Elementary Science Grade 3

1.0 Credit
36 weeks

The Elementary Science at VLACS helps students develop a strong foundation in various sciences such as Earth Science, Life Science, and Physical Science. Students will learn through hands-on activities and will be encouraged to ask questions, solve problems, conduct experiments, analyze data, use technology and math skills, explain their findings, design solutions, and communicate their results. The courses are designed to engage students in learning and encourage them to explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate their understanding. This approach will help students gain a better understanding of the world around them by building on their own experiences and new ideas.

Please view the Elementary Parents Guide for Grades 3-5 with guidance on helping your student transition to online learning and thrive at VLACS.

Major Topics and Concepts

Module 01: Gravity

  • 01.00 Module One Pretest
  • 01.01 What Goes Up, Must Come Down
  • 01.02 Keep It Up
  • 01.03 Overcoming Gravity
  • 01.04 Module One Review and Reflection
  • 01.05 Module One Assessment

Module 02: Stars

  • 02.00 Module Two Pretest
  • 02.01 Star Light, Star Bright
  • 02.02 Many Different Stars
  • 02.03 The Sun and Other Stars
  • 02.04 Distant Stars
  • 02.05 Our Star
  • 02.06 Starry Night
  • 02.07 Fixed Points of Light
  • 02.08 The Sun’s Glare
  • 02.09 A Closer Look
  • 02.10 Up Close with the Stars
  • 02.11 Module Two Review and Discussion-Based Assessment
  • 02.12 Module Two Assessment

Module 03: Forms of Energy

  • 03.00 Module Three Pretest
  • 03.01 What Is Energy?
  • 03.02 Heat Energy
  • 03.03 Sound Energy
  • 03.04 Electrical Energy
  • 03.05 Mechanical Energy
  • 03.06 Module Three Review and Reflection
  • 03.07 Module Three Assessment

Module 04: Motion

  • 04.00 Module Four Pretest
  • 04.01 Energy That Moves You
  • 04.02 Energy Can Change You, Too
  • 04.03 The Science of Patterns
  • 04.04 Science Made Me Do It!
  • 04.05 Module Four Review and Discussion-Based Assessment
  • 04.06 Module Four Assessment

Module 05: Heat

  • 05.00 Module Five Pretest
  • 05.01 It’s All About Heat
  • 05.02 Can You Feel the Heat?
  • 05.03 Light and Heat
  • 05.04 Experimenting with Heat and Light
  • 05.05 Getting Warmer in the Sun
  • 05.06 The Case of the Solar Oven
  • 05.07 Goodbye Sun, Hello Cool Temperatures!
  • 05.08 No Energy, No Heat
  • 05.09 Favorite Seasons
  • 05.10 Module Five Review and Discussion-Based Assessment
  • 05.11 Module Five Assessment

Module 06: Light

  • 06.00 Module Six Pretest
  • 06.01 Light Sources
  • 06.02 Faster Than the Speed of Light
  • 06.03 Behavior of Light
  • 06.04 Reflected Light
  • 06.05 Refracted Light
  • 06.06 Absorbed Light
  • 06.07 They Go Together
  • 06.08 Module Six Review and Discussion-Based Assessment
  • 06.09 Module Six Assessment

Module 07: Properties of Matter

  • 07.00 Module Seven Pretest
  • 07.01 Physical Properties
  • 07.02 Hard or Soft
  • 07.03 Comparing Physical Properties
  • 07.04 Mass of a Solid
  • 07.05 Volume of a Liquid
  • 07.06 Comparing Temperatures
  • 07.07 Module Seven Review and Discussion-Based Assessment
  • 07.08 Module Seven Assessment

Module 08: Changes in Matter

  • 08.00 Module Eight Pretest
  • 08.01 The States of Water
  • 08.02 Properties of Matter
  • 08.03 Changes of States
  • 08.04 Feel the Heat!
  • 08.05 Where Did They Go?
  • 08.06 Module Eight Review and Discussion-Based Assessment
  • 08.07 Module Eight Assessment

Module 09: Plant Structures and Functions

  • 09.00 Module Nine Pretest
  • 09.01 The Golden Apple Flower Show
  • 09.02 The Busy Leaf
  • 09.03 Rooted to the Ground
  • 09.04 The Thirsty Roots
  • 09.05 The Mighty Stems
  • 09.06 How Flowers Are Made
  • 09.07 Seeds and Fruit
  • 09.08 Plants Eat Food?
  • 09.09 Module Nine Review and Discussion-Based Assessment
  • 09.10 Module Nine Assessment

Module 10: Plant Responses

  • 10.00 Module Ten Pretest
  • 10.01 Heat, Light, and Gravity
  • 10.02 Plants Respond to Heat
  • 10.03 Plants Respond to Light
  • 10.04 Plants Respond to Gravity
  • 10.05 Investigating with Plants
  • 10.06 Module Ten Review and Reflection
  • 10.07 Module Ten Assessment

Module 11: Plant Classification

  • 11.00 Module Eleven Pretest
  • 11.01 Flowering Plants
  • 11.02 Non-Flowering Plants
  • 11.03 Ferns and Mosses
  • 11.04 Structures of Flowering Plants
  • 11.05 Structures of Non-Flowering Plants
  • 11.06 Comparing Flowering and Non-Flowering
  • 11.07 Classifying Plants
  • 11.08 Communication Among Scientists
  • 11.09 Module Eleven Review and Discussion-Based Assessment
  • 11.10 Module Eleven Assessment

Module 12: Animal Classification

  • 12.00 Module Twelve Pretest
  • 12.01 A Is for Arthropod, and V Is for Vertebrate!
  • 12.02 Comparing Systems
  • 12.03 Classifying Animals
  • 12.04 Module Twelve Review and Reflection
  • 12.05 Module Twelve Assessment

Module 13: Adaptations

  • 13.00 Module Thirteen Pretest
  • 13.01 Seasonal Adaptations
  • 13.02 Animal Responses to the Seasons
  • 13.03 Survival in Numbers
  • 13.04 Plant Responses to the Seasons
  • 13.05 Staying Alive!
  • 13.06 Seasonal Changes Around the World
  • 13.07 Comparing the Life Cycles of Plants and Animals
  • 13.08 Module Thirteen Review and Discussion-Based Assessment
  • 13.09 Module Thirteen Assessment

Course Materials

To achieve success, students are expected to submit work in each course weekly. Students can learn at their own pace; however, “any pace” still means that students must make progress in the course every week. To measure learning, students complete self-checks, practice lessons, multiple choice questions, projects, discussion-based assessments, and discussions. Students and families are expected to maintain regular contact with teachers because, when teachers, students, and parents work together, students are successful.

Required Materials – Please view the list of materials before registering.


Energy and Motion

I can describe the process of energy causing motion. I can explain the process of change caused by energy. I can describe the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object. I can make predictions based on observations.

Forms of Energy

I can identify forms of energy. I can explain forms of energy. I can describe examples of forms of energy. I can describe the purpose of using measurements as information.


I can explain the effects of the force of gravity on an object. I can identify processes to overcome the force of gravity. I can describe the Law of Gravity.


I can identify objects that give off both light and heat. I can predict the impacts of the absence of the sun. I can explain the process of generating heat when two objects rub together. I can explain radiant energy from the sun can heat objects.


I can describe behaviors of light. I can identify sources of light energy. I can describe examples of light being reflected. I can describe examples of light being refracted. I can describe examples of light being absorbed.

Properties of Matter

I can identify the volume of a liquid. I can compare mass and weight. I can describe physical properties of matter. I can analyze the temperature using a thermometer. I can compare the temperatures of liquids and solids.


I can explain the star's appearance as points of light. I can compare the size of the sun to other stars. I can identify light as a form of energy. I can describe the purpose of a telescope.

Animal Classification

I can describe animals’ physical characteristics. I can analyze animals’ behaviors. I can categorize animals into major groups.

Changes in Matter

I can identify the three states of matter. I can describe the properties of each state of water. I can explain the process of water changing state.

Plant and Animal Adaptations

I can describe animals' response to different seasons. I can explain plants' response to different seasons. I can explain the importance of variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species provide them with advantages I can interpret the importance of communication among scientists.

Plant Classification

I can identify flowering plants. I can compare the structures of flowering plants. I can identify non-flowering plants. I can compare the structures of non-flowering plants. I can explain the connection between fossils and the use of fossils as evidence of an organism's environment. I can classify plants as seed-producing plants or spore-producing plants.

Plant Responses

I can explain plants' response to heat. I can explain plants' response to light. I can explain plants' response to gravity.

Plant Structure and Functions

I can explain the needs of plants to grow. I can describe the production of food for a plant. I can interpret the reproduction of plants. I can describe the role of leaves, stems and roots in plants.