Second grade introduced the concept of reading longer materials for fun. In third grade, students continue to expand their reading and writing skills. This year, there is an emphasis on learning about additional types of writing including poetry, fairy tales, folklore and more. By the end of the year, your child will understand how to find meaning in both fiction and non-fiction stories. This 3rd grade reading list is a great place to start.
A huge advantage of homeschooling is that you know your child’s likes and dislikes. This can help you select books from our reading list which your child will be interested in. The third grade reading curriculum is more about learning specific concepts than reading specific books. So you should have no problem finding a variety of reading material which your third grader will find interesting and engaging – but which you’ll also find educational.
An Overview of Third Grade Reading
Third grade is about exploring different types of reading materials. While second grade focused on chapter books, in third grade we expand upon these longer reading materials by introducing literary, informative and practical reading materials.
Third graders will learn the difference between fact and opinion. They’ll also learn how to infer main ideas across a variety of different types of prose. By the end of the third grade, students will have multiple reading strategies on how to construct meaning from text. Also, individual, silent reading will be a regular habit.
If there’s one idea you want your child to understand this year, it’s that reading is thinking. Third grade is the year you want your student to understand that reading is going to be a big part of their school lives for quite a while. The more reading they do, the easier school in general will be for years to come.
Reading Goals for Third Grade
- Familiar with literary, informational and practical texts
- Familiar with poetry including the concepts of stanza and rhyme
- Able to identity character traits
- Basic understanding of simile and metaphor
- Able to infer the moral lesson in fairy tales, fables, legends, myths, etc.
- Able to compare literary selections to one another
- Understands difference between fact and opinion in text
Qualities of a High Performing Third Grade Reader
- Reads for extended periods of time to self
- Reads for fun, information, education and more. (Reads for a variety of purposes.)
- Reads a variety of topics
- Has personal reactions to material read
Third Grade Reading Strategies
Throughout the third grade students will learn how to:
- predict words using letter clusters, vowel patterns and more
- understand unfamiliar words by sounding out words, using picture clues and context
- use phonics to pronounce unfamiliar words
- find smaller words within larger ones in order to determine meaning
- use headings, italics and bold print in organizing documents
- support ideas by referencing text
- paraphrase information from a text
- revise and edit their own original writing
- increase vocabulary
- improve ability to read aloud with confidence and clarity
Home Teaching Strategies for Third Grade
Teaching at home gives you an excellent opportunity to tailor your lesson plans to your child’s interests and needs. Every subject offers opportunities to involve some reading lessons, especially if you’re assigning written reports.
As a teacher you’ll want to incorporate the following into your lesson plans for third grade:
- Provide daily opportunities to read and evaluate both narrative and expository texts.
- Teach students how to examine ideas in texts.
- Provide opportunities for your child to express him or herself in writing.
- Emphasize correct spelling, grammar and form in written assignment.
Of course, you’re not just the teacher. You’re also the parent. This means you can find a way to sneak reading lessons into your child’s day-to-day activity. Some examples include:
- Have your child help create the family grocery list. Then let them use their reading skills during shopping.
- Visit the library and bookstores with your child. Make new books a reward for good behavior.
- Read together at bedtime.
- If your child seems interested, encourage them to write their own short stories (maybe even using their favorite fictional characters).
- Involve reading and writing in other activities your child enjoys. For instance, if your child likes football, maybe spend some time together reading about famous players.
3rd Grade Reading List
Are you searching for a third grade reading list to supplement your child’s other studies? Here are some recommended books for third grade students.
We included a list of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and classic novels that you may even remember reading when you were younger. If you missed them as a kid, you may still enjoy them now.
Click on the story name link for a book description and reviews from Amazon if you want to learn more.
Folktales, Fairy Tales & Legends
These are good choices for teaching your student how to understand the messages behind a story. The themes of these classic tales are all very clear and easy for a third grader to understand. Plus, these include a lot of information about other cultures and history. Your child will learn to use reading as a way to enter other worlds.
The Nightingale by Andersen
Tales Our Abuelitas Told: A Hispanic Folktale Collection by Campoy and Ada
Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella by Fleischman
Just So Stories by Kipling
The Blue Fairy Book by Lang
Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales by Mandela
Pegasus by Mayer
D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths with special video review below!
Other Reading Selections
You might recognize some of these titles. Quite a few classics on this list. You can enjoy these tales all over again as you read and discuss them with your child. Similar to the reading list above, these stories also have clear moral lessons appropriate for third graders.
Stuart Little by E.B. White
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
The BFG by Roald Dahl  by Roald Dahl
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Lincoln and His Boys by Rosemary Wells
Igraine the Brave by Cornelia Funke Sarah, Plain and Tall
- Sarah, Plain and Tall (Sarah, Plain and Tall Saga Book 1) by Patricia MacLachlan
- Skylark (Sarah, Plain and Tall Saga Book 2) by Patricia MacLachlan
- Caleb’s Story (Sarah, Plain and Tall Saga Book 3) by Patricia MacLachlan
Pippi Longstocking (Puffin Modern Classics) by Astrid Lindgren
The Twits by Roald Dahl
Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine
Time Warp Trio Series by Jon Scieszka
Third grade is a time to introduce your junior reader to the idea of moral lessons in stories. This then leads to the concept of learning about non-fiction topics by reading. As the third grader begins to understand how to retain knowledge from reading, all sorts of doors begin to open up. Third grade can be a fun time as your child learns to appreciate reading in a new, deeper way.