Grade 3 Science Unit 1

Weather and Climate

Students learn about Earth processes that contribute to various types of weather. They analyze and interpret data and information to learn about weather patterns and climate from a local and global perspective. Students learn about Earth processes that result in natural hazards, and ways to reduce the impact of weather-related hazards.

Note: Lessons will vary in length, depending on the amount of time you have with students, the resources that you choose to accompany the unit, the level of rigor within each learning target, and any other factors that may contribute to the pacing of your learning progressions. It is recommended that you adjust the pace and length of each learning progression(s) accordingly in response to these factors.

Download the complete Grade 3 Science Unit 1 framework to customize for your own planning.


  • 3-ESS2-1: Represent data in tables and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season.
  • 3-ESS2-2: Obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world. 
  • 3-ESS2-3: Plan and conduct an investigation to determine the connections between weather and water processes in Earth systems.
  • 3-ESS3-1: Make a claim about the merit of a design solution that reduces the impacts of a weather-related hazard.

Essential Questions and Big Ideas of the Unit

  • How do we find out about weather and climate?
    • Scientists record patterns of the weather across different times and areas so that they can make predictions about what kind of weather might happen next. (3-ESS2-1)
    • Climate describes a range of an area’s typical weather conditions and the extent to which those conditions vary over years. (3-ESS2-2)
    • Earth’s processes continuously cycle water, contributing to weather and climate. (3-ESS2-3)
  • How does weather and climate affect our everyday life?
    • A variety of natural hazards result from natural processes. Humans cannot eliminate natural hazards but can take steps to reduce their impacts. (3-ESS3-1)

Download the complete Grade 3 Science Unit 1 framework to customize for your own planning.