Grade 3

Confidence, Independence in the Spotlight

Responsibility, confidence and individuality take center stage in grade 3. Students rotate classes and serve on student council. They become public speakers and performers. They are active seekers of knowledge who bring big ideas to life. 

In langauge arts, an emphasis on reading fluency helps students understand the rhythm and meter of poetry. They read it, write it and perform it. In math and STEAM, students become architects who design homes or engineers who build obstacle courses. In social studies, they assume the roles of pioneers and famous Missourians and in science, they are detectives who solve mysteries through obervation and forensic evidence. No matter the subject, active learning is always in the spotlight.

Grade 3 Curriculum

List of 4 items.

  • Language Arts

    Third grade reading and writing instruction is individualized to each student's level of achievement. Students continue to explore new literary genres, including myths, legends and fairy tales. The focus is reading fluency: proper phrasing, expression, accuracy and rate. As writers, students develop their individual voice and express themselves through both structured and creative writing.

    The language arts come together during an in-depth poetry unit. Students read poetry, then write their own poems and perform classic pieces during a recital on the Barstow. The performance helps them understand how rhythm, cadence and delivery affect content and meaning. The curriculum gives them an appreciation for the genre and its many forms, from free verse and haikus to limericks and pyrmid poems.
    Students apply formal writing structure and techniques when they write research papers about Missouri historical figures. They choose a subject, conduct research and write a five paragraph report with an introduction, factual information and anecdotes and a summary—a format that they will use for more in-depth papers into upper school and beyond. They continue to develop a comfort level with public speaking when they assume their character's persona at the Wax Museum.
  • Mathematics

    “If you start watching the Harry Potter movie series at 7:00 p.m. on Friday night, on what day, and at what time will you finish watching the last movie?”

    This word problem is an example of the how third graders come to understand the concept of elapsed time. Barstow’s game-based and word problem approach to mathematics gives meaning to abstract concepts and helps students apply their knowledge to real world scenarios.

    Students work on fluency to recall math facts immediately and apply them to long division and four digit multiplication. They also learn place value, units of measurement and area and perimeter.
    In math centers, learning is differentiated to teach each student at their level. Small groups allow teachers to gauge individual student progress and offer more enrichment as needed. All students apply those lessons to hands-on projects such as three-dimensional obstacle courses, architectural design and Measurement Olympics.
  • Science

    During science, students become detectives, ecologists and engineers. Developing keen observation skills is key—it leads third graders to discovery, hypothesis, conclusion and analysis.

    They begin the year following clues to discover who has the class skeleton, Mr. Bones. They use problem-solving skills to engineer an electrical circuit, and learn the valuable lesson that initial failures can be turned into learning opportunities. During a unit on natural habitats, students embark on a scavenger hunt to analyze evidence left behind by animals. They also study forensics, human bones and magnets through active, hands-on investigation.
  • Social Studies

    Barstow third graders live the history they learn. 

    They study western migration and pioneer life, and then experience it as they spend a day in costume, making their own food, toys, art and household tools from that period. They research state historical figures to understand their impact on the region, but they gain a deeper understanding of that person when they as adopt the persona for the wax museum.  

    This understanding helps shape their evolving understanding of their roles as citizens. They study government and have the opportunity to serve on the Barstow student council. During an economics unit, students learn supply and demand and earn classroom cash to use on goods and services at an auction-style store.  

Curriculum Spotlight: Lower School Theatre

Lower school theatre workshops get rave reviews from students in kindergarten through grade 5. When they get up on their feet and dive into dialogue and performance, students gain valuable new skills.
“Lower school theatre enhances these students’ education,” Director of Theatre Bob Kohler said. “It teaches problem solving, it teaches students to work together and support each other.  It gives them freedom to play.”
During grade level workshops, students work as an ensemble—they rehearse scenes together, run dialogue and practice choreography. Studies show this kind of active learning improves kinesthetic, language, memory and problem-solving skills. Theatre is now a regular part of the lower school curriculum. Nearly 50 students in grades 3-5 performed in the fall 2017 production, "A Year with Frog & Toad."

Lower School News

Field Trips and Special Events

List of 5 items.

  • Pioneer Day

    To complete their study of America's western migration, students live the life of a pioneer for one day. They dress in period costumes, make candles, bind books, and share food from the time period.  
  • Wax Museum

    Students research the contributions of famous Missourians, write papers about their accomplishments, and then portray their characters in a lower school wax museum. Dressed in costume, they perform short speeches about their lives for museum visitors.
  • Ernie Miller Nature Center

    The study of animal habitats takes on a new dimension during this field trip. During a scavenger hunt, students use their observation skills to follow clues and determine how midwestern species make their homes in forests, ponds and prairies. They encounter live animals from every link on the food chain. This active learning excursion gives them the opportunity to conduct real field work that illustrates how organisms adapt to their environment.  
  • Student Council

    The development of leadership skills is a cornerstone of the Barstow experience. By grade three, students are ready to take on new leadership rolls as members of the lower school student council. Each semester, interested students answer an essay question and each teacher chooses two representatives per class.  
  • Kauffman Stadium

    Students apply math and science skills to the sport of baseball, during a day at kauffman Stdium. They also tour lockers rooms, the press box and get behind-the-scenes access to the home of the Kansas City Royals. 

A Day at the K

Mathematics and baseball blend during third grade's behind-the-scenes day at the K. Not only do students get the Royal treatment during an exclusive tour of Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium, they also learn how math, science and even geography impact professional baseball. Activities include measurement of bats and balls, calculating the distance between stadiums and figuring area and perimeter of the field of play.

Daily Schedule

7:00 - Extended care available
8:00 - Classroom meeting 
8:20 - Specials*
9:00 - Language Arts
10:30 - Foreign Language
11:00 - Lunch and recess
12:00 - Social Studies
12:30 - Physical Education
1:00 - Math 
2:15 - Languare Arts small group
3:00 - Dismissal 
3-6:00 - Extended Care Available

*Special Classes:
Music, Art, STEAM, Physical Education (daily), Spanish, Library

For more information on applying and admissions:

Visit our Admission's web pages for admission's requirements, information and important dates.

The Barstow School

11511 State Line Road • Kansas City, MO 64114
P (816) 942-3255 • F (816) 942-3227