After mastering reading skills in earlier grades, 3rd graders become better and more independent readers. Third grade reading work focuses on teaching kids how to think and talk about what they read in deeper and more detailed ways. Students read longer texts, and specifically, most read chapter, fiction books. Many reading lessons are dedicated to writing about and talking about texts to think about their meanings, lessons, and important ideas. Third graders are also encouraged to develop their own points of views about books and texts that they read, talking about their ideas about a text or characters. Series books are also important in 3rd grade. As students read these both independently and as a class, they can make connections across different books within one series as well as talk about how the characters change. As 3rd graders read more, they become more fluent readers and learn to read harder and more complex words. In addition, students learn the definition and pronunciation of complex words they encounter.
In order to build reading skills, your 3rd grader:
- Reads multi-syllable and grade appropriate, irregularly spelled words (ask your child’s teacher for a list of these words).
- Reads grade-level text with appropriate pace, accuracy, expression and understanding.
- Self-corrects mistakes and re-reads when necessary.
- Talks about and answers questions about a text using specific example from the text and connects different parts of a text.
- Reads a variety of texts including, fiction, non-fiction, fables, and poetry and understands and talks about their main ideas and lessons.
- Begins to understand the difference between literal and non-literal text such as metaphors and analogies.
- Uses the text and context to determine the meaning of words.
- Is able to express her own point of view about characters or a text.
- Makes comparisons between books written by the same author and books such as series that are about the same characters.
- Get Serious About Series: Find a series that interests your child and begin to read it together. You can read to your child, your child can read to you, and he can read a chapter independently. You and your child can interview each other as you read — ask about main ideas, events, and thoughts you each have about the books and characters.
- Look It Up: When your child encounters a word she doesn’t know the meaning of, look up the meaning together. You can even begin to keep your own family dictionary, recording words and their definitions. Your child can create illustrations that show definitions of the words, as well. Use the word yourself, or encourage your child to use that word in a sentence sometime during the day.
- Learn About an Author: As your child develops favorite authors, look online for that author’s website. Your child can email or write a letter to the author (under your supervision). The author may even be at a book signing or other events in your neighborhood for you and your child to attend. You can also try this Author Hunt Printable to find facts and record what you learn.