Third Grade Reading Activities: Hands-on Ideas for Active 3rd Graders

Your third grader is learning many new reading skills, such as analyzing key aspects of fiction and nonfiction texts, as well as understanding cause and effect and chronological order. Hands-on activities can help your active child practice these skills. Read on for some ideas.

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What Are the Standards for Third Grade Reading?

By now, most third graders are reading independently. They can point to details in a text when asking or answering questions about it. Children at this age can also recognize the main theme and analyze character development. For nonfiction texts, they identify relationships between concepts, events, ideas and organize information based on cause and effect or sequential order. To further develop these skills, use the hands-on activities below.

What Third Grade Reading Activities Can I Do With My Child?

Organizing Events in Sequence

Read a book that your child is currently reading and write events from the story on index cards. Spread the cards out on a table, making sure they are scrambled up. Ask him to organize the cards in sequential order.

Turning a Book Character into a Comic Strip

Ask your child to list adjectives that describe her favorite character, including physical traits. Encourage her to consider these traits as she draws her own comic strip featuring this character. She can draw a scene from the book or create her own scene.

Advertising a Favorite Book

Encourage your child to write a television commercial or print ad to persuade people to buy and read his favorite book. The commercial or advertisement should be informative and convincing. He can include some details on plot, setting and characters.

Having Fun with Poetry

Read several children's poems together from poets such as Shel Silverstein, Mary Ann Hoberman or Jack Prelutsky. Ask your child to choose her favorite and explain why she likes it. Challenge her to write her own poem using a similar style or subject matter; she can illustrate it if she likes. Encourage her to 'perform' both poems by wearing a costume, using props and reciting them in a silly voice.

Looking Up Information

This activity allows your child to practice using traditional text resources, like indexes and tables of contents. Use a variety of materials, such as children's encyclopedias and magazines. Look through the materials ahead of time and make a list of subjects you would like him to look up. Instruct him to only look at the tables of contents or indexes to locate the page numbers. For each subject, he can write down the page number where it appears and one fact about it.

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