What Language Arts Are Taught In Third Grade?

Written by Dan

Last updated

As children enter their third-grade classrooms, they embark on a transformative linguistic growth and discovery journey. This crucial period in their educational development involves mastering new language arts skills that will be the foundation for their future academic success.

In this article, we’ll explore the key components of third-grade language arts curriculum, shedding light on the fascinating world of reading, writing, grammar, and beyond. Join us as we delve into the essential elements that help shape young minds into confident communicators and creative thinkers.

Related: For more, check out our article on How To Improve Writing In Third Grade  here.

100 Spelling Words For Third Grade

Table of Contents

Overview of Language Arts Skills in Third Grade

Third grade is a significant year for students as they continue to develop and enhance their language arts skills. At this stage, children are transitioning from learning to read to reading to learn.

They are expected to become more competent and confident readers, writers, speakers, and listeners. Here is an overview of the key language arts skills that third-grade students should develop during the school year:

Reading Comprehension

  • Fluency: Students should be able to read age-appropriate texts with accuracy, speed, and expression, which helps in better understanding of the content.
  • Vocabulary: Expanding vocabulary is crucial for third graders. They should learn new words, their meanings, synonyms, antonyms, and correct usage in sentences.
  • Story Elements: Students should be able to identify and analyze story elements such as characters, setting, plot, problem, and solution in fiction texts.
  • Informational Texts: Third graders should be able to comprehend and extract information from non-fiction texts, like articles, biographies, and historical accounts.
  • Text Features: Students should recognize and use text features like headings, subheadings, captions, and glossaries to locate and understand information.
  • Making Connections: Students should make connections between texts and their own experiences, as well as compare and contrast different texts.

Related: For more, check out our article on What Grammar Is Taught In Third Grade here.


  • Narrative Writing: Third graders should be able to write well-structured narratives with a clear beginning, middle, and end, including descriptive details and dialogue.
  • Opinion Writing: Students should learn to express their opinions on various topics, providing reasons and examples to support their viewpoints.
  • Informative/Explanatory Writing: Students should be able to write informative texts to convey information clearly, using facts, definitions, and details.
  • Grammar and Punctuation: Third graders should have a strong grasp of grammar rules, including subject-verb agreement, proper use of pronouns, and correct punctuation.
  • Editing and Revising: Students should learn to edit and revise their writing, focusing on improving clarity, coherence, and organization.

Speaking and Listening

  • Oral Communication: Third-grade students should be able to communicate their ideas clearly and effectively in various settings, such as class discussions, presentations, and group projects.
  • Active Listening: Students should develop active listening skills, which involve paying attention, asking questions, and responding thoughtfully to others’ ideas.
  • Collaboration: Third graders should learn to work collaboratively with peers, contributing their ideas and considering different perspectives.

By the end of third grade, students should have a solid foundation in language arts skills, preparing them for more advanced learning in the coming years. Teachers and parents play a crucial role in supporting and encouraging children’s growth and development in this critical area.

Related: For more, check out our article on What Science Is Taught In Third Grade here.

Understanding Grammar and Punctuation

Grammar and punctuation are essential components of the English language that help us communicate clearly and effectively. In third grade, students begin to delve deeper into these concepts to improve their writing and reading skills.

Nouns and Pronouns

In third grade, students should be familiar with nouns (people, places, things, or ideas) and pronouns (words that replace nouns).

They should understand the difference between common and proper nouns and singular and plural forms. Additionally, students should learn to identify and use various types of pronouns, such as personal (he, she, it), possessive (his, her, its), and reflexive (himself, herself, itself).

Verbs and Verb Tenses

Verbs express actions or states of being and are crucial for constructing sentences. Third graders should know how to identify and use action verbs, linking verbs, and helping verbs.

They should also learn about verb tenses, including past, present, and future, and understand how to use them correctly in sentences.

Adjectives and Adverbs

Adjectives describe nouns, while adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. Students in third grade should be able to identify and use adjectives and adverbs in sentences, as well as understand the difference between them.

They should also learn about comparative and superlative adjectives (e.g., big, bigger, biggest) and adverbs (e.g., quickly, more quickly, most quickly).

Sentences and Sentence Structure

Third graders should be able to write complete sentences, which include a subject and a predicate.

They should understand the different types of sentences, such as declarative (statements), interrogative (questions), imperative (commands), and exclamatory (strong emotions).

Additionally, students should learn about simple, compound, and complex sentences and how to use conjunctions (e.g., and, but, or) to connect ideas.


Proper punctuation is essential for clear communication. In third grade, students should know how to use periods, question marks, and exclamation points to end sentences.

They should also understand the use of commas in lists, dates, addresses, and when joining independent clauses with conjunctions. Furthermore, students should learn about quotation marks for dialogue and possessive apostrophes for showing ownership.


Third graders should know the basic rules of capitalization, such as capitalizing the first word in a sentence, proper nouns, and the pronoun “I.” They should also learn to capitalize titles, days of the week, months, and holidays.

Developing Reading Comprehension Strategies

Reading comprehension is a crucial skill that helps children understand and engage with the text they read. It allows them to extract meaning, analyze information, and connect with their experiences. For third graders, developing strong reading comprehension strategies is essential as they transition from learning to read, to reading to learn.

1. Activate Prior Knowledge

Before diving into a new text, please encourage students to think about what they already know about the topic. This will help them connect the new information and their existing knowledge, making it easier for them to comprehend the content. Teachers can facilitate this by asking questions or providing prompts related to the text’s subject matter.

2. Teach Vocabulary

Introduce new vocabulary words before reading the text, so students are familiar with the terminology they will encounter. This will make it easier for them to comprehend the material and focus on understanding the content rather than decoding individual words. Teachers can create vocabulary lists, flashcards, or word walls to reinforce new terms.

3. Make Predictions

Please encourage students to make predictions about the text based on the title, illustrations, and prior knowledge. This engages their curiosity and sets a purpose for reading. As they read, they can compare their predictions with the actual content, which helps improve their comprehension skills.

4. Visualize the Text

Teach students to create mental images of the events or concepts described in the text. Visualization helps students better understand and remember what they’ve read. Please encourage them to use their senses to imagine the setting, characters, and events, making the text more vivid and engaging.

5. Ask Questions

Questioning is an essential strategy for improving reading comprehension. Teach students to ask themselves questions before, during, and after reading. This encourages them to think critically about the text, clarify their understanding, and connect with their experiences. Teachers can model this process by asking open-ended questions during shared reading sessions.

6. Summarize the Text

After reading, have students summarize the text in their own words. This helps them identify the main ideas and supporting details and organize their thoughts. Teachers can provide graphic organizers or prompts to guide students in creating concise summaries.

7. Encourage Rereading

Sometimes, students may struggle to understand a text on their first read. Encourage them to reread challenging sections or the entire text to improve their comprehension. Rereading allows students to gain a deeper understanding of the material and pick up on details they might have missed initially.

8. Monitor Comprehension

Teach students to monitor their own comprehension as they read. If they don’t understand something, they should be encouraged to use strategies such as rereading, looking for context clues, or asking questions to clarify their understanding. Teachers can model this process during shared reading sessions and provide explicit instruction on how to use these strategies independently.

Improving Writing Skills through Practice

Writing is an essential life skill that helps individuals effectively communicate their thoughts, ideas, and emotions.

In third grade, children will be required to write more frequently and at greater length, making it crucial to refine their writing skills. Some key reasons why improving writing skills in third grade is essential include:

  1. Preparing for higher grades: As children progress through their education, they will be expected to write more complex and detailed essays, reports, and research papers. Developing strong writing skills in third grade lays the foundation for future academic success.
  2. Effective communication: Good writing skills enable children to convey their thoughts and ideas clearly and concisely, making it easier for others to understand and engage with their work.
  3. Critical thinking: Writing requires children to analyze information, organize their thoughts, and present their ideas logically. This process helps develop critical thinking skills, which are invaluable in various aspects of life.
  4. Creativity: Writing is an excellent outlet for children to express their creativity and imagination. By practicing their writing skills, students can learn to think outside the box and develop unique perspectives.

Strategies for Improving Writing Skills in Third Grade

There are several practical strategies that teachers and parents can employ to help third graders improve their writing skills. Some of these include:

  1. Daily writing practice: Encourage children to write every day, even if it’s just a few sentences. This can be done through journaling, creative writing prompts, or simply summarizing their day.
  2. Teach the writing process: Break down the writing process into manageable steps, such as brainstorming, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. This will help children understand the different aspects of writing and make the task feel less overwhelming.
  3. Provide clear feedback: Offer specific, constructive feedback on your child’s writing to help them identify areas for improvement. Focus on both the content and the mechanics of their writing, such as grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
  4. Model good writing: Show children examples of well-written texts and discuss the elements that make them effective. This will help students understand what is expected of them and inspire them to emulate these techniques in their own writing.
  5. Encourage reading: Reading and writing are closely intertwined skills. Encourage children to read regularly and discuss the books they’ve read. This will expose them to a variety of writing styles and help them expand their vocabulary.
  6. Use technology: Numerous online tools and apps can help children practice their writing skills engagingly and interactively. Explore these resources and incorporate them into your child’s writing practice routine.

Exploring Poetry and Literature as Part of Language Arts Curriculum 

One of the most effective ways to enhance their learning experience is by incorporating poetry and literature into the curriculum.

Benefits of Including Poetry and Literature in Language Arts Curriculum

Integrating poetry and literature into the language arts curriculum offers numerous benefits for third-grade students:

1. Enhancing Vocabulary and Language Skills

Poetry and literature expose children to various words, phrases, and expressions that may not be present in their everyday conversations. This exposure helps expand their vocabulary, improve their reading comprehension, and improve communication skills.

2. Encouraging Creative Expression

Reading and writing poetry and literature stimulate the imagination and inspire students to express themselves creatively. This creative expression can take many forms, such as writing their own poems or stories, painting, or even acting out scenes from their favorite books.

3. Fostering Critical Thinking

Analyzing poems and literary works encourages students to think critically about the meaning behind the words and the author’s intent. This skill is crucial for their intellectual development and will serve them well in various aspects of life.

4. Developing Empathy and Emotional Intelligence

Reading stories and poems that explore different perspectives and emotions allows students to understand and empathize with others’ experiences. This helps them develop emotional intelligence, which is essential for building healthy relationships and navigating social situations.

5. Appreciating Cultural Diversity

Introducing students to diverse authors and poets from various cultural backgrounds helps them appreciate the richness and diversity of human experiences. It also fosters an inclusive mindset and promotes tolerance and understanding among different cultures.

Strategies for Including Poetry and Literature in Third-Grade Language Arts Curriculum

Here are some effective strategies for incorporating poetry and literature into the language arts curriculum:

1. Read Aloud Sessions

Arrange regular read-aloud sessions where the teacher or students take turns reading poems or excerpts from literary works. This engages students’ listening skills and introduces them to different writing styles and genres.

2. Creative Writing Activities

Please encourage students to write their own poems, stories, or personal reflections inspired by the texts they’ve read. This helps them practice their writing skills while also allowing them to express their thoughts and emotions creatively.

3. Group Discussions and Analysis

Organize group discussions where students can share their interpretations and opinions about a particular poem or literary work. Please encourage them to analyze the text and support their views with examples from the text.

4. Visual Arts Integration

Incorporate visual arts into the curriculum by asking students to create illustrations, collages, or paintings that depict scenes or themes from the poems and literary works they’ve read.

5. Cross-Curricular Connections

Connect poetry and literature to other subjects such as history, science, or social studies, to help students see the relevance of these texts in their broader learning experience.

Creative Projects that Encourage Creative Thinking in Language Arts

Language arts is essential for developing third graders’ reading, writing, and communication skills. Educators should incorporate creative projects that foster creative thinking in language arts lessons to keep students engaged and motivated.

These projects make learning more enjoyable and help students better understand the subject matter. Teachers can use some creative projects in their third-grade language arts classrooms.

1. Storytelling with Puppets

Using puppets to tell stories is an excellent way for third graders to practice their oral language and storytelling skills. Students can create their own puppets using materials like paper bags, socks, or craft sticks, and then use them to act out a story they have written or a favorite tale from a book.

This activity encourages creativity, as students must develop characters, settings, and plotlines for their stories.

2. Comic Strip Creation

Creating comic strips allows third-grade students to merge their artistic abilities with their writing skills. Students can create their own original stories or adapt a story from a book into a visual format.

This project encourages students to think about effectively conveying emotions, actions, and dialogue through words and images.

3. Poetry Collage

A poetry collage is a fun way for third graders to explore different forms of poetry and express themselves creatively. Students can choose a theme, such as nature or friendship, and collect various poems related to that theme.

They can then arrange the poems on a poster board, adding their illustrations, decorations, or even their own original poems. This project helps students become more familiar with different types of poetry and encourages them to think about how words and images can work together to convey meaning.

4. Book Trailer Production

Book trailers are short videos that promote a book, similar to movie trailers. In this project, students choose a book they have read and create a short video that highlights the main characters, setting, and plot.

This activity encourages students to think critically about a story’s elements and consider how to present them engagingly and excitingly.

5. Character Interviews

In this activity, students choose a character from a book they have read and write a series of interview questions for that character. They then answer the questions from the character’s perspective, using evidence from the text to support their responses.

This project helps students develop a deeper understanding of the characters in their favorite books and encourages them to think about the motivations and experiences that shape those characters.

Incorporating creative projects into third-grade language arts lessons makes learning more enjoyable and helps students develop essential skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, and self-expression.

By providing opportunities for students to explore their creativity in language arts, teachers can inspire a lifelong love of reading, writing, and storytelling.


Q: What are the main grammar concepts taught in third grade?

A: In third grade, students typically learn about various grammar concepts, including parts of speech (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections), subject-verb agreement, verb tenses, punctuation, capitalization, and sentence structure.

Q: How can I help my child improve their grammar skills?

A: You can support your child’s grammar development by providing them with age-appropriate grammar workbooks, encouraging them to read a variety of texts, and discussing grammar rules and concepts with them. You can also play educational games or use online resources focusing on grammar skills.

Q: Are there any recommended resources for teaching third-grade grammar?

A: There are numerous resources available for teaching third-grade grammar, including textbooks, workbooks, websites, apps, and educational games. Some popular options include Scholastic’s “Grammar Tales” series, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s “Journeys” program, and online resources like Grammaropolis and Education.com.

Q: How important is it for third-grade students to have a strong foundation in grammar?

A: A solid foundation in grammar is essential for third-grade students, as it helps them develop strong reading comprehension and writing skills. By understanding grammar rules and concepts, students can more effectively communicate their ideas and understand the meaning of texts they encounter.

Q: What are some common grammar mistakes made by third graders?

A: Common grammar mistakes made by third-grade students include subject-verb agreement errors, incorrect verb tense usage, improper capitalization, and punctuation errors. Teachers and parents can help students overcome these mistakes by providing clear explanations, offering practice opportunities, and giving constructive feedback.

Q: How can I make learning grammar fun for my third grader?

A: To make learning grammar more enjoyable for your third-grade student, you can incorporate engaging activities like games, songs, and storytelling. Creative projects, such as writing stories or creating comic strips, can also help students practice and apply their grammar skills in a fun and meaningful way.

Q: How can I assess my third-grade student’s grammar skills?

A: You can assess your child’s grammar skills through a combination of informal observations, quizzes, and writing assignments. Pay close attention to their oral and written communication, noting any consistent errors or areas where they struggle. Providing feedback and support will help your child improve their grammar skills over time.

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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