Grade 3

A Sample of Third Grade English Language Arts and Literacy Common Core State Standards

■ Reading closely to find main ideas and supporting details in a story

■ Describing the logical connection between particular sentences and paragraphs in stories (e.g., first, second, third; cause and effect)

■ Comparing the most important points and key details presented in two books on the same topic

■ Writing opinions or explanations that group related information and develop topics with facts and details

■ Writing stories that establish a situation and include details and clear sequences of events that describe the actions, thoughts, and feelings of characters

■ Independently conducting short research projects that build knowledge about various topics

■ Asking and answering questions about information he or she hears from a speaker or while participating in classroom discussions, offering appropriate elaboration and detail that build on what others have said

■ Reading stories and poems aloud fluently, without pausing to figure out what each word means

■ Distinguishing the literal and nonliteral meanings of words, such as something’s fishy and cold shoulder

■ Spelling correctly and consulting dictionaries to clarify meanings of words

Reading Strategies

There are a variety of reading strategies that students use when they read. "Sounding out" is often used as the only method to read a word, but there are other strategies that are taught. Students should be thinking about not just stretching out sounds, but also about what makes sense in the sentence. Third graders are not only working on reading longer words, but understanding more difficult vocabulary. Refer to the image below for a list of reading strategies that are reinforced in third grade.


Fluency is the ability to read smoothly. It can also involve reading with expression. The reason we reinforce fluency is because research has shown that most students who are not fluent often have issues with comprehension. If it takes a student longer to read, it often makes it harder to remember what was actually read. One of the main prompts teachers use with students who are not fluent, is to encourage students to "put your words together like you are talking." If your child is having issues with phonics, refer to the web resources below to help strengthen those skills.

Comprehension Strategies

As students begin to read longer texts, it's important to ask them questions to be sure that they understand what they are reading. It's not only important to ask questions when students are reading the books themselves, but also when a book is being read to them. There are research-based strategies that are helpful in supporting your child's comprehension. Refer to the image below for suggestions.

Students in fourth grade are also working on writing about their reading. Students learn that they must provide evidence to support their thinking. Refer to the image below for more information.

Sight Words

Sight words are words students should be able to recognize quickly by sight. Many of them are "rule breakers" and don't follow a regular pattern for sounding out purposes. Students practice reading and writing these words all throughout third grade. Refer to the link below for the 100 words that are taught in third grade. The link also includes ready to print flashcards.

Book Lists

Most students read between a Level L and P or above in third grade. Once you know your child's reading level, you can refer to the links below to purchase and/or borrow books at your child's level.