About Julie Coiro

Integrating Technology Resources
Into Your Comprehensive Literacy Curriculum

   Integration Ideas for Third Grade Teachers

Click on any of the underlined unit topics in the right hand column below to link to some curriculum integration ideas using a variety of technology tools.  Use the grey arrow buttons to link to integration ideas at other grade levels or to return to the main menu.

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Unit Integration Ideas

Literacy Component
 Mysteries with Cam Jansen
Mummies in Ancient Egypt
Immigration Stories 
by Eve Bunting
 Colonial America
The Stories Julian Tells
(Writing Personal Narratives)

Third Grade: Guided Reading
Collaborative / Independent Reading and Writing
Fiction: Mysteries

Cam Jansen and the 
Mystery of the Dinosaur Bones 
by David Adler

Task / Purpose
Trade Books Other Mystery Series for Young Readers In the Cam Jansen series, the main character, Cam, is so named because of her excellent photographic memory, like that of a camera.  She uses this skill to solve many  mysteries. 

As this book is introduced, discuss the concept of mysteries, and the term "photographic memory".  Encourage children to "take a picture" in their mind of a bulletin board in your room and describe the board with their eyes closed. In an early chapter, they can use photographic memory skills to spell (and decode) the dinosaur name Coelophysis, and this skill can then be extended to spelling new words.

As the story progresses, have students keep a list of the clues that the characters gather and how the author uses these clues to structure the plot of each story.  There are many good stopping points for encouraging oral or written prediction, and many good examples of  writer's craft here (foreshadowing, humor) to help students see how to write a good mystery story. (Expand background about mysteries with What is A Mystery? lessons) (Also Elements of A Mystery from 

Students can read other mystery stories by the same author and discuss the patterns, or read one mystery story by each author to compare and contrast different mystery elements and author techniques. 

Computer Software
  • Dinosaur Hunter, by Dorling Kindersley (link to demos) (try the Interactive web site too)
  • Where in the United States is Carmen San Diego, by Broderbund 
  • Freddi Fish and Pajama Sam: mysteries, exploration and problem solving by Humongous Entertainment
    • Dinosaur Hunter: Find the missing bones from six different dinosaurs and then watch them come to life. Try arranging bones online.
    • Where in the United States is Carmen San Diego?: Learners chase Carmen San Diego and her team of spy thieves around the United States solving mysteries while learning geography, new vocabulary and history. 
    • Explore the virtual under the sea world with Freddi Fish or conquer fears in the real world with Pajama Sam
    Productivity Tools
  • Inspiration or Kidspiration
  • HyperStudio or Netscape Composer (for writing non-linear mysteries)
  • PowerPoint or Kid Pix Studio (for writing linear mysteries or texts) 
  • Word Processor 
    • Inspiration: create a template that lists clues as the story progresses and have students indicate the reason the author included each clue (or how it helped solve the mystery); later students 
    • Word Processor: Choose a good stopping point and ask students "What do you predict / What would you have happen next / what would you change if you were the author?"
    • After viewing student work created online, students can create their own mystery (linear or interactive) using HyperStudio, Kid Pix Powerpoint, or Netscape Composer (or even choose your own adventure) 
    • Create a small group slide show that illustrates how David Adler's Cam Jansen books include all the elements of a good mystery story (see mystery lesson resources) (use ideas from mystery vocabulary list)
    Internet Web Sites (professional)
  • Read an interview with David Adler about Cam 
  • See photos and learn about author David Adler at his Homepage.  Read a short biography and another biography
  • Visit the Bone Zone to learn about new dinosaur bone findings and the tools used
  • Learning more about the Coelophysis  or All About Dinosaurs from Enchanted Learning
  • Piece a prehistoric predator together at this online Dinosaur Hunter demo or play with dinosaurs at Dino Online
  • Solve online mystery cases, write and post original mysteries online at The
  • Solve an online Nancy Drew mystery
  • Guess the identity of many many animals in the unique online puzzle and question game at Mystery Animal Game
  • Participate in Kids Love a Mystery Week
  • Advanced readers can help A. Pintura Art Detective solve an online mystery about art history 
  • Internet Web Sites (teachers and students sharing work) For more structured student interactions with these Internet web site, see an example of an Internet Project Choice Contract

    You can also see an example of the Web Site Evaluation Form used with this contract for elementary students.

    Screen Shots and Templates for Mystery Unit 

    Third Grade: Guided Reading
    Collaborative / Independent Reading and Writing
    Non-Fiction: Mummies in Ancient Egypt

    Tut's Mummy, Lost and Found
    by Judy Donnelly

    Task / Purpose
    Trade Books Other Resources
    • Introduce Tut's Mummy as an example of a story based on the real discovery of King Tut's tomb.  Provide some background with a guided picture walk through some important photos from Into the Mummy's Tomb that will help students visualize important words like tomb, mummy, King Tut, Tutankhamen, and Egyptians. 
    • Use Into the Mummy's Tomb as a supportive read-aloud in the days after the focus book has been introduced.  Several sections lends themselves well to giving students the feeling of exploring the tomb themselves, and the photographs beautifully enhance childrens' experience with many of the drawings in the focus book. 
    • Compare the types of texts (story based on fact, non-fiction, non-fiction told in the first person) with students, discussing the purpose of each type of texts.
    • Share Mummies Made in Egypt with students to introduce them to the mummification process. 
    Productivity Tools 
    • Kid Pix Studio 
    • Inspiration
    • Kid Pix Studio: Use drawing tools to create a map of King Tut's tomb.  Use stamps to add treasures.  Illustrate and label a few of the most important objects found in the tomb. 
    • Kid Pix Studio: Use a black line scanned drawing template of King Tut and have students use painting tools to color. 
    • Kid Pix Studio: Use drawing tools to draw and label a map of Egypt. Use Kid Pix tools to create Egytian cartouches
    • Inspiration: Prepare a vocabulary activity for students.  Have them match / sort important words or concepts from the story with photos of those words cut and paste from the Internet. 
    • Inspiration: Introduce students to chapter heading main ideas and important details.  Have students correctly sequence "mixed-up" important events from each chapter. 
    Internet Web Sites 

    Professionally Designed for All Readers

    Designed for developing readers
    Teachers and Students Sharing Work
    Screen Shots and Templates for Egyptian Mummy Unit


    Third Grade 
    Fiction - Eve Bunting and Immigration 

    Ideas developed by 

    Trade Books Used (All books are written by Eve Bunting)

    Immigration: "Four Corners" Guided Reading Activity (Select four or five books for students to preview.  Students choose one of four as their guided reading group book for this unit.  This group meets for the length of the unit to read, discuss and respond to the book.  All students meet together at points during the unit to compare the stories and share Eve Bunting's message with the rest of the class.) 

    Software Application Ideas
    Kid Pix Studio / Powerpoint / Inspiration


    Internet Web Sites 

    Designed for Teachers

    Designed for All Readers  Designed for Developing Readers Teachers and Students Sharing Work
    Ideas for Integrating the Internet


    Third Grade
    Colonial America: A Pilgrim's Journey to New Life
    Non-Fiction -  Social Studies 

    Ideas developed by 

    Trade Books Used  Related Literature
    Software Application Ideas
    Kid Pix Studio / Powerpoint / Inspiration
    Internet Web Sites 
    Designed for All Readers
  • Colonial Life in Williamsburg (especially animals, clothing, manners, tools and trades)
  • Caleb Johnson's The Mayflower Webpages (read the message to teacher's for ideas)
  • Pages from A New England Primer and Facts about the Primer
  • Colonial Music
  • Common Mayflower Myths
  • Firefighting in Colonial America
  • Teachers: Thematic Unit: Life In Early America 
  • Designed for Developing Readers
  • Interactive Unit: Scholastic's  Plimoth: 1621 - The First Thanksgiving  (teacher's guide
  • Interactive Website:  A Colonial Family and Community in Connecticut
  • Games in Colonial New England
  • Pilgrim Clothing
  • Typical dress of Pilgrim man and woman
  • Teachers and Students Sharing Work
  • Colonial Stamp Project by fourth graders
  • Colonial America (students dress up)
  • Children in Colonial America Webquest
  • American Colonies Webquest
  • A Celebration of Life in the 1700's Thinkquest
  • Jamestown Colony Timeline by fourth graders in Virginia
  • Colonial Webpage by fifth grade students
  • Jamestown Gazette Thinkquest
  • Ideas for Integrating the Internet


    Third Grade
    Fiction: Stories About My Life

    The Stories Julian Tells by Ann Cameron

    Ideas developed by 

    Trade Books 
  • The Stories Julian Tells,(six stories about a young boy and his family)
  • More Stories Julian Tells, (five more stories about childhood)
  • The Stories Huey Tells, (Julian's younger brother tells his own stories)
  • Julian's Glorious Summer (review)
  • Julian's Secret Agent (review)
  • Gloria's Way (review)
  • Julian Dream Doctor (review)
  • Software Application Ideas
    Kid Pix Studio / Powerpoint / Inspiration
    Internet Web Sites 
    Designed for Teachers Designed for All Readers
  • Interview with Ann Cameron
  • Ann Cameron biblography for adults
  • Teachers and Students Sharing Work
    Ideas for Integrating the Internet


    Third Grade
    Non-Fiction: Science 

    Spectacular Spiders by Linda Glaser

    Ideas developed by

    Trade Books 
    • FOCUS BOOK: The Spider, by Margaret Lane
    • Read-Aloud: Spiders Spin Webs, by Yvonne Winder (poetic verse, great photos, extra resources)
    • Read-Aloud: The Spider's Web, by Oxford Scientific Films
    • Shared Reading for Research: 
      • Amazing Spiders, by Claudia Schnieper
      • Discovering Spiders, by Malcolm Penny
      • Amazing Spiders, by Alexandra Parsons (Dorling Kindersley clear photos and great details)
    Other Resources
    • Spiders, by Gail Gibbons 
    • Mighty Spiders, by Fay Robinson (Hello Science Reader, Level 2) (rhyming introduction and special reference section)
    • Spectacular Spiders, by Linda Glaser (A day in the life of a garden spider)
    Software Application Ideas
    Kid Pix Studio / Powerpoint / Inspiration
    Internet Web Sites 
    Designed for All Readers
  • Spiders of Northwest Europe and Spiders of Australia (great photos) both websites by Ed Nieuwenhuys
  • Teachers: Seven Online Lesson Plans
  • Spider Activities (For home and in the classroom); includes books about spiders
  • Yahooligans Spiders
  • Spiders In & Around Your House 
  • John Jackman's Spiders
  • Spiders
  • The Arachnology Home Page for the WWW
  • Designed for Developing Readers Teachers and Students Sharing Work
    Ideas for Integrating the Internet

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