Utah Third Grade Science Core Curriculum


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UT.3.I. Students will understand that the shape of Earth and the moon are spherical and that Earth rotates on its axis to produce the appearance of the sun and moon moving through the sky.

  • UT.3.I.1. Describe the appearance of Earth and the moon.


    • UT.3.I.1.a Describe the shape of Earth and the moon as spherical.

    • UT.3.I.1.b Explain that the sun is the source of light that lights the moon.
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    • UT.3.I.1.c List the differences in the physical appearance of Earth and the moon as viewed from space.

  • UT.3.I.2. Describe the movement of Earth and the moon and the apparent movement of other bodies through the sky.


    • UT.3.I.2.a Describe the motions of Earth (i.e., the rotation [spinning] of Earth on its axis, the revolution [orbit] of Earth around the sun).
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    • UT.3.I.2.b Use a chart to show that the moon orbits Earth approximately every 28 days.

    • UT.3.I.2.c Use a model of Earth to demonstrate that Earth rotates on its axis once every 24 hours to produce the night and day cycle.

    • UT.3.I.2.d Use a model to demonstrate why it seems to a person on Earth that the sun, planets, and stars appear to move across the sky.
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UT.3.II. Students will understand that organisms depend on living and nonliving things within their environment.

  • UT.3.II.1. Classify living and nonliving things in an environment.


    • UT.3.II.1.a Identify characteristics of living things (i.e., growth, movement, reproduction).

    • UT.3.II.1.b Identify characteristics of nonliving things.

    • UT.3.II.1.c Classify living and nonliving things in an environment.

  • UT.3.II.2. Describe the interactions between living and nonliving things in a small environment.


    • UT.3.II.2.a Identify living and nonliving things in a small environment (e.g., terrarium, aquarium, flowerbed) composed of living and nonliving things.

    • UT.3.II.2.b Predict the effects of changes in the environment (e.g., temperature, light, moisture) on a living organism.

    • UT.3.II.2.c Observe and record the effect of changes (e.g., temperature, amount of water, light) upon the living organisms and nonliving things in a small–scale environment.

    • UT.3.II.2.d Compare a small–scale environment to a larger environment (e.g., aquarium to a pond, terrarium to a forest).

    • UT.3.II.2.e Pose a question about the interaction between living and nonliving things in the environment that could be investigated by observation.

UT.3.III. Students will understand the relationship between the force applied to an object and resulting motion of the object.


UT.3.IV. Students will understand that objects near Earth are pulled toward Earth by gravity.


UT.3.V. Students will understand that the sun is the main source of heat and light for things living on Earth. They will also understand that the motion of rubbing objects together may produce heat.

  • UT.3.V.1. Provide evidence showing that the sun is the source of heat and light for Earth.


  • UT.3.V.2. Demonstrate that mechanical and electrical machines produce heat and sometimes light.


  • UT.3.V.3. Demonstrate that heat may be produced when objects are rubbed against one another.


    • UT.3.V.3.a Identify several examples of how rubbing one object against another produces heat.

    • UT.3.V.3.b Compare relative differences in the amount of heat given off or force required to move an object over lubricated/non–lubricated surfaces and smooth/rough surfaces (e.g., waterslide with and without water, hands rubbing together with and without lotion).

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