETS1-1. Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd-5th
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This lesson will introduce your students to the scientific method using a fun, hands-on activity. A middle school version of this lesson plan is also available. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-5—Science Practices.
Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd
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Forces, which we might instinctively describe as pushes and pulls, are acting on us at all times, but we cannot always see them. This hands-on lesson offers a fun opportunity to explore "invisible" forces like gravity and air resistance. Students will build parachutes and investigate how they allow skydivers to safely land. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-PS2-1. Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object.
Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd-5th
There are many different ways to make slime. In this lesson plan, your students will use the engineering design process to design their own slime product. They will need to decide on the desired properties for their slime and then experiment to find the best recipe. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-5-ETS1-1. Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
  • 5-PS1-4. Conduct an investigation to determine whether the mixing of two or more substances results in new substances.
  • Optional: 5-PS1-2. Measure and graph quantities to provide evidence that regardless of the type of change that occurs when heating, cooling, or mixing substances, the total weight of matter is conserved. (see Variations)
Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd
Students experience the weather every day: they feel cold spring mornings and warm summer afternoons. This hands-on lesson helps them quantify how hot or cold it is by using a thermometer they will make themselves! Based on their gathered data and observations, students can infer patterns about how temperature varies by location and time. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-ESS2-1. Represent data in tables and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season.
  • 3-ESS2-2. Obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world.
Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd-5th
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Can your students lift a book off the floor with just one finger? Find out and learn about simple machines in this fun lesson plan about levers. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-5-ETS1-3. Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd-5th
Vibrobots are tiny robots powered by a vibrating motor, like the type found in cell phones. In this lesson plan, your students will learn about engineering design as they build their own vibrobots from craft materials. No previous experience with robots is required! Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-5-ETS1-2. Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Video Lesson Grade: 3rd
Wind is a part of our everyday weather. Its strength can range from a soft breeze to a violent storm. In this lesson, students learn how to measure wind speed by building anemometers (wind speed meters) from paper cups and straws and experimenting with them. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-ESS2-1. Represent data in tables and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season.
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