Overview of Third Grade Curriculum:


We have been implementing The Reading Workshop in our daily literacy work to teach comprehension strategies and skills aligned with the Common Core for 3rd grade.

The Reading Workshop books we use in fourth grade are:

  • Building A Reading Life
  • Following Characters into Meaning
  • Navigating Nonfiction

We also use The Comprehension Toolkit to teach reading comprehension.  The units we cover in 3rd grade include:

  • Monitoring Comprehension
  • Activate and Connect
  • Ask Questions
  • Infer Meaning
  • Determine Importance
  • Summarize and Synthesize
  • Navigating Nonfiction

Students use the skills taught in these units when reading fiction and non-fiction, both independently and during shared and guided reading.

The Common Core Reading Standards for third grade include:

  • Asking and answering questions to demonstrate understanding of a text
  • Determining the main idea of a text
  •  Describing the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.
  • Using text features
  • Determining point of view
  • Determining meaning of unknown words within a text based on context clues
  • Describing text structure and how paragraphs are connected
  • Comparing and contrasting ideas, themes, settings and characters
  • Recounting  poems, dramas, and stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures
  • Determining the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.
  • Describing characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events


Third graders learn strategies and skills to write organized and structured opinion pieces, informative/explanatory pieces and narratives.  They understand and progress through stages in the process of writing (prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing).  Students learn proper mechanics, sentence formation and spelling.  Students write over extended time frames and shorter time frames and for a variety of purposes and audiences.  Students also learn conventions of Standard English for writing, reading, speaking and listening, as well as vocabulary acquisition and use.


Because of the great emphasis on literacy in third grade, much of the science and social studies curriculum is integrated into our reading and writing.

The science strands for third grade are listed below

  • Understand motion and factors that affect motion
  • Understand the composition and properties of matter before and after they undergo a change
  • Recognize how energy can be transferred from one object to another.
  • Recognize the major patterns of the earth/moon/sun system.
  • Understanding the human body
  • Understanding how plants survive in their environments
  • Understand the effects of environmental changes, adaptations and behaviors that enable animals (including humans) to survive in changing habitats.

Social Studies:

The third grade standards of social studies are listed below:

  • Understand how events, individuals and ideas have influenced the history of local and regional communities.
  • Use historical thinking skills to understand the context of events, people and places.
  • Five themes of geography: Location, Place, Human environment interaction, Movement and Regions
  • Understanding how location affects a market economy
  • Entrepreneurship in a market economy
  • Local government
  • Citizenship
  • Diverse cultures