Albuquerque Public School District
Desert Life (3)
UNIT THEME – Include cross-cultural sensitivity theme
Adaptation and Classification
Similarities and Differences among organisms
Cross-cultural theme: All cultures have studied the ecosystems, animals, and plant life. All cultures have stories and legends that explain natural phenomenon and questions about the life.
Cognitive Content Dictionary with signal words
Big Book The Important Book About Desert Life…
Desert Life Awards
Picture File Cards/Exploration Report
Fieldtrip to zoo/Talking Talons/Botanical Gardens
Process all charts
Group presentations of team tasks
Where’s my answer
Reading Big Books, share individual poetry
Student required writings
CONCEPTS – SCIENCE – Grade 3 Standards
Life Science Strand 3, Standard II, Benchmark I, II
Understand the properties, structures, and processes of living things and the interdependence of living things and their environments. Know that living things have diverse forms, structures, functions, and habitats. Know that living things have similarities and differences and that living things change over time.
Know that an adaptation in physical structure or behavior can improve an organism’s chance for survival (e.g., horned toads, chameleons, cacti, mushrooms). (SC 3.3.1)
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Classify common animals according to their observable characteristics (e.g., body coverings, structure). (SC 3.3.3)
Identify how living things cause changes to the environments in which they live, and that some of these changes are detrimental to the organism and some are beneficial. (SC 3.3.5)
Observe that plants and animals have structures that serve different functions (e.g., shape of animals’ teeth). (SC 3.3.2)
Classify plants according to their characteristics (e.g., tree leaves, flowers, seeds). (SC 3.3.4)
Know that some kinds of organisms that once lived on Earth have become extinct (e.g., dinosaurs) and that others resemble those that are alive today (e.g., alligators, sharks). (SC 3.3.6)
Scientific Thinking and Practice Strand 1, Standard 1, Benchmark I, II & III
Understanding the processes of scientific investigations and use inquiry and scientific ways of observing, experimenting, predicting, and validating to think critically. Use scientific methods to observe, collect, record, analyze, predict, interpret, and determine reasonableness of data.
Collect data in an investigation and analyze those data. (SC 3.1.4)
Understand that predictions are based on observations, measurements, and cause-and-effect relationships. (SC 3.1.7)
Make new observations when discrepancies exist between two descriptions of the same object or phenomenon to improve accuracy. (SC 3.1.1)
Recognize the difference between data and opinion. (SC 3.1.2)
Use numerical data in describing and comparing objects, events, and measurements. (SC 3.1.3)
Know that the same scientific laws govern investigations in different times and places (e.g., gravity, growing plants). (SC 3.1.5)
Use a variety of methods to display data and present findings. (SC 3.1.6)
Use numerical data in describing and comparing objects, events, and measurements. (SC 3.1.8)
Pose a question of interest and present observations and measurements with accuracy. (SC 3.1.9)
Use various methods of display data and present findings and communicate results in accurate mathematical language. (SC 3.1.10)
Civics and Government/Social Studies – Strand 2, Standard II, Benchmark II-A & B
Students understand how physical, natural, and cultural processes influence where people live, the ways in which they live, and how societies interact with one another and their environments. Understand the concept of location by using and constructing maps, globes, and
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other geographic tools to identify and derive information about people, places, and environments. Distinguish between natural and human characteristics of places and use this knowledge to define regions, their relationships with other regions, and patterns of change.
Identify and use the mapping tools of scale, compass rose, grid, symbols, and mental mapping to locate and draw places on maps and globes. (SS 3.2.1)
Describe how human and natural processes can sometimes work together to shape the appearance of places (e.g., post-fire reforestation). (SS 3.2.2)
Explore examples of environmental and social changes in various regions. (SS 3.2.3)
organism adaptation characteristics
metamorphosis inherit photosynthesis
chlorophyll vertebrate mammal
reptile amphibian invertebrate
environment ecosystem habitat
desert instinct hibernate
migrate camouflage mimicry
CONCEPTS – LANGUAGE ARTS – 3rd Grade Standards
Reading Process Strand 1
The student employs appropriate reading strategies to read and interpret increasingly complex texts for a variety of purposes. The student develops proficiency in basic reading skills and strategies and continues to develop vocabulary and fluency in reading across content areas.
Power Standards – Reading Strategies
Uses a variety of strategies (e.g., rereads, reads ahead, asks for help, adjusts reading speed, questions, paraphrases, retells) to comprehend text. (LA 3.1.4)
Content Standards – Reading Strategies
Applies phonetic and structural analyses to decode words. (LA 3.1.1)
Applies context clues to decode unfamiliar words. (LA 3.1.2)
Self-corrects when reading. (LA 3.1.3)
Uses text organizers (e.g., titles, tables of contents, chapter headings, glossaries, indices) to identify the main idea(s) and locate information. (LA 3.1.5)
Power Standards – Vocabulary Development
Increases vocabulary through reading, listening, and interacting in a variety of situations. (LA 3.1.7)
Content Standards – Vocabulary Development
Demonstrates an expanding vocabulary: (LA 3.1.6)
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Uses reference material (e.g., glossary, dictionary, thesaurus) and context to confirm decoding skills, verify spelling, discover, and extend meaning of words
Identifies and uses knowledge of synonyms, antonyms, homophones, and homographs to determine multiple meanings of words.
Power Standards – Reading Applications
Reads grade-level text aloud with natural rhythm, pace, and intonation and with fluency and comprehension (LA 3.1.8)
Reading Analysis – Strand 2
The student responds to, examines, and critiques historically and culturally significant issues and events portrayed in literature that both illustrate and affect people, society, and individuals. The student reads, listens to, and responds to a variety of work from a diverse collection of quality texts.
Power Standards – Literacy Analysis
Interacts with text before, during, and after reading (LA 3.2.1)
Sets a purpose
Previews the text
Locates information for a specific purpose
Uses story structure and text organization to comprehend
Content Standards – Literacy Analysis
Makes connections between the text and personal experience/prior knowledge. (LA 3.2.2)
Content Standards – Literacy Elements
Analyzes literacy elements (e.g., problem-solution, cause-effect, climax) of text. (LA 3.2.3)
Distinguishes among common forms (e.g., poetry, drams, fiction, nonfiction) of literature. (LA 3.2.4)
Recognized archetypal patterns (e.g., hero, villain) depicted in literature and media around the world. (LA 3.2.5)
Power Standards – Literacy Applications
Succinctly summarizes main idea(s) from text. (LA 3.2.7)
Content Standards – Literacy Applications
Identifies and discusses similarities and differences in events and characters across examples of literature. (LA 3.2.6)
Makes inferences and draws conclusions about characters and events from fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama. (LA 3.2.8)
Draws conclusions, makes generalizations, and gathers support for answers by referencing the text. (LA 3.2.9)
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Reads, creates, and responds to a variety of text including fiction (e.g., short stories, novels, fantasies, fairy tales, fables), nonfiction (e.g., biographies, letters, articles, essays), poetry, and drama (e.g., skits and plays). (LA 3.2.10)
Writing: Expressive Language – Strand 3
The student writes effectively for different audiences and purposes (e.g., to describe, narrate, express, explain, persuade, and analyze) using appropriate writing strategies and conventions. The student develops and uses writing strategies and conventions across content areas to describe, narrate, express, explain, persuade, and analyze for a variety of purposes and audiences.
Power Standards – Writing Strategies
Uses the writing process to create a final product: (LA 3.3.1)
composes two or more paragraphs with topic sentences, supporting details, appropriate, logical sequence, and sufficient elaboration,
proofreads own writing for spelling and edits for writing conventions and format,
reflects on and revises writing by:
clarifying ideas, adding descriptive words and phrases, sequencing events and ideas,
combining short, related sentences, and strengthening word choice.
Content Standards – Writing Strategies
Uses the elements of effective writing (i.e., idea, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions). (LA 3.3.2)
Uses technology (e.g., word processors, e-mail, overhead projectors, multimedia) to present information appropriate for the intended purpose and audience. (LA 3.3.3)
Power Standards – Writing Conventions
Uses writing conventions (e.g., grammar, spelling, capitalization, punctuation): (LA 3.3.4)
uses legible handwriting to create documents,
writes compositions that correctly use pronouns, adjectives, adverbial forms, and coordinating conjunctions,
begins to incorporate literary devices (e.g., elaborate descriptions, figurative wording) and language patterns in written work,
uses a variety of complete sentences (i.e., declarative, imperative, interrogative and exclamatory) in written work,
uses correct capitalization and punctuation,
uses correct subject/verb agreement, and
Uses appropriate types of writing (i.e., descriptive, narrative, expressive, expository, persuasive, and analytical) for the intended purpose and audience: (LA
composes a variety of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama selections using self-selected topics and multimedia,
creates and delivers presentations about familiar experiences or interests that are organized around a coherent statement, and
combines information from multiple sources when writing reports and stories, using technology as a tool.
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Content Standards – Writing Conventions
Uses a variety of strategies (e.g., appropriate resources, spelling patterns, rules) for correct spelling. (LA 3.3.5)
Respond to fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama using interpretive, critical, and evaluative processes:
considers the differences among genres,
relates plots, settings, and characters to own experiences and ideas,
considers main character’s point of view,
participates in creative interpretations, and
makes inferences and draws conclusions about characters and events.
Speaking: Expressive Language Strand 4
The student speaks effectively for different audiences and purposes (e.g., to describe, narrate, express, explain, persuade, and analyze) using appropriate speaking strategies and conventions. The student develops and uses speaking strategies and appropriate speaking conventions to describe, narrate, express, explain, persuade, and analyze for a variety of purposes and audiences.
Content Standards – Speaking Strategies
Uses speaking strategies: (LA 3.4.1)
develops and organizes information for a formal oral presentation, and answers open-ended questions.
Content Standards – Speaking Conventions
Uses speaking and language conventions (e.g., grammar, standard English, diction): (LA 3.4.2)
demonstrates command of standard English, uses a variety of
complete sentences (e.g., declarative, imperative, interrogative,
exclamatory) and uses correct subject/verb agreement.
Power Standards – Speaking Applications
Uses appropriate types of speaking (i.e., descriptive, narrative, expressive, expository, persuasive, and analytical) for a variety of purposes and audiences: (LA 3.4.3)
presents information in a logical manner, clearly identifying main point, explains own learning, sustains conversation on a topic and creates and delivers recitations and presentations that are organized around a coherent statement and are based on familiar experiences or interests.
Content Standards – Speaking Applications
Responds to fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama using interpretive, critical, and evaluative processes: (LA 3.4.4)
considers differences among genres, relates plots, settings, and characters to own experiences and ideas, considers main character’s point of view, participates in creative interpretation, and makes inferences and draws conclusions about characters and events.
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Listening & Viewing – Receptive Language – Strand 5
The student demonstrates, analyzes, evaluates, and reflects upon the skills and processes used to communicate by listening to and viewing a variety of auditory and visual works. The student listens to, views, and responds to formal and informal visual and auditory works, including multimedia presentations.
Power Standards – Listening/Viewing Strategies
Employs active listening skills (e.g., acknowledges understanding). (LA 3.5.1)
Power Standards – Listening/Viewing Applications
Follows oral and written multi-step instructions.(LA 3.5.2)
Content Standards – Listening/Viewing Applications
Confirms understanding by paraphrasing. (LA 3.5.3)
Summarizes main idea(s) from spoken passages. (LA 3.5.4)
Uses story structure, organization, and appropriate questions to assist comprehension before, during, and after reading, listening, or viewing. (LA 3.5.5)
States individual point of view about a given topic or media production. (LA 3.5.6)
Research – Strand 6
The student conducts and compiles research data, synthesizes findings, and develops an original conclusion to increase personal and community depth of knowledge. The student locates and uses a variety of resources to acquire information across content areas.
Power Standards – Research Strategies
Uses print and electronic resources to gather information for a specific purpose. (LA 3.6.1)
Content Standards – Research Conventions
Uses reference materials (e.g., glossary, dictionary, thesaurus) to support decoding skills, verify spelling, discover, and extend meaning of words. (LA 3.6.2)
Content Standards – Research Applications
Explains choice of research materials by citing purpose of information (e.g., solving problems, making decisions, and enjoyment). (LA 3.6.3)
English Language Development Standards
STANDARDS - ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE- New Mexico grades K-3
Goal 1, Standard 1: To use English to communicate in social settings: Students will use English to
participate in social interactions.
Goal 1, Standard 2: Students will interact in, through, and with spoken and written English for personal expression and enjoyment.
Goal 1, Standard 3: Students will sue learning strategies to extend their communicative competence
Goal 2, Standard 1: To use English to achieve academically in all content areas: Students will use
English to interact in the classroom.
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Goal 2, Standard 2: Students will use English to obtain, process, construct, and provide subject matter
information in spoken and written form.
Goal 2, Standard 3: Students will use appropriate learning strategies to construct and apply academic
Goal 3, Standard 1: To use English in socially and culturally appropriate ways. Students will use the
appropriate language variety, register, and genre according to audience, purpose, and setting.
Goal 3, Standard 2: Students will use nonverbal communication appropriate to audience, purpose, and
Goal 3, Standard 3: Students will use appropriate learning strategies to extend their sociolinguistic and
Listening and Speaking (Grades 3-5 ESL Standards)