The 3rd Grade Reading Workshop Curriculum


After years of conflict about how to best develop literacy skills, a consensus has emerged from the research: students need a balanced approach to reading and writing instruction. This is known as “Balanced Literacy." In this instructional model, students receive explicit, systematic instruction and exposure to a multitude of written texts. Research demonstrates that skills taught, practiced, and tested in isolation are not applied as consistently or effectively as skills taught when children are actually reading and writing; therefore, the integration of the many components of balanced literacy enhances meaning and understanding. Reading Workshop is one of the components of a Balanced Literacy approach.

The Reading Workshop begins with a mini-lesson that provides students with direct instruction about a specific reading skill. Students then practice this strategy during the independent reading part of the workshop. This portion of the workshop allows students to practice the skill while reading their just-right text. It also allows the teacher to provide differentiated instruction to students independently and in small groups. The workshop ends with a brief share that highlights the work accomplished during the workshop.

The 3rd grade Reading Workshop units of study are:

  • Putting It All Together
  • Determining Main Ideas in Informational Texts
  • Poetry
  • Interpreting Messages Across Texts
  • Reading Across Informational Texts
  • Test Taking Strategies
  • Interpreting Characters' Relationships