Writing: 3rd Grade

Discover ways to help your child by learning the skills taught in 3rd Grade and ways to foster these skills at home.
By Shira Ackerman, MA
Jan 25, 2013



Writing: 3rd Grade

Jan 25, 2013

Third graders grow as writers as they write more structured and complex pieces. They continue to practice writing the pieces they learned to write in 2nd grade, but the ones they write in 3rd grade have more detail and are longer. In addition, 3rd graders use more sophisticated language as described below, using phrases and terms to connect writing within one piece and provide examples. More time is also spent on planning, revising and editing texts so that students really learn the “writing process” that writers go through.  As a result, students may spend a long period of time such as a few weeks, working on one writing piece. They also practice how to write pieces in a shorter amount of time, for example within one sitting, through class and homework. Third graders continue to use and become comfortable with technology as they use computers for writing pieces and research.

In order to build writing skills, your 3rd grader:

  • Writes a variety types of texts including:
    • Opinion Pieces: Students introduce their opinions, state their opinion, provide reasons for their opinion and provide a conclusion.
    • Narrative Pieces: Students write about an event, using descriptive details, feelings and proper order and provide a conclusion.
    • Informative/Explanatory Pieces: Students introduce a topic and use facts, definitions and if helpful, illustrations to further explain the topic. Students also provide a conclusion.
  • Uses terms such as: because, since, for example, also, another and but to elaborate on and make connections in his writing. 
  • Plans, revises and edits his writing, going through the same process as most writers do.
  • Uses digital tools (under the guidance of the teacher) to publish his writing and interact and communicate with others.
  • Begins to take notes and do research for short research projects.
  • Spends a variety of time writing a piece, ranging from a short period of time (such as 30 minutes) to working on one piece over the course of a few weeks.

Writing Activities

  • Write About Your Lives: When your child experiences an enjoyable or important family moment, you and your child can write about it together as a narrative piece. Describe the events that occurred using details and emotion. You can then send the piece to family members or friends to share the event and the writing.
  • Get Technical: Under your supervision, begin to help your child use a computer to research a topic or communicate with friends and family. Your child can also use the computer to write his own pieces or pieces you write together.
  • Learn How to do Something New: Pick something you and your child want to learn about or learn how to do, for example, planting a garden. Research the topic online or in a book together and then create an informative piece, explaining a topic or how to do something. You can then do the project yourselves or teach another family member or friend using the piece you and your child wrote.  
  • Make Your Own Magazine: Read magazines for children, such as Scholastic News, to familiarize your child with the format of magazines. Then work together to create your own magazine about your family, topics of interest, or anything you’d like!
Age 8