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Third Grade Content Connection Sample: Time and Duration

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Time and duration are the sequential structures used to describe order and intervals using words or numbers. Third graders use the concept of time and duration to make connections between past, present, and future events building on earlier concepts of order and progression. In addition, third graders are learning about elapsed time in order to organize their lives and develop the basis for understanding cause and effect relationships. Time and duration are fundamental concepts for learning as well as managing the responsibilities and demands of life. 

Time and Duration can connect 7 of 10 content areas as detailed below. 

Drama and Theatre Arts

In drama and theatre arts, time and duration is about understanding the appropriate pacing and timing of a work. Walking through lines versus presenting a dramatic portrayal causes variation in the timing and pacing of a dramatic piece. Dramatic works may include events that take place in real time or cover events that happen over a matter days, weeks, months, or years. Understanding how to create scenes that use the story’s timeline is fundamental in dramatic storytelling.

Standards Pages 


In mathematics, time is a quantifiable concept which allows for the calculation of elapsed time or duration. For example, duration problems can relate to the amount of time it takes to read a book or go to school. Third graders solve problems involving elapsed time in minutes.

Standards Pages 


In music, time and duration are found in the elements of time signatures, tempo and meter. Creating short, four measure phrases establishes a beginning level knowledge of basic music composition. Music can incorporate contrasting segments such as using fast or lively time for one segment and slow or somber time for another to express varying emotions or messages. Understanding the use of time and duration within music enables third graders to identify the mood or message music is trying to convey.

Standards Pages 

Reading, Writing, and Communicating

In reading, writing, and communicating, time and duration is utilized to see logical connections in text through cause/effect, time, sequence, and comparison in areas such as historical events, scientific concepts, and technical procedures. Students use time and temporal relations to organize ideas and points of information sequentially. In communication, students adjust speech rate and intonation.

Standards Pages 


In science, time and duration is visible in the events of nature. The specific timing and duration of events can be observed and studied in order to better understand how the world works. Different objects and organisms operate at different time scales. For example, the life cycle of an insect might be days, the life cycle for a tree can be decades, the natural cycle for a forest might take centuries, and the natural cycle for rocks can be eons.

Standards Pages 

Social Studies

In social studies, time and duration can be defined as a way to sequence events while considering the amount of time passed. Historians use chronology to sequence important events that may have impacted the development of a community. Geographers use time and duration to examine how regions develop and change over time.

Standards Pages 

Visual Arts

In visual arts, time and duration involves creating and connecting works of art that depict various historical eras and cultural contexts. Connecting to historical eras requires an examination of similarities and differences between past, present and future contexts within which a piece of art is created. Using a piece of art created in a different time to interpret social and cultural norms aids learners in understanding the lasting influences from past societies.

Standards Pages 


Summary Document: All standards pages for time and duration