Grade 3Science

Focus: This unit examines the life cycles of various plants and animals, including the defining characteristics that are shared or varied by individuals in the same population. Students investigate how life cycles of various organisms differ and what they have in common: the pattern of birth, growth, reproduction, and death.

The focus then shifts to how organisms can be described by their traits and the visible evidence that traits are inherited. Students learn how the environment can affect traits. For example, the size of a plant will be tall or short depending on how much water it gets or the amount of sunlight it receives. Students also learn that some traits can help an individual to survive and reproduce. Other traits can reduce an individual’s chances to survive and reproduce. For example, in an area marked by steady, powerful winds, individuals in a bird population that have the trait of big, strong wings may survive and reproduce in greater numbers than individuals in that population that have small, weak wings.

Number of Lessons: 14

Lesson Time: 3045 minutes daily. Each lesson may be divided into shorter segments.

Please note that certain lessons in this unit are designed for multiple days, resulting in approximately 19 days of instruction. For more information, please refer to the recommended Pacing Guide within the Teacher Guide.

Additional Search Terms:
life cycle • plant • animal • organism • pattern • seed • germination • adolescence • death • reproduction • stages • birth • metamorphosis • growth • pollination • pollinator • spore • individual • population • trait • characteristic • sibling • identical • offspring • inherit • vary • species • ecosystem • environment • change • advantage • survive • camouflage • season • rare • extinct •  nonfiction • informational text

CKSci Grade Levels: CKSci units are correlated to topics at the grade levels specified in the K–5 Core Knowledge Science Sequence.

  • Complete the following and gain access to all of our free resources.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Individual Resources

Need help downloading resources?

Read our troubleshooting guide for support or contact us with your questions.