3rd Grade Interest-Based Learning Ideas

Open-ended painting session

With extended school closures announced in my community, I realized I needed to start thinking about and gathering some learning resources for my third grader. Learning at home will not mirror the learning that happens in school setting. It will not look like usual homeschooling because we are staying home and unable to make trips to the library and museums for added learning experiences. It will take some adjustment and imagination to make learning at home engaging and fun.

Vetted Learning Resources

In my last blog post I mentioned how overwhelming it can be to find learning resources for your children. The educators at Harvard Graduate School of Education put together a spreadsheet of learning resources for parents. The spreadsheet includes all subjects and resources for very young learners through high school students. Below is the link to google document:

HGSE  “Virtual School” Lesson Plan Database

Interest-Based Learning for a 3rd Grader

My third graders is very particular about how he likes to learn. Last week I asked him what he would like to learn about and he very quickly said, “robotics and astronomy”. I gave him a little writing journal we had laying around and asked him to write the following:

  • Write 5 things you know about astronomy.
  • Write 3 questions you have about astronomy.
  • Write 5 things you know about robotics.
  • Write 3 questions you have about robotics.

His response clued me into exactly what he wanted to learn. I was able to gather resources tailored to learning interests. I went through a few of the resources from the HGSE “Virtual School” database to find activities and lessons for us to explore together and for him to complete independently.

Learning at Home Plan 3rd Grade

Science: Black Holes & Galaxies

We will use BrainPop.com to learn about black holes and galaxies along with books we have at home.

Math: 3rd Gr. Math Khan Academy


I have additional books and materials at home to use for hands-on math learning.

STEAM: Robotics & Lego Space Builds

  • Building Challenges,
  • Introduction to coding with Scratch
  • BrainPop topic, Robots

Books for Independent Reading and to Read Aloud

  • My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Marvelous Misadventures of Sebastian by Lloyd Alexander
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
  • The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
  • Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate deCamillo


  • Journal prompts
  • Reading response
  • Science journal and observations


We are starting slowly on Monday by incorporating learning time into our day. We will not be doing all subjects everyday except for reading. Reading is just about the best thing you can do for your brain. We read, write, and think mathematically throughout our day during everyday activities and games. It is most important to be present with our kids and build a relationship.

Published by

Maria Arana

Hi, I am Maria, a mom to three wonderful kiddos. My family and I live in Phoenix, Arizona. We love the beauty of the desert southwest. I am a former primary teacher and elementary math coach. I love to encourage my children to follow their interests and passions. At Guided Learning Studio, I offer private personalized lessons and enrichment classes. Tutoring services are best for families seeking long-term educational support over a semester or school-year.

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