Third Grade Reading Passages and Comprehension Questions

In order to prevent reading apathy, it is important to provide third graders with reading material that is specific to their interests. Using pre-written comprehension questions or creating your own will benefit your child by encouraging a closer reading and analysis of selected texts. Read on for several grade-appropriate examples.

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Where to Find Reading Passages for Third Graders

Advancements in technology have made it very simple to locate short reading passages for third graders online. Typically, organizations that offer free reading and comprehension exercises will sort them by grade level, making it easier for you to find samples for your child. However, you may also opt to select paper stories if you do not have quick access to the Internet. If you need help determining what material is appropriate, consult your child's teacher, local bookstore employee or librarian for guidance. In addition to grade level, be sure to choose material that will be fun and engaging for your child to read. The following examples are available for free on the Internet.

Online Reading Passages and Comprehension Questions by Topic


Many kids love snacks, especially cookies. If your child has an interest in cooking, you may want to try a story that discusses a particular recipe. As an added bonus, your child can make the recipe after eating.

One place to find reading passages online is through college and university teaching departments. North Carolina State University offers a list of reading passages by grade, along with comprehension questions (www. One example provides the history of sugar cookies and how to make them. Sample comprehension questions include, 'What does the word yield mean?' and 'If the cookies look lightly brown, what does this mean?' There are five multiple-choice questions for the passage. You can print out a worksheet with both the story and questions for your child to complete.


If your child is interested in animals, you may select a reading passage relevant to the type he or she is interested in. For example, several texts exist on pets, farm animals and zoo animals. One online resource for free reading comprehension passages and questions is Super Teacher Worksheets (

One reading passage for third graders is about a giraffe's anatomy. Not only will your son or daughter gain practice in reading comprehension, he or she will also learn several fun facts about this unique animal. Sample questions include, 'How many bones are in a giraffe's neck?' and 'Why does a giraffe need a large, powerful heart?' In addition to the multiple-choice questions, this worksheet also includes fill in the blank and create your own drawing sections.


Some elementary schools and school districts also have reading passages for third grade online. If your child is interested in astronomy, the School District of Manatee County Florida offers an interactive reading comprehension activity on their website ( Your son or daughter can start by selecting a planet of interest and the site will lead him or her to a short passage with a quiz. Upon completion, the quiz results will be displayed. Questions include, 'Which of the sentences below must be true about Mar's North pole?' and 'How is Olympus Mons different from all volcanoes on Earth?'


Another sample text from North Carolina State University is geared toward children interested in music and playing an instrument (www. The third grade reading passage titled 'Piano Lessons' focuses on a young girl who hopes to learn to play the piano as well as her older sister. This text highlights responsibility and hard work as two of its main themes with questions like, 'The word responsible means…' and 'Why was Susie surprised after her first piano lesson?'

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