3rd Grade Social Studies

Third Grade Social Studies Lesson Plans 

As a self proclaimed reading guru, I strive very hard to make sure my students are reading all day long.  With that said, I  wanted to make sure that my third graders had social studies lessons that  align to reading standards. In order to do this, I’ve worked really hard to create third grade social studies lesson plans that are based on reading standards.  The balanced literacy model allows me to create a literacy rich classroom.  Above all, it’s important to teach students how to read all throughout our school day. 

When teaching  social studies,  it’s important look at is an extra reading lesson.In the beginning, I start by planning my social studies topic.  In my classroom, I follow a balanced literacy model. During my content areas,  I like to add in an interactive read aloud to each area throughout the day. Social studies is a great time to use a mentor text to introduce the skill and model effective reading strategies for students.   Furthermore, third grade social studies isn’t always the most “engaging” topic for kids. 


Social Studies Lesson Plans for Third Grade

First,  identify the skill or topic during our social studies unit. For example, we are learning about the levels of government. I wanted to be sure each lesson gives me a chance to activate students prior knowledge by doing some quick activities to spark their background knowledge about a particular skill. For instance, in the lesson shown,  we used a KWL chart to address this information.


Social Studies Read Alouds

After we’ve activated our prior knowledge on the subject, I use social studies read alouds to introduce the topic we are going to learn about.  Through read alouds, I can model accurate fluency and how readers think while reading. Be sure to check out a list of my favorite social studies picture books right HERE. 



Using read alouds in the content areas will really help your students understand difficult concepts better. 


Here’s a list of some of my favorite social studies read alouds:  

*Why Is The Statue of Liberty Green?

*Her Right Foot

*Home of the Brave: An American History Book for Kids: 15 Immigrants Who Shaped U.S History


Just click HERE to find more resources for social students.


Social Studies Reading Passages


After we’ve discussed the concept thoroughly and created class anchor charts,  next we will use a reading passage to help deepen our understanding for the social studies skill we are practicing.  The passage shown below is for a struggling reader. The passages vary in readability to meet the needs of all of your students. 




So far this year, our students are loving these activities. They are able to practice the skills we learn in reading through the content area all at the same time! These third grade social studies lesson plans have really saved me a ton of time this year.  I enjoy being able to teach social studies content through reading  with my students. 



If you are looking for first grade social studies lesson plans or second grade lesson plans, check them out HERE.