• In third grade, students begin to explore more complex concepts and ideas from civics, economics, geography, and history as they study varied backgrounds of people living in Washington and the rest of the United States. Emphasis is on cultures in the United States, including the study of American Indians. Students examine these cultures from the past and in the present and the impact they have had in shaping our contemporary society. They begin to look at issues and events from more than one perspective.

    Unit 1: First Nations of North America
    Essential and Guiding Questions:
    • How do people from differing cultural groups and ways of life work together to solve problems?
    • Who were the first people to live in North America, how did they live, and how do they live today?
    • How are Native American cultures similar and different?
    • How do stories, legends, and the arts serve as expressions of cultural traditions?
    • How and why did the Native American cultures change over time?
    • How were Native American cultures affected by exchanges with non-native peoples?

    Unit 2: Cultures of North America
    Essential and Guiding Questions:
    • How do we affect our environment? How does the environment affect us?
    • How do we meet our needs and wants?
    • What should you know about your neighbors?
    • How does the geographic region influence culture?
    • How are Mexico, Canada, and the United States similar and different?

    Unit 3: Cultures in Our Community
    Essential and Guiding Questions:
    • What makes up a culture? Why is it important?
    • What are the critical attributes of culture (cultural universals)?
    • How are cultures similar and different?
    • What can we learn about ourselves by studying cultures in other places?
    • What cultures have contributed to your community?