Washington Standards 3rd Grade Science Activities
Printable Third Grade Science Worksheets and Study Guides.
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WA.1. Systems (SYS)
2-3.SYS. Role of Each Part in a System
2-3.SYSA. Students know that a system is a group of interacting parts that form a whole.
2-3.SYSA.1. Students are expected to give examples of simple living and physical systems (e.g., a whole animal or plant, a car, a doll, a table and chair set). For each example, explain how different parts make up the whole.
2-3.SYSB. Students know that a whole object, plant, or animal may not continue to function the same way if some of its parts are missing.
2-3.SYSB.2. Students are expected to explain how the parts of a system depend on one another for the system to function.
2-3.SYSC. Students know that a whole object, plant, or animal can do things that none of its parts can do by themselves.
2-3.SYSC.1. Students are expected to contrast the function of a whole object, plant, or animal with the function of one of its parts (e.g., an airplane can fly, but wings and propeller alone cannot; plants can grow, but stems and flowers alone cannot).
2-3.SYSE. Students know that similar parts may play different roles in different objects, plants, or animals.
2-3.SYSE.1. Students are expected to identify ways that similar parts can play different roles in different systems (e.g., birds may use their beaks to crack seeds while other birds use their beaks to catch fish).
WA.2. Inquiry (INQ)
2-3.INQ. Conducting Investigations: In prior grades students learned that scientific investigations involve trying to answer questions by making observations or trying things out. In grades 2-3 students learn to conduct different kinds of investigations. Although students may not yet be able to plan investigations alone, they can carry out investigations in collaboration with other students and support from the teacher. Actions may include observing and describing objects, events, and organisms, classifying them and making and recording measurements. Students should also display their data using various tables and graphs, make inferences based on evidence, and discuss their results with other students.
2-3 INQB. Investigate: Students know that a scientific investigation may include making and following a plan to accurately observe and describe objects, events, and organisms; make and record measurements, and predict outcomes.
2-3 INQB.1. Students are expected to work with other students to make and follow a plan to carry out a scientific investigation. Actions may include accurately observing and describing objects, events, and organisms; measuring and recording data; and predicting outcomes.
2-3 INQC. Infer: Students know that inferences are based on observations.
2-3 INQC.1. Students are expected to distinguish between direct observations and simple inferences.
2-3 INQD. Investigate: Students know that simple instruments, such as magnifiers, thermometers, and rulers provide more information than scientists can obtain using only their unaided senses.
2-3 INQD.1. Students are expected to use simple instruments (e.g., metric scales or balances, thermometers, and rulers) to observe and make measurements, and record and display data in a table, bar graph, line plot, or pictograph.
2-3 INQF. Explain: Students know that scientists develop explanations, using observations (evidence) and what they already know about the world. Explanations should be based on evidence from investigations.
2-3 INQF.1. Students are expected to accurately describe results, referring to the graph or other data as evidence. Draw a conclusion about the question that motivated the study using the results of the investigation as evidence.
2-3.INQA. Question: Students know that scientific investigations are designed to gain knowledge about the natural world.
2-3.INQA.1. Students are expected to explain how observations can lead to new knowledge and new questions about the natural world.
WA.4. Earth and Space Science
ES2. Earth Systems, Structures, and Processes
2-3.ES2. Water and Weather: In prior years, students learned about Earth materials through their own observations. In grades 2-3 students learn that water exists in various locations and plays an essential role in Earth systems, including shaping land forms and weather. Weather changes from day to day, and weather conditions can be described by measurable quantities, such as temperature and rainfall. Environments can be affected by natural causes. Some of these changes are gradual and some are rapid. Water is essential for life, but it can also be destructive when too much is deposited too rapidly.
2-3.ES2A. Students know that water plays an essential role in Earth systems, including shaping landforms.2-3.ES2A.1. Students are expected to identify where natural water bodies occur in the students' local environment.
2-3.ES2B. Students know that water can be a liquid or solid and can go back and forth from one form to another. If water is turned into ice and then the ice is allowed to melt, the amount of water will be the same as it was before freezing. Water occurs in the air as rain, snow, hail, fog, and clouds.2-3.ES2B.1. Students are expected to describe the various forms and places that water can be found on Earth as liquids and solids (e.g., as liquid in morning dew; in lakes, streams, and oceans; as solid ice at the North and South Poles, and on the tops of mountains; and in the air as clouds, fog, rain, hail, and snow).
2-3.ES2C. Students know that weather changes from day to day and over the seasons. Weather can be described by measurable quantities, such as temperature and precipitation.2-3.ES2C.1. Students are expected to measure and record changes in weather (e.g., inches of rain using a rain gauge, depth of snow using a ruler, and temperature using a thermometer).2-3.ES2C.2. Students are expected to interpret graphs of weather conditions to describe with measurements how weather changes from season to season.
WA.4. Life Science
LS1. Structures and Functions of Living Organisms
2-3.LS1. Life Cycles: In prior grades students learned that living things have basic needs and they meet those needs in various ways. In grades 2-3 students learn that all plants and animals have life cycles. They also compare the life cycles of a few common animals to see how they are similar and how they are different, and learn about the life cycles of plants. Focus should be on observable characteristics of how plants and animals change over time. An important aspect of life cycles is that plants and animals resemble their parents. This is a first step in understanding how the structures of plants and animals develop and function.
2-3.LS1A. Students know that plants have life cycles that include sprouting, growing to full size, forming fruits and flowers, shedding seeds (which begins a new cycle), and eventually dying. The details of the life cycle are different for different plants.2-3.LS1A.1. Students are expected to describe the life cycle of a common type of plant (e.g., the growth of a fast-growing plant from seed to sprout, to adult, to fruits, flowers, and seeds).
2-3.LS1B. Students know that animals have life cycles that include being born; developing into juveniles, adolescents, then adults; reproducing (which begins a new cycle); and eventually dying. The details of the life cycle are different for different animals.2-3.LS1B.1. Students are expected to describe the life cycle of a common type of animal (e.g., the development of a butterfly or moth from egg to larva to pupa to adult, or the development of a frog from egg to tadpole to adult frog).
2-3.LS2. Changes in Ecosystems: In prior grades students learned that all plants and animals live in and depend on habitats. In grades 2-3 students learn that ecosystems include plant and animal populations as well as nonliving resources. Plants and animals depend both on each other and on the nonliving resources in their ecosystem to survive. Ecosystems can change through both natural causes and human activities. These changes might be good or bad for the plants and animals that live in the ecosystem, or have no effect. Humans can protect the health of ecosystems in a number of ways.
2-3.LS2A. Students know that ecosystems support all life on the planet, including human life, by providing food, fresh water, and breathable air.2-3.LS2A.1. Students are expected to identify at least four ways that ecosystems support life (e.g., by providing fresh water, generating oxygen, removing toxic pollutants, and providing sources of useful materials).
2-3.LS2B. Students know that all ecosystems change over time as a result of natural causes (e.g., storms, floods, volcanic eruptions, fire). Some of these changes are beneficial for the plants and animals, some are harmful, and some have no effect.2-3.LS2B.1. Students are expected to describe three or more of the changes that occur in an ecosystem or a model of a natural ecosystem (e.g., aquarium, terrarium) over time, as well as how these changes may affect the plants and animals living there.
2-3.LS2C. Students know that some changes in ecosystems occur slowly and others occur rapidly. Changes can affect life forms, including humans.2-3.LS2C.2. Students are expected to explain the consequences of gradual ecosystem change (e.g., gradual increase or decrease in daily temperatures, reduction or increase in yearly rainfall).
WA.4. Physical Science
PS1. Force and Motion
2-3.PS1. Force Makes Things Move: In prior grades students learned to use appropriate words to describe the position and motion of objects and the effects of forces on objects. In grades 2-3 students learn that forces work not only to push and pull objects, but also affect objects when they are dropped or thrown. Whenever the motion of an object changes, there is a force involved. Greater forces on a given object result in greater changes of motion. In addition to being able to describe how forces change the motion of objects, students are expected to measure the position of objects using measuring instruments such as rulers. Students can also measure time to the nearest minute. Emphasis should be on comparisons of forces and motions rather than on calculation so that students develop conceptual understanding of how forces make things move.
2-3.PS1A. Students know that motion can be described as a change in position over a period of time.2-3.PS1A.1. Students are expected to give an example to illustrate motion as a change in position over a period of time (e.g., if a student stands near the door and then moves to his/her seat, the student is "in motion" during that time).
2-3.PS1B. Students know that there is always a force involved when something starts moving or changes its speed or direction of motion.2-3.PS1B.1. Students are expected to identify the force that starts something moving or changes its speed or direction of motion (e.g., when a ball is thrown or when a rock is dropped).
PS2. Matter: Properties and Change
2-3.PS2. Properties of Materials: In prior grades students learned about liquids and solids. In grades 2-3 students learn to identify different physical properties of materials (matter) and to realize that an object may be made from several different types of materials. They also learn that properties of materials change when environmental conditions change. Water, for example, changes to a solid when the temperature drops below 0 degrees Celsius. Although few students at this age will fully understand that water may change to an invisible gas (e.g., water vapor) when left in an open container overnight, they can start to become familiar with changes of state by observing ice cubes freeze and then melt, and seeing water turn to steam when heated. Looking closely at matter to describe its characteristics will eventually lead to understanding the basic nature of matter and its physical and chemical properties.
2-3.PS2A. Students know that objects have properties, including size, weight, hardness, color, shape, texture, and magnetism. Unknown substances can sometimes be identified by their properties.2-3.PS2A.1. Students are expected to list several properties of an object.
2-3.PS2B. Students know that an object may be made from different materials. These materials give the object certain properties.2-3.PS2B.1. Students are expected to list properties of common materials.2-3.PS2B.3. Students are expected to compare two objects made of the same material but a different shape (e.g., a plastic fork and a plastic spoon) and identify which of their properties are similar and different.
2-3.PS2C. Students know that water changes state (solid, liquid, gas) when the temperature of the water changes.2-3.PS2C.1. Students are expected to predict what will happen to a sample of liquid water if it is put into a freezer (it will turn to ice) and if it is put into a pan and heated on the stove (it will turn to steam or water vapor).
2-3.PS2D. Students know that the amount of water and other liquids left in an open container will decrease over time, but the amount of liquid in a closed container will not change.2-3.PS2D.1. Students are expected to predict what will happen to a small quantity of water left in an open container overnight.2-3.PS2D.2. Students are expected to predict what will happen to the same quantity of water left in a closed container overnight.2-3.PS2D.3. Students are expected to explain where the liquid water goes when the amount decreases over time.
PS3. Energy: Transfer, Transformation, and Conservation
2-3.PS3. Forms of Energy: Students learn to identify several different forms of energy. Children in this age range have an intuitive understanding of energy concepts. For example, energy is needed to get things done; humans get energy from food. It is possible to build on these ideas by having the students explore different energy phenomena.
2-3.PS3A. Students know that heat, light, motion, electricity, and sound are all forms of energy.2-3.PS3A.1. Students are expected to use the word energy to explain everyday activities (e.g., food gives people energy to play games).2-3.PS3A.2. Students are expected to give examples of different forms of energy as observed in everyday life: light, sound, and motion.2-3.PS3A.3. Students are expected to explain how light, sound, and motions are all energy.
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