The Third Grade Syllabus contains detailed daily lesson plans for Religion, Mathematics, Language Arts, Spelling & Phonics, Poetry, Science, History, Geography, Latin, Art and Music. It also contains a variety of teaching resources including Third Grade Subject Rubrics and Learning Objectives, suggested daily schedules, teaching tips and a list of grade level appropriate literature. We have provided below a sample of the first week from the syllabus along with a list of the books used in the syllabus.

In Religion we use The Child's Bible History (Knecht) to learn about salvation history and to construct a Bible Book. The student also continues the memorization of Catholic doctrine, using the St. Joseph's Baltimore Catechism, No.1. In Mathematics we use Arithmetic 3 (A Beka) to teach mathematical skills, including memorization of the multiplication tables. In Language Arts we use Primary Language Lessons (Serl) which teaches important basic writing skills. In Spelling and Phonics we use The Writing Road to Reading along with Starting a Spelling Notebook which continues the study of phonics and begins the practice of spelling. In Poetry we continue to use The Harp and Laurel Wreath for selections of poetry to memorize. In Science we use Exploring God's World (A Beka) which is an excellent science text. In History we recommend using either Our American Heritage (A Beka) or How Our Nation Began (Furlong) to study the founders of our country and to memorize important dates in American history. We also provide the student with list of historical fiction to complement the study of history through literature as well as a list of good literary classics. In Geography we use Map Study Skills (A Beka) which teaches the student how to read maps. In Latin we use English from the Roots Up or Beginning Latin I to begin the study of Latin and Greek. In Art we use the Child-size Masterpieces: Mommy, it's a Renoir (Steps 4 & 5) to continue the student's art appreciation. In Music we use Let's Learn Music, #2 (Hayes); selections from Music Masters to foster the student's appreciation of music.

Current Edition: © 2016.

Online versions of the MODG syllabi are provided to enrolled families free of charge. Paper copies of the syllabi are also available for purchase from the MODG office, with a 30% discount for enrolled families.

Book List

English
  • Essential 4
    • Primary Language Lessons
      Serl, Emma
      Hillside Education
    • Starting a Spelling Notebook: A Nuts and Bolts Guide to The Writing Road to Reading
      McAlister, Mari
      Mari McAlister — 40 Pages
    • The Harp and Laurel Wreath: Poetry and Dictation for the Classical Curriculum
      Berquist, Laura
      Ignatius Press — 500 Pages
      ISBN: 0898707161
    • The Writing Road to Reading
      Spalding, Romalda Bishop
      Collins Reference — 480 Pages
      ISBN: 0062083937
  • Supplemental - Optional 50
Fine Arts
  • Essential 4
    • Child-size Masterpieces: Mommy, It's a Renoir Step 4
      Wolf, Aline D.
      Parent Child Press — 19 Pages
      ISBN: 0939195003
    • Child-size Masterpieces: Mommy, It's a Renoir Step 5
      Wolf, Aline D.
      Parent Child Press — 19 Pages
      ISBN: 0939195011
    • Let's Learn Music #2
      Hayes
      Hayes School Publishing — 50 Pages
      ISBN: 0883130920
    • Music Masters: Tchaikovsky, Brahams, Strauss, Foster & Sousa, Berlioz, Verdi
      Various
      Vox Music MAsters
Foreign Language
  • Essential 3
    • Beginning Latin I - Answer Key
      Hayden, Margaret
      Mother of Divine Grace School — 148 Pages
    • Beginning Latin I - Student Manual
      Hayden, Margaret
      Mother of Divine Grace School — 164 Pages
    • English From the Roots Up Cards
      Lundquist, Joegil K.
      Literacy Unlimited Publishers
      ISBN: 0964321033
  • Supplemental - Optional 3
Mathematics
  • Essential 2
    • Arithmetic 3
      A Beka
      A Beka Books — 328 Pages
    • Arithmetic 3 Tests and Speed Drills
      A Beka
      A Beka Books — 132 Pages
  • Supplemental - Optional 3
Religion
  • Essential 3
    • Child's Bible History
      Knecht, Bishop F.J.
      TAN Books
    • Hardcover Blank Book for Student Retellings & Illustrations
      Ashley Productions
      Ashley Productions
    • The New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism (No. 1)
      Kelley, Bennet
      Catholic Book Publishing Corp — 192 Pages
      ISBN: 0899422411
Science
  • Essential 1
    • Exploring God's World
      Moore, Judy Hull
      A Beka Books — 166 Pages
  • Supplemental - Optional 2
Social Studies
  • Essential 4
    • How Our Nation Began
      Furlong, Msgr. Philip J.
      Lepanto Press
    • Our American Heritage
      Moore, Judy Hull
      A Beka Books — 245 Pages
    • Our American Heritage Map Study Skills
      A Beka
      A Beka Books — 35 Pages
    • States & Capitals Pocket Flash Cards
      Trend Enterprises
      Trend Enterprises
  • Supplemental - Required 32
    • Abraham Lincoln
      D'Aulaire, Ingri & Edgar
      Beautiful Feet Books — 64 Pages
      ISBN: 1893103234
    • Benjamin Franklin
      D'Aulaire, Ingri & Edgar
      Beautiful Feet Books — 48 Pages
      ISBN: 0964380390
    • Boston Tea Party
      Kroll, Steven
      Holiday House
      ISBN: 0823415570
    • Clara Barton: Founder of the American Red Cross (Childhood of Famous Americans)
      Stevenson, Augusta
      Aladdin — 192 Pages
      ISBN: 0020418205
    • Columbus
      D'Aulaire, Edgar
      Beautiful Feet Books — 59 Pages
      ISBN: 0964380331
    • George the Drummer Boy
      Benchley, Nathaniel
      HarperCollins — 64 Pages
      ISBN: 0064441067
    • George Washington
      D'Aulaire, Ingri & Edgar
      Beautiful Feet Books — 60 Pages
      ISBN: 0964380315
    • Gold Fever
      Kay, Verla
      Puffin Books — 32 Pages
      ISBN: 0142501832
    • If You Lived At The Time Of The American Revolution
      Moore, Kay
      Scholastic Books — 80 Pages
      ISBN: 0590674447
    • If You Lived In Williamsburg in Colonial Days
      Brenner, Barbara
      Scholastic Books — 80 Pages
      ISBN: 0590929224
    • If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620
      McGovern, Ann
      Scholastic Books — 80 Pages
      ISBN: 0591451618
    • If You Traveled on the Underground Railroad
      Levine, Ellen
      Scholastic Books — 64 Pages
      ISBN: 0590451561
    • If You Traveled West in a Covered Wagon
      Levine, Ellen
      Scholastic Books — 80 Pages
      ISBN: 0590451588
    • Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie
      Roop, Peter & Connie
      Carolrhoda Books — 56 Pages
      ISBN: 0876144547
    • Leif the Lucky
      D'Aulaire, Edgar
      Beautiful Feet Books — 57 Pages
      ISBN: 0964380307
    • Life in a Colonial Town
      Isaacs, Senzell Sally
      Heinemann — 32 Pages
      ISBN: 1588102971
    • Little House in the Big Woods
      Wilder, Laura Ingalls
      HarperCollins — 256 Pages
      ISBN: 0060581808
    • Little House on the Prairie
      Wilder, Laura Ingalls
      HarperCollins — 352 Pages
      ISBN: 0064400026
    • Meet Thomas Jefferson (Landmark Books)
      Barrett, Marvin
      Random House Books — 80 Pages
      ISBN: 0375812113
    • Paul Revere's Ride
      Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
      Puffin Books — 48 Pages
      ISBN: 0140556125
    • Pocahontas
      D'Aulaire, Ingri & Edgar
      Beautiful Feet Books — 45 Pages
      ISBN: 1893103285
    • Robert E. Lee: Young Confederate (Childhood of Famous Americans)
      Monsell, Helen Albee
      Aladdin — 192 Pages
      ISBN: 002042020X
    • Sam the Minuteman
      Benchley, Nathaniel
      HarperCollins — 64 Pages
      ISBN: 0064441075
    • Sarah, Plain and Tall
      MacLachlan, Patricia
      HarperCollins — 64 Pages
      ISBN: 0064402053
    • Squanto: Friend of the Pilgrims
      Bulla, Clyde Robert
      Scholastic Books — 112 Pages
      ISBN: 0590440551
    • The Bears on Hemlock Mountain
      Dalgliesh, Alice
      Aladdin — 64 Pages
      ISBN: 0689716044
    • The Boston Coffee Party
      Rappaport, Doreen
      Scholastic Books — 64 Pages
      ISBN: 0439384869
    • The Courage of Sarah Noble
      Dalgliesh, Alice
      Aladdin — 64 Pages
      ISBN: 0689715404
    • The Drinking Gourd: A Story of the Underground Railroad
      Monjo, FN
      HarperCollins — 64 Pages
      ISBN: 0064440427
    • The Josefina Story Quilt
      Coerr, Eleanor
      HarperCollins — 64 Pages
      ISBN: 0064441296
    • Three Ships Come Sailing
      Waring, Gilchrist
      Dietz Press — 35 Pages
      ISBN: 0875170137
    • Visiting a Village
      Kalman, Bobbie
      Crabtree Publishing Company — 32 Pages
      ISBN: 0865055076
  • Supplemental - Optional 4
  • Mentioned in the syllabus, but not assigned 4

Samples

Week 1

Day Assignment
1 Baltimore Catechism, Chapter 15. Read the explanation aloud to your child or let him read it silently to himself, depending on his reading level.
2 Do the Discussion Questions orally. Use these questions all year as a vehicle to develop the habit of discussion with your child. Help him learn to put his mind on an important topic and explore it for a given period of time. At this point how long one does this is not as important as how often. Make this discussion a regular feature of your religion curriculum this year. We usually start with a five to ten minute discussion, and I am always happy to converse about the other topics brought to my student’s mind by the initial topic.
3 Do the ‘True or False’ and ‘Fill in the Blanks’ exercises at the end of the chapter. Then do the readings from the Bible.
4 Start working on the questions and answers. When going over the 10 Commandments, note the division within the Commandments themselves. The first three are about God, and the last seven about our neighbor. All year, when introducing new questions and answers, follow the same procedure. First read the question and the answer while the student listens, then read the question again, and have your student try to answer it. If he can, great. Do it one more time and go on to the next question. If he can’t answer it, fine, just prompt him through it. Do it one more time, prompting him through it if necessary, and then go on to the next question. Resist the temptation to go over and over the new questions. Chances are good you will actually be setting up impediments to memorization by doing that.
Day Assignment
1

Arithmetic 3 – Do Lesson 1 and ½ of Lesson 2 and Speed Drill 2.

2

Arithmetic 3 – Do ½ of Lesson 2 and Lesson 3 and Speed Drill 3.

3

Arithmetic 3 – Do Lesson 4 and Speed Drill 4.

4

Arithmetic 3 – Do Lesson 5 and Speed Drill 5.

5

Arithmetic 3 – Do Lesson 6.

Day Assignment
1 Read the ‘Suggestions to Teachers’. Then do Lesson 1 orally with your child.
2 Read with your child the whole selection given in Lesson 2. Then have him copy the first paragraph of Lesson 2. Copying is a good exercise, because it encourages hand-eye coordination, and allows the student to see the composition in his own writing, with all the correct capitalization and punctuation. As he copies he has to think about what is capitalized and what isn’t, and where to put the marks of punctuation. As I mentioned in the religion section of this syllabus, when I was younger I eschewed copying. I thought of it as a mindless, boring activity, a waste of time. I now realize that since children learn by imitation, imitation is always a valid and valuable exercise.
3

Go over the first paragraph of Lesson 2, talking to your child about the mechanics of the passage. Note the capital letters, and the ending punctuation for each sentence. Go over the difficult words of the passage, noting their spelling. Then dictate the first paragraph to your child and have him write it from your dictation. For this assignment, and all subsequent dictations, the dictation should be given as follows, unless otherwise noted:

  1. Read the passage aloud.
  2. Go over the passage with the student, noting all capitalizations, punctuation marks, and any words that might be difficult for the student to spell. Give the reasons for these, as well as noting that they exist. (These are ‘studied’ dictations, as opposed to ‘unstudied’ dictations.)
  3. Read the first sentence, and have the student repeat the sentence. Then have him write the sentence, with no further conversation until it is written. If the child talks, he is apt to forget what he is supposed to be writing. The goal is to dictate the passage only once, and to have the student maintain such focused attention that he can write what is to be written without further instruction.
  4. Read the second sentence, have the student repeat it and then write it.
  5. Read the third sentence, following the same pattern.
  6. When the whole passage has been dictated, have the student correct it by reading it back to you. When he does this he will not only say the words, but will also indicate the punctuation and capitalization and the reasons for them. Thus, for today’s lesson the student would say, “‘Two squirrels lived in a hollow tree.’ The ‘t’ on ‘two’ is capitalized because it is the beginning of a sentence. There is a period after ‘tree’, because it is the end of a sentence that is a statement. ‘They had a pleasant home.’ The ‘t’ on ‘they’ is capitalized because it is the beginning of the sentence. There is a period after ‘home’, because it is the end of a sentence that is a statement. ‘The leaves shaded them.’ The ‘t’ on ‘the’ is capitalized because it is the beginning of a sentence. There is a period after ‘them’, because it is the end of a sentence that is a statement. ‘Sometimes the birds sang to them.’ The ‘s’ on ‘sometimes’ is capitalized because it is the beginning of a sentence. There is a period after ‘them’, because it is the end of a sentence that is a statement.” You will need to model this kind of response, and prompt the student through it at first, but as he becomes accustomed to answering in this way, he will be reinforcing the mechanics of writing in such a way that he will never forget them.
  7. Go over any words that you noted earlier as potential spelling problems.
4 Do Lesson 3. First go over the sentences orally, then have the student copy sentences 1-3.
Day Assignment
1

Introduce “The Flag Goes By” by Henry Halcomb Bennett. Work on the first stanza.

The first day a poem is introduced, the teacher should read the whole poem, and then repeat the first stanza. Then each line of the first stanza should be said, with the student repeating it after the teacher. The teacher should then say the first two lines together and have the student repeat them, and do the same with the next two lines. Then say the whole stanza, and have the student try to repeat it. If he can’t repeat it yet, that’s fine. Just prompt him through it, and remember that there will be many other opportunities to work on it.

2

Introduce “The Flag Goes By” by Henry Halcomb Bennett. Work on the first stanza.

The first day a poem is introduced, the teacher should read the whole poem, and then repeat the first stanza. Then each line of the first stanza should be said, with the student repeating it after the teacher. The teacher should then say the first two lines together and have the student repeat them, and do the same with the next two lines. Then say the whole stanza, and have the student try to repeat it. If he can’t repeat it yet, that’s fine. Just prompt him through it, and remember that there will be many other opportunities to work on it.

3

Work on the first stanza of “The Flag Goes By” by Henry Halcomb Bennett.

The second day the same procedure is followed, though the whole poem doesn’t need to be read every day. The idea is to have the student hear the lines he is to memorize, and have him practice repeating what he hears. As soon as he knows the lines and doesn’t need the teacher’s help, he should be allowed to say them on his own. Until that point, however, he should be cheerfully prompted through the stanza.

4

Work on the first stanza of “The Flag Goes By” by Henry Halcomb Bennett.

The second day the same procedure is followed, though the whole poem doesn’t need to be read every day. The idea is to have the student hear the lines he is to memorize, and have him practice repeating what he hears. As soon as he knows the lines and doesn’t need the teacher’s help, he should be allowed to say them on his own. Until that point, however, he should be cheerfully prompted through the stanza.

5

Work on the first stanza of “The Flag Goes By” by Henry Halcomb Bennett.

The third day the same procedure is followed, though the whole poem doesn’t need to be read every day. The idea is to have the student hear the lines he is to memorize, and have him practice repeating what he hears. As soon as he knows the lines and doesn’t need the teacher’s help, he should be allowed to say them on his own. Until that point, however, he should be cheerfully prompted through the stanza.

6

Work on the first stanza of “The Flag Goes By” by Henry Halcomb Bennett.

The third day the same procedure is followed, though the whole poem doesn’t need to be read every day. The idea is to have the student hear the lines he is to memorize, and have him practice repeating what he hears. As soon as he knows the lines and doesn’t need the teacher’s help, he should be allowed to say them on his own. Until that point, however, he should be cheerfully prompted through the stanza.

7

Work on the first stanza of “The Flag Goes By” by Henry Halcomb Bennett.

On the fourth day, the student should be invited to recite as much of the poem as he knows at this point.

8

Work on the first stanza of “The Flag Goes By” by Henry Halcomb Bennett.

On the fourth day, the student should be invited to recite as much of the poem as he knows at this point.

Day Assignment
1

Read for ½ hour. Note: Child should read every day for at least half an hour. As often as possible he should also be read to by an adult or older child for the same amount of time in the evenings.

2

Read for about ½ hour.

3

Read for about ½ hour.

4

Read for about ½ hour.

5

Read for about ½ hour.

Day Assignment
1 Follow the instructions for Day 1, p. 22. You will begin teaching the phonograms. Work on #3, 4, 8, 9, 11, 13-20, 22-24, 26. These will all be familiar.
2

Do Day 2, p. 22 of Mari’s Spelling Guide. Work on #2, 5, 7, 25. Reviewing p. 15 of the Guide can be helpful.

3 Do Day 3, p. 22. Work on #1, 6, 10, 12, 21, 24. Review all cards up to this point. Be sure to read the directions in Mari’s book.
4

Do Day 4, p. 22. Review phonograms #1-26. You will now start your Spelling Notebook. Be sure to become familiar with Mari’s “Spelling Rule Memory Aid”. Refer to it as you encounter rules in upcoming weeks.

Day Assignment
1 Read the text pp. 2-7 and do the comprehension questions orally.
Day Assignment
1

Using an outline map of the continents, such as that on p. 1 of Map Study Skills book, color the continents green and the oceans blue.

Day Assignment
1

Introduce the first date on the History Dates List for Third Grade in Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum. Go over it with the student twice.

  • 1620 “Mayflower” lands Pilgrims at Plymouth, MA
2

Read Unit 1, Introduction on pp. 4-7 in How Our Nation Began, and review the first history date:

  • 1620 “Mayflower” lands Pilgrims at Plymouth, MA
3

Review the first history date:

  • 1620 “Mayflower” lands Pilgrims at Plymouth, MA
4

Read Unit 1, Chapter 1 on pp. 8-13 and do the study lesson on p. 13 orally, and review the first history date:

  • 1620 “Mayflower” lands Pilgrims at Plymouth, MA
Day Assignment
1

Read about Christopher Columbus on pp. 2-15 in Our American Heritage and do the comprehension questions orally. Either the student can read, or the parent can read to him, depending on the reading ability of the child. Or they can take turns. Introduce the first date on the History Dates List for Third Grade in Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum. Go over it with the student twice.

  • 1620 “Mayflower” lands Pilgrims at Plymouth, MA
2

Take Quiz 1. Review the history date:

  • 1620 “Mayflower” lands Pilgrims at Plymouth, MA
3

Review the history date:

  • 1620 “Mayflower” lands Pilgrims at Plymouth, MA
4

Begin reading Christopher Columbus by D’Aulaire; read about 30 pages. Review the history date:

  • 1620 “Mayflower” lands Pilgrims at Plymouth, MA
5

Finish reading Christopher Columbus by D’Aulaire.

Day Assignment
1

Lesson 1. Read the first lesson. Do Day 1 exercises.

2

Lesson 1. Do Day 2 exercises.

3

Lesson 1. Do Day 3 exercises.

4

Lesson 1. Take Quiz 1.

Day Assignment
1 Introduce the first three cards: ‘photos’, ‘graph’, and ‘tele’. Tell the student what each means. Point out that when you put ‘photos’ and ‘graph’ together you get ‘photograph’, to write or draw with light, and when you put ‘tele’ and ‘graph’ together you get ‘telegraph’, to write or draw from a distance.
2 Review the three cards. If your student remembers the English translation, great. If he doesn’t, tell him.
3 Review the three cards.
4 Review the three cards.
Day Assignment
1

Use the postcards to do Step 4 of Mommy, It’s a Renoir. The object of this step is to learn the names of some artists. Follow the directions in the book. But also do the following exercise.

Have your child look at one of the pictures for 30 seconds to a minute. Then have him list everything he saw in the picture. He can do this orally or in writing. Then have him look back at the picture. Did he leave anything out? Try it with another picture as well.

Day Assignment
1

Do pp. 1 & 2 of Let’s Learn Music.

2 Listen to the Tchaikovsky tape or CD from the Music Masters series. The children can color or play quietly with a toy while they listen. (There is a coloring book from Bellerophon that has stories and portraits of some of the great composers, including those we will be studying this year.) If you have some other tapes or CD’s of Tchaikovsky’s music, take them out for the next two weeks. Listen to the music in the evening as you get ready for bed, or during a quiet time in the afternoon. You could rent a video of the Sleeping Beauty Ballet, or the Nutcracker Suite. There is even a video called ‘Sleeping Beauty on Ice’ featuring Robin Cousins and Rosalynn Sumners that my children have enjoyed. It is the Sleeping Beauty Ballet performed by figure skaters.