By the end of third grade, students must have a firm foundation
in all ten of the components of literacy. Third grade students should expand
their phonological awareness and oral language to include figurative language, jargon, homonyms, synonyms/antonyms, and affixes. Students should be able to organize oral presentations while considering their audience. Third grade students continue to develop their concepts of print and text features
by utilizing informational text features (including indexes or diagrams) and more complex print conventions (such as quotation
marks or colons). By the end of third grade, students should also possess more
advanced word analysis and processing skills. Third grade students should use
syllable and pattern knowledge to decode more difficult words while also expanding their use of comprehension strategies. Reading stamina, fluency, and flexibility also increase at this time. Furthermore, students are expected to respond to texts in increasingly sophisticated ways. Retellings become more detailed and require students to cite evidence from the texts, make inferences about
themes, and recognize elements of author’s craft.
grade, students also expand their writing abilities. Students are expected to
prewrite independently using strategies that match the form of writing. Writing
flexibility, depth, revision, and editing skills improve. Narrative, expository, persuasive, and poetry pieces are included. Spelling and writing conventions become more refined.
Students are expected to master more complicated spelling patterns as well as most high-frequency words and homophones.
Sentence variety, end punctuation, commas, and apostrophes should be mastered. Finally,
students are expected to begin developing cursive writing skills.
Third grade is a critical transition from primary to intermediate grades. Third grade students are expected
to develop increased independence while expanding their literacy skills and strategies to prepare for more work in the content
areas. It is imperative for teachers to assess students’ literacy development
frequently in order to target instruction to individual needs. Frequent, accurate,
and informative assessments will ensure appropriate interventions can be applied when needed.