In third grade, writing becomes more complicated. Not only will your child be writing book reports, he will learn to do research papers. Third graders are asked to respond in writing in almost every subject, even math, so they need to know how to write their thoughts and ideas. Third graders will continue to focus on the parts of speech and how to use them to make their writing more interesting. Plus, now that your child can finally print well, it's time to learn and perfect her cursive!

Want to know what's "normal"? Curriculum varies from state to state, but there are a surprising number of constants. Students who are working at the standard level at the beginning of third grade should be able to:

  • Write about their own ideas
  • Pick out nouns and verbs in sentences
  • Explain the problem, solution, and main idea in fiction and nonfiction
  • Revise their writing to make it clearer
  • Read and understand stories, poems, plays, directories, newspapers, charts, and diagrams
  • Write different types of sentences

Students who are working at the standard level at the end of third grade should be able to:

  • Communicate in writing
  • Use writing to inform others
  • Use writing to persuade others
  • Identify nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in a sentence
  • Use adjectives to describe things and enhance their writing
  • Correctly use conjunctions
  • Correctly use common spelling rules
  • Identify sentence types
  • Write compound sentences

Adapted with permission from "Third Grade Success: Everything You Need to Know to Help Your Child Learn" by Amy James (Jossey-Bass 2005)