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Updated by Mariah Melquist - Grad School on Jul 07, 2018
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Third Grade in the 21st Century

Top skills and aligning lesson plans for 21st Century Learners

Computational Thinking/Problem Solving Lesson

Problem Solving/Teamwork

For this activity, no instructions are provided. Instead, students will use examples of what imaginary players have done to figure out how to play the game. This lesson gives students the opportunity to practice the four arts of computational thinking (decomposition, pattern matching, abstraction, and algorithms) in one cohesive activity.

21st Century Communication/Digital Citizenship: Talking Safely Online (3-5) | Common Sense Education

Communication/Digital Citizenship

Comprehensive resources including lesson plans, digital games, assessments,professional development for teachers, and family education materials to teach students safe and responsible technology use.

Civics and Government Lesson Plans | Global Citizenship: Lesson (3-5) | Share My Lesson

Global Citizenship

Introduces the concept of global citizenship, teaches students about universal human rights outlined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Fosters students’ skills in developing perspectives, while empowering students to recognize and use their individual strengths to make a positive difference in their local communities. Encompasses the 21st Century skills of Global Citizenship and Leadership.

Leadership/Growth Mindset Lesson: Soar | Teaching Ideas

Leadership, Communication, and Growth Mindset

Students view the short animated film Soar, by Alyce Tzue, which has no dialogue. A young girl finds a tiny boy whose plane has crashed, leaving him behind as the rest of his group continues in flight. The girl does all that she can to help him get back into the air before it's too late! Students must watch carefully to understand the thoughts of each character, and to understand the underlying themes of the film. The girl demonstrates compassion, perseverance, problem solving skills, and empathy, as well as the knowledge to design, build, and repair small airplanes. Teachers can use the lesson to teach growth mindset and leadership, as well as comprehension, storytelling, and STEM lessons (designing, building, flying.)

Teamwork Lessons in the Classroom: Continue Class Team-Building All Year Long | Scholastic

Teamwork/Problem Solving/Communication

Lessons and exercises to promote teamwork and team building, particularly in the beginning of the year when students are hesitant and need to get to know one another, Throughout the year, teachers can implement the lessons to encourage partnerships and teamwork among those who normally may not gravitate toward one another. The activities require communication, problem solving, cooperation, and critical thinking in order to be successful as a team.

Entrepreneurship/Leadership Lessons: Inventions by Miss ThirdGrade | Teachers Pay Teachers


21st Century Skill Based Project to be used after reading a text about Thomas Edison. A collaborative activity that involves research, non-fiction texts, and creativity as students think of, design, and present an invention as a group. Students will understand and discuss the purpose of their invention and how it may be valuable to society. Credit: Miss ThirdGrade

Free Emotional Social Lessons and Activities: Teaching Kindness: Teaching Kindness #kindnessnation

Emotional Intelligence

A lesson to develop emotional intelligence and awareness. Integrates character education in literacy lessons by asking students to identify examples of kindness in a text. Students then complete activities to state ways that they can demonstrate kindness. Can be extended using Web 2.0 tools to create presentations about showing kindness in the classroom and community, or have students role play and present examples of kindness vs. being unkind.

Perseverance/Goals Lesson

Emotional Intelligence/Leadership

An activity to complete after viewing the animated short, students will discuss feelings, challenges, and obstacles that sometimes get in the way of their achievement. Discuss what happens with the character, what he felt and experienced, and how he persevered to achieve his goals. For use as a social/emotional, leadership, perseverance, motivational activity. Students can design their own animated videos to demonstrate what they learned, retell the story, or create their own animation or comic strip about overcoming challenges and pushing on toward success.

Invention/Entrepreneurship Lessons: SHARK TANK FOR YOUR CLASSROOM – Be your best teacher!


A lesson for entrepreneurship, leadership, creativity, presentation skills, economics, and creativity. Students view and discuss an episode of Shark Tank, then work in pairs or groups to develop an invention. Then they must market and present the invention to convince investors of its value. Students can create an invention or market a real life, present or past invention. Activities include research, problem solving, creativity, presentation, teamwork, and leadership.…

Leadership/Choices/Critical Thinking: Step In! Step Out! {A Reading Lesson for DEEP Thinking}

Leadership/Critical Thinking

For use as a leadership/personal accountability lesson. Rather than observe and judge the character's choices from the outside, students will "step in" to deeply analyze the character's actions and put themselves in the character's shoes. Students have the opportunity to evaluate cause and effect, and imagine alternative choices and what effects they may have on the characters and the story as a whole. By "stepping out" the students think critically about the author's purpose, and decide if they would have written the story the same way. Students may use Web 2.0 tools to retell the story or create scenes showing alternative character choices, and present to the class.

Computer Coding Takeaways | Scholastic

Digital Literacy and Problem Solving

Introduction to Coding - I originally had a link to a great lesson on coding here, but it seems to have disappeared and is unavailable. On the same site, however, I found this blog post which includes suggested activities to introduce the concept of computer programming to students. Students learn that programmers tell a computer what to do through language, or code, and understand that the code must be specific and accurate in order for the right steps to be taken. Students see that many small steps performed accurately and in sequence can create something or complete a complicated task. The activity teaches step by step problem solving, attention to detail, and and the importance of following instructions.