Grade 3: Gathering Evidence and Speaking to Others – The Role of Freshwater Around the World


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(Grade 3 Module 4 Unit)


Reading Informational Text

RI.3.1  Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

RI.3.2 Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.

RI.3.3 Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.

RI.3.4 Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.

RI.3.5 Use text features and search tools (e.g., key words, sidebars, hyperlinks) to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently.

RI.3.6 Distinguish their own point of view from that of the author of a text.

RI.3.7 Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).

RI.3.8 Describe the logical connection between particular sentences and paragraphs in a text (e.g., comparison, cause/effect, first/second/third in a sequence).

RI.3.9 Compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic.


W.3.1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.

W.3.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

W.3.4 With guidance and support from adults, produce writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task and purpose.

W.3.5 With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.

W.3.6 With guidance and support from adults, use technology to produce and publish writing (using keyboarding skills) as well as to interact and collaborate with others.

W.3.7 Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

W.3.8 Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.

W.3.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

Speaking and Listening

SL.3.4 Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

SL.3.5 Create engaging audio recordings of stories or poems that demonstrate fluid reading at an understandable pace; add visual displays when appropriate to emphasize or enhance certain facts or details.

SL.3.6 Speak in complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.


L.3.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.


This Grade 3 unit titled “Gathering Evidence and Speaking to Others: The Role of Freshwater Around the World” developed by Expeditionary Learning for is intended to be completed in three weeks of integrated Language Arts and Science instruction near the end of the school year.  The emphasis is on identifying main ideas and key details from informational text, including the use of illustrations, maps and photographs.  Lessons are designed to build literacy skills in all content areas.


Connecticut teachers should be aware due to the length of the unit, teachers may want to consider teaching the lessons in both the language arts and science time blocks.


This unit is an exemplary example of how to integrate science content with literacy. It provides all students with multiple and varied opportunities to compare and contrast two complex texts in order to write informative and explanatory paragraphs. This model could easily be adapted to any content area.  Important teacher supports are provided in reading, writing, speaking and listening for students who are ELL, have disabilities or read well below or above the grade level text band.  Excellent materials include graphic organizers and readings charts.  Formative and summative assessments that are clearly aligned to the CCSS provide students with the scaffolding needed for success.