Urban Prairie Waldorf School

Third Grade

The Child

In Waldorf education, we recognize the third grade as a significant year of developmental change and self-discovery for students.  Third grader leaves the world of imitation behind and transitions into a consciousness of greater individuality. The nine year old becomes more self-aware.  They begin to see the world with new and different eyes. The individuality of the child begins to come to expression, as the child acquires a dawning awareness of him or herself as an individual and comes to realize their separateness from the surrounding world.  This awakening in consciousness enables another capacity—to gradually be able to become more objective in relationship to themselves and the surrounding world.  As a consequence, they also become less naïve and less open. They are no longer content to be a part of life without doubts or questions.   They may become more critical and may also feel lonely in this new awareness.

The Class

The Waldorf third grade curriculum marks the change to a more individualized presence in the children, as well as a new readiness for academics and a corresponding need to experience the work of the real world in a practical and meaningful way. Third graders are ripe for practical experience.  This need is met in the curriculum through the study of farming, gardening, food preparation, house building, and clothing.

The primary lesson material features stories of people crossing the rubicon and starting life anew.  This serves as an appropriate metaphor for the child’s inner experience. The child understands on some level what it is to leave paradise, step into the real world and begin to stand on his or her own.   Throughout the curriculum, teachers provide students with strong role models who show courage and determination.

 

The Curriculum:

 

Mathematics

  • Continued work on times tables
  • Measurement including length, weight and volume
  • House building and carpentry
  • Vertical multiplication and long division
  • Expanded use of place value
  • Time
  • Money

 

Music

  • Diatonic Flute
  • Seasonal songs and games
  • Singing in rounds
  • Beginning Orchestra – Violin

Language Arts

  • Spelling and vocabulary words
  • Parts of speech
  • Cursive writing
  • Reading groups
  • Dictation
  • Independent descriptive writing
  • Grammar, punctuation and capitalization
  • Oral recitation and drama

 

Art

  • Beeswax modeling
  • Wet on wet water color painting
  • Drawing from stories
  • Form drawing

Mandarin Chinese Immersion Class

  • Learn to write characters
  • Chinese folk tales

Movement

  • Imaginative games that combine organized physical activity with rules and strategy
  • Jumping rope
  • Children also enjoy daily recess time.

 

Literature

  • Stories of the Hebrew people
  • Native American tales

 

Eurythmy

  • Work with rhythms and specific forms for the sounds of speech
  • Concentration exercises to develop presence of mind

Natural Sciences

  • Farming and gardening in local plot
  • House-building
  • Cooking
  • Fibers

 

Geography

  • Role of ecosystems in determining shelters

Handwork

  • Crocheting
  • Weaving
  • Spinning wool

Field Trip

  • As a compliment to the farming blocks covered during the year, third graders enjoy a multi-night camping trip working on a farm.

Spanish Immersion Class

  • Telling time
  • Cultural literacy through stories