Using Mass Moments in Third Grade Classrooms

Many of the stories featured on the Mass Moments website appear in the scope and sequence recommended for grade three in the 2003 Massachusetts History and Social Science Framework. Third graders will learn "about the history of Massachusetts from the time of the arrival of the Pilgrims. They also learn the history of their own cities and towns and about famous people and events in Massachusetts' history."

While the content is almost perfectly aligned and the narrative form of the "moments" is ideal for third graders, the scripts, background essays, and primary sources on the website are not written at a level that is accessible to third grade students, even in the form used in the elementary and middle school units of Teachers' Features.

What follows is list of (with links to) "Mass Moments" that provide background information and resources on topics and individuals specifically mentioned in the third grade standards. By using the search tools on the website, you can easily find other stories that will enhance your curriculum. For example, while there are "moments" devoted to most of the artists mentioned by name in standard #3.7, a search of Mass Moments yields many others—women and men, black and white, people from every region of the state and every period of Massachusetts history.

Note that the "moments" are listen in roughly chronological order according to the event at the center of the story rather than the year of the "moment" used to tell the story.


Identify the Wampanoags and their leaders at the time the Pilgrims arrived, and describe their way of life.


Identify who the Pilgrims were and explain why they left Europe to seek religious freedom; describe their journey and their early years in the Plymouth Colony.


Explain how the Puritans and Pilgrims differed and identify early leaders in Massachusetts, such as John Winthrop; describe the daily life, education, and work of the Puritans in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.


Explain important political, economic, and military developments leading to and during the American Revolution.


After reading a biography of a person from Massachusetts in one of the following categories, summarize the person's life and achievements.

A. science and technology

B. the arts

C. political leadership


Identify when the students' own town or city was founded, and describe the different groups of people who have settled in the community since its founding.


Give examples of tax-supported facilities and services provided by their local government, such as public schools, parks, recreational facilities, police and fire departments, and libraries.

Mass Moments is a project of Mass Humanities, whose mission is to support programs that use history, literature, philosophy, and the other humanities disciplines to enhance and improve civic life throughout the Commonwealth.

Please consider helping us towards our goals with a donation today.

Interested in sponsoring Mass Moments?

What is the sum of 2 and 1?