Elementary Concepts: Third Grade Reading

It's important to understand the components of your child's reading skill requirements, so that you can monitor their progress and be aware of their strengths and weaknesses. Read on to learn more about the reading concepts that should be mastered by third graders.

Find available tutors

By the third grade, a child's vocabulary is growing and so is their ability to read. Parents are often are unsure of how they can measure their child's reading skills. This article provides parents with an estimate of the skills their child should have mastered by the end of their grade three reading lessons. Your state may have slightly different guidelines, so it is a good idea to check with your student's teacher or local school board before making any final judgments on your child's academic progress.

Comprehension is Key

The earlier teachers and parents can correct miscomprehension, the faster children will learn to read. Contextual clues give children tools to explore the text and seek out its meaning. By the end of third grade students should be able to use textual features to predict and comprehend content. This includes tables of contents, indexes, captions and keywords in bold type. Third graders should also be able to discover contextual and comprehension clues in the text formats, main ideas or plots and elements from similar readings.

Building a Vocabulary

The texts used in grade three use longer, more complicated words and the subject matter becomes more complicated also. Before entering the fourth grade a child will understand and be able to identify synonyms, antonyms, homophones, affixes and roots, all of which can be used in strategies designed to help with vocabulary acquisition.

Stay Motivated

Children need to learn the purpose of reading so they will have motivation to continue learning how to do it. This is especially true in third grade when reading lessons become very demanding and it's much easier for a child to fall behind. Third graders should be able to understand that fiction is meant to entertain whereas textbooks and non-fiction can be read for facts or used to answer questions. At this level children should also be able to determine the author's purpose for writing. Understanding the author's purpose will help the student extract as much information as possible out of the text and will make the reading a more meaningful and rewarding experience.

Did you find this useful? If so, please let others know!

Other Articles You May Be Interested In

  • More Blog Articles
    Can Reading Bridge Racial, Socioeconomic Gaps?

    Study after study shows the achievement gap in education between students of different cultures and economic backgrounds. Recently, two New Jersey schools successfully used literature to show students how 'the other half lives'. Can this experiment be a model for other schools to use books to bridge racial and socioeconomic...

  • More Blog Articles
    Too Much Emphasis on Reading and Math?

    According to a large number of surveyed educators who teach grades 3-12, U.S. public schools are spending too much time on reading and math and not enough on other subjects. Yes, math and reading are important. But what about science, foreign languages and social studies?

We Found 7 Tutors You Might Be Interested In

Huntington Learning

  • What Huntington Learning offers:
  • Online and in-center tutoring
  • One on one tutoring
  • Every Huntington tutor is certified and trained extensively on the most effective teaching methods
In-Center and Online


  • What K12 offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Has a strong and effective partnership with public and private schools
  • AdvancED-accredited corporation meeting the highest standards of educational management
Online Only

Kaplan Kids

  • What Kaplan Kids offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Customized learning plans
  • Real-Time Progress Reports track your child's progress
Online Only


  • What Kumon offers:
  • In-center tutoring
  • Individualized programs for your child
  • Helps your child develop the skills and study habits needed to improve their academic performance
In-Center and Online

Sylvan Learning

  • What Sylvan Learning offers:
  • Online and in-center tutoring
  • Sylvan tutors are certified teachers who provide personalized instruction
  • Regular assessment and progress reports
In-Home, In-Center and Online

Tutor Doctor

  • What Tutor Doctor offers:
  • In-Home tutoring
  • One on one attention by the tutor
  • Develops personlized programs by working with your child's existing homework
In-Home Only


  • What TutorVista offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Student works one-on-one with a professional tutor
  • Using the virtual whiteboard workspace to share problems, solutions and explanations
Online Only

Our Commitment to You

  • Free Help from Teachers

  • Free Learning Materials

  • Helping Disadvantaged Youth