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  • Writer's pictureKaitlin Coppola

What we are doing in 3rd Grade: Literacy

I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a handful of third grade homeschoolers this semester through literacy tutoring. Third grade is a favorite of mine to teach as it’s when students start transitioning from learning to read to reading to learn. This is when they can start to develop a love of independent reading as well as an ability to go deep with interest-based learning.

Phonics: Phonics instruction is focused on decoding multi-syllable words. I use a Science of Reading program that teaches the meaning of prefixes and suffixes which also is a tremendous help for students acquiring more complex vocabulary.

Fluency: Many of my third graders still need practice with reading fluency and my students have enjoyed practicing this skill through beginner novel series from Get Epic! I’ve had students enjoy the Ivy and Bean and My Pet Slime series. They are fast reads and generally easy to comprehend with engaging storylines allowing students to exert effort in their fluency and decoding.

Comprehension: I teach explicit comprehension skills such as main idea, inferencing, theme, author’s purpose, and text structure. I enjoy teaching these concepts through literature- the glorious novel study. I’ve found great comprehension/vocabulary guides on TeachersPayTeachers as well as free on the author’s website. Some favorite third grade novel studies this year have been Charlotte’s Web , Fantastic Mr. Fox, Because of Winn Dixie, and Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. Another great comprehension resource has been ReadWorks which is a catalogue of short stories and non-fiction articles that have comprehension questions and interactive vocabulary learning.

Writing: Most of third graders are working on writing complex and compound sentence. We focus on using a variety of sentence structures in their developing writing. I introduce 5-sentence paragraph writing in 3rd grade and practice with a variety of writing prompts and reading responses. Below is an example of a sample of one of my third graders response to literature. Some of my third graders have developed a strong interest in personal story-telling and creative fiction writing and for those students I have introduced the five stages of the writing process (prewriting, first draft, revision, editing, and publication).

Grammar: Third grade is when young writers start to really pay attention to grammar and I teach a wide variety of grammar topics. K-5 Learning is a great resource for grammar worksheets and I use it as a guide to make sure I touch on each grade level grammar skill. I also teach grammar as part of our novel studies and have used Brave Writer Novel Singles to help embed grammar into our novel work.

Science/History: Some of my third graders, especially those who prefer non-fiction, have gone deep into topics of their choice in science and history. My students have enjoyed learning about astronomy, animal science and life cycles, human body systems, biographies, inventions, ancient history, and myths and legends. I’ve also done continent and country studies with third graders. Third grade is a great time to introduce notetaking and many of my students enjoy keeping track of their learning in a science journal.

Poetry: I love introducing poetry to interested 3rd graders and many of my students have gone on to enter their work in writing contests. I teach introductory forms and use exemplars to inspire their poetic growth.

Below is a list of group class offerings for 3rd grade homeschoolers beginning January 2023.

Grade 3

First Look at Poetry

1x per week, 6 weeks

What is an Inquiry?

2x per week, 6 weeks

Adventures in Novel Study: Nimm’s Island

3x per week, 6 weeks

Adventures in Novel Study: Charlotte’s Web

3x per week, 8 weeks

Adventures in Novel Study: Because of Winn Dixie

2x per week, 6 weeks

Student Work

3rd Grade Poetry Sample

3rd Grade Literature Responses

3rd Grade Creative Narration

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