Language arts CURRICULUM

Grade 3

Spelling & Vocabulary

The students continue to develop their vocabulary and spelling skills. As part of this portion of the curriculum the different types of words are covered: such as, adjectives, pronouns and proper nouns.

Multi-syllabic words are studied, as well as, the specific vocabulary needed for other content areas. This would include technical words for math and science.



The grammatical skills introduced in previous grades are reinforced and practiced. The students are introduced to the formal concepts of grammar. They are introduced to the following parts of speech: nouns and proper nouns, adjectives, verbs and ‘helping verbs,’ and articles (a, an, the). The children also learn about two parts of a sentence, the subject and predicate. The students are introduced to quotation marks, colons, and semi-colons.


Written & oral expression

Building on their work from second grade, the third graders continue their composition writing activities.  Having been introduced to these skills last year, they continue to work on writing increasingly sophisticated personal narratives, descriptive paragraphs, and friendly letters. They are introduced to the skills necessary to write comparing and contrasting information, instructional (how-to) papers, “once upon a time” stories, short fables, opinion papers and factual reports. 

These compositions are checked for spelling, grammar, content, handwriting/neatness and other criteria specific to each type of paper.  Special attention is paid to the grammar concepts taught below, as well as, ‘word agreement.’ Word agreement is when a plural noun is used with a plural verb, and a singular noun is used with a singular verb. We also focus on agreement of tense; are the children writing in the past, future or present? Are they using the correct verb forms consistently throughout their writing? This is a difficult task, that will be worked on as they progress through our school.

The students orally present their compositions to their classmates.  Eye contact, proper place, adequate volume, expression and clear pronunciation are assessed using rubrics for evaluation.  

Peer and self-evaluation is introduced. Students evaluate their peers’ performances and their own performances.  Evaluations are discussed among the class members. The abilities to discuss difficult issues diplomatically are so important to children of this age.



Reading comprehension

Students are asked to retell a main event from a story heard or read in greater detail than in previous years. Plot, setting, theme and mood are discussed. The children discuss both the literal facts from the material they have read, and

They answer questions about the important characters, plot, setting and events; to make predictions about what will happen next in the story and explain whether they were confirmed or disproved and why.  


This year, the children read at least three novels. As they read these novels, plot development is discussed and the relationship between characters and plot discussed.

The students also compare different types of literature, biographies and autobiographies, fiction and non fiction.