Third grade science involves an in-depth study of many diverse fields. Students confront intricate science concepts and complex science terminology. This terminology can be overwhelming unless students make connections between science study and the real-world use of the concepts. A thorough understanding of third grade science vocabulary is essential to a thorough understanding of science.

By using integrated third grade science lesson plans, detailed worksheets, cool games, and comprehensive online testing, students can make these valuable real world connections. Children always learn more quickly, easily, and willingly when information is presented in enjoyable, meaningful, context-rich ways. VocabularySpellingCity has gathered extensive elementary science word lists to promote this exhilarating way of learning. Seven science categories are covered, both at a glance (see “Summary Lists” below) and in depth. Learning to use and understand vocabulary words from these science areas at the third grade level is key for students to advance to fourth grade science and beyond.

Each child has an individual personality, and therefore has a method of learning that suits him or her best. Providing students with a selection of activities gives them the freedom to explore avenues such as writing and quizzing. Students can choose from many science vocabulary games that incorporate the learning of third grade science words in a way that is exciting and fun!

Return to Science Vocabulary Overview.

Science4Us is a complete online interactive curriculum.
Take a look at's third grade science curriculum which is part of their elementary science online curriculum. Science4Us provides a broad number of free elementary science learning resources.

3rd Grade Science Vocabulary
Words at a Glance

3rd Grade Scientific Inquiry

Descriptors: acid, base, magnetic, meteorologist, observe, position, resource, temperature, malleable, density, attraction, element, mass, nonrenewable, physical property, renewable, scientist, volume, chemical property, describe

Processes: conditions, variable, model, identify, dependent variable, experiment, infer, investigation, balance, theory, communicate, constant, draw conclusions, heating, hypothesize, interact, law, observation, repetition, trial, compare, control, evidence, hypothesis, independent variable, inference, measure, predict, scientific method, using models

Tools: balance, Celsius, Fahrenheit, gram, microscope, meter, metric system, milliliter, volume, magnet, beaker, centimeter, graduated cylinder, hand lens, kilogram, liter, meterstick, thermometer, weigh, scale

3rd Grade Matter

The Changes in Matter: boil, change of state, chemical change, condensation, cooling, evaporation, heating, melt, phase changes, physical change

The Properties of Matter: air, atom, conservation of matter, liquid, mass, mixture, phases of matter, solid, volume, water vapor, chemical property, states of matter, weigh, molecules, matter, particles, physical property, element, gas, magnetic

3rd Grade Energy

Electricity: conduction, energy, heat, insulator, kinetic energy, light energy, potential energy, radiation, temperature, transfer, conductor, convection, electricity, energy transfer, heat transfer, light, radiant energy, reflection, sound wave, thermal energy

3rd Grade Motion

Force: attraction, balanced force, friction, inertia, Newton, position, push, transfer, vibrations, mass, balance, force, gravity, magnetism, motion, pull, speed, unbalanced force, direction, acceleration

Simple Machines: fulcrum, inclined plane, lever, load, pulley, screw, simple machine, wedge, wheel and axle, work

3rd Grade Space Science

The Universe: constellation, gas giant, gravitational pull, gravity, Milky Way Galaxy, model, orbit, space, solar system, universe, galaxy

3rd Grade Earth Science

History of the Earth: cool, cooling, fossil, geological, ocean, salt water, paleontologist, volcanic eruption, magma, plates

Resources: fresh water, fossil fuel, natural resource, interact, nonrenewable, renewable resource, resource, thermal energy, wind energy

Structures: axis, erosion, glacier, ice wedging, mechanical weathering, metamorphic, sedimentary rock, stream, wind, igneous (rock?), chemical weathering, fresh water, gravity, igneous rock, melt, ocean, soil, thermal energy, salt water, volcano

The Atmosphere: atmosphere, stratosphere, air, air mass, air pressure, carbon dioxide, oxygen, ozone, troposphere

The Water Cycle: water table, clouds, atmosphere, condensation, evaporation, glacier, groundwater, ocean, water cycle, water vapor

The Weather: biome, habitat, savannah, tundra, arctic, taiga, biosphere, desert, rain forest, nimbus, warm front, climate, cold front, force freeze, hail, melt, precipitation, thunderstorm, weather conditions, sleet, forecast, heat, hurricane, lightning, meteorologist, tornado, weather, weather vane

3rd Grade Life Science

Animals: amphibian, arthropod, invertebrate, mammal, reptile, insect, fish, bird, vertebrate

Biomes: adaptation, canopy, climate, community, forest floor, fresh water, interact, lake, plant, polar, population, biome, habitat, savannah, tundra, arctic, taiga, biosphere, desert, rain forest

Ecosystem Parts: environment, canopy, climate, community, water cycle, population, species, organism, ocean, river

Ecosystem Types: biome, coastal forest, coniferous forest, deciduous forest, desert, ecosystem, estuary, forest. ocean, troposphere

Energy Resources: conservation, light, oxygen, photosynthesis, radiant energy, resource, water, environment, sun, nutrient, energy transfer, light energy, natural resource, nonrenewable, pollution, renewable resource, thermal energy, water vapor

Living Things: mammal, plant, cell, classify, growth, inherit, offspring, organism, reproduction, tissue

Plants: bulb, chlorophyll, cone, germinate, plant, root, seed, seed coat, seedling, stem

The Environment: air, carbon dioxide, diversity, evolution, forest, fresh water, habitat, ocean, soil, water

The Food Chain: consumer, organisms, energy pyramid, interact, food web, predator, prey, carnivore, herbivore, omnivore, producer, transfer, decomposer, compete, food chain

For a complete online Science curriculum in First Grade Science, Second Grade Science, Third Grade Science, Fourth Grade Science, Fifth Grade Science, Sixth Grade Science, or Seventh Grade Science visit

Educational Science Games

Here are some fun Science Games from LearningGamesForKids by category: Science Songs, Science Videos, Science Experiment Videos, Space Games, Weather Games, or Science Experiment Games.

For more kindergarten learning resources, kindergarten math vocabulary words, kindergarten homeschool curriculum, free kindergarten vocabulary games, free science games, and a school science curriculum.

VocabularySpellingCity® is a registered trademark.
Premium Activities

Sorry, this activity is available to Premium Members only.

If you are a Premium Member, click here to log in to your account.

Want to know about Premium Membership? Just $29.99/yr for a family or $52.95/yr for a classroom. Learn more

Sorry. This feature is available
to Premium Members only.

Click here to upgrade to a Premium Membership

Learn more about this and other Premium features available to teachers at $52.95/yr per classroom or to families at $29.99/year