Third Grade Science Frameworks

ESS3. Earth and Human Activity

3-ESS3-1: Evaluate the merit of a design solution that reduces the damage caused by weather.

Clarification Statement

  • Examples of design solutions to reduce weather-related damage could include a barrier to prevent flooding, a wind-resistant roof, and a lightning rod.


LS1. From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

3-LS1-1: Use simple graphical representations to show that different types of organisms have unique and diverse life cycles. Describe that all organisms have birth, growth, reproduction, and death in common, but there are a variety of ways in which these happen.

Clarification Statements

  • Examples can include different ways plants and animals begin (e.g., sprout from a seed, born from an egg), grow (e.g., increase in size and weight, produce a new par), reproduce (e.g., develop seeds, root runners, mate and lay eggs that hatch), and die (e.g., length of life).
  • Plant life cycles should focus on those of flowering plants.
  • Describing variation in organism life cycles should focus on comparisons of the general stages of each, not specifics.

State Assessment Boundary

  • Detailed descriptions of any one organism’s cycle, the differences of “complete metamorphosis” and “incomplete metamorphosis,” or details of human reproduction are not expected in state assessment.


LS3. Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits

3-LS3-1: Provide evidence, including through the analysis of data, that plants and animals have traits inherited from parents and that variation of these traits exist in a group of similar organisms.

Clarification Statements

  • Examples of inherited traits that vary can include the color of fur, shape of leaves, length of legs, and size of flowers.
  • Focus should be on non-human examples.

3-LS3-2: Distinguish between inherited characteristics and those characteristics that result from a direct interaction with the environment. Give examples of characteristics of living organisms that are influenced by both inheritance and the environment.

Clarification Statements

  • Examples of the environment affecting a characteristic could include normally tall plants stunted because they were grown with insufficient water or light, a lizard missing a tail due to a predator, and a pet dog becoming overweight because it is given too much food and little exercise.
  • Focus should be on non-human examples.


LS4. Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

3-LS4-2: Use evidence to construct an explanation for how the variations in characteristics among individuals within the same species may provide advantages to these individuals in their survival and reproduction.

Clarification Statements

  • Examples can include rose bushes of the same species, one with slightly longer thorns than the other which may prevent its predation by deer, and color variation within a species that may provide advantages so one organism may be more likely to surge and therefore more likely to produce offspring.
  • Examples of evidence could include needs and characteristics of the organisms and habitats involved.

3-LS4-3: Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular environment some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive.

Clarification Statement

  • Examples of evidence could include needs and characteristics of different organisms (species) and habitats involved.

3-LS4-4: Analyze and interpret given data about changes in a habitat and describe how the changes may affect the ability of organisms that live in that habitat to survive and reproduce.

Clarification Statements

  • Changes should include changes to landforms, distribution of water, climate, and availability of resources.
  • Changes in the habitat could range in time from a season to a decade.
  • While it is understood that ecological changes are complex, the focus should be on a single change to the habitat.