English/Language Arts Standards

Third Grade


  1. WORD ANALYSIS, FLUENCY, AND SYSTEMATIC VOCABULARY DEVELOPMENT: Students understand the basic features of a reading. They select and know how to translate letter patterns into spoken language using phonics, syllabication, and word parts. They apply this knowledge to achieve fluent oral and silent reading.

    Decoding and Word Recognition:

    1. Know and use complex word families when reading (e.g., -ight) to decode unfamiliar words

    2. Decode regular multi-syllable words

    3. Read narrative and expository text aloud with fluency and accuracy and with appropriate pacing, intonation, and expression

    Vocabulary and Concept Development:

    1. Use knowledge of antonyms, synonyms, homophones, and homographs to determine meaning of words

    2. Demonstrate knowledge of levels of specificity among grade- appropriate words and explain the importance of these relations (e.g., dog/mammal/animal/living things)

    3. Use sentence and word context to find meaning of unknown words

    4. Use a dictionary to learn the meaning and other features of unknown words

    5. Use knowledge of prefixes (e.g., un-, re-, pre-, bi-, mis-, dis-) and suffixes (e.g., -er, -est, -ful) to determine the meaning of words

  2. READING COMPREHENSION: Students read and understand grade-level appropriate material. They draw upon a variety of comprehension strategies as needed, including generating and responding to essential questions, making predictions, and comparing information from several sources. The quality and complexity of the materials to be read by students are illustrated in The California Reading List. In addition to their regular school reading, by grade 4, students read one-half million words annually, including a good representation of narrative (i.e., classic and contemporary literature) and expository (e.g., magazines, on-line information) text appropriate for each grade.

    Structural Features of Informational Materials:

    1. Use titles, table of contents, chapter headings, glossaries and indexes to locate information

    Comprehension and Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text:

    1. Ask questions and support answers by connecting prior knowledge with literal and inferential information found in text

    2. Demonstrate comprehension by identifying answers in text

    3. Recall major points in text, and make and modify predictions about forthcoming information

    4. Distinguish main idea and supporting details in expository text

    5. Extract appropriate and significant information from text, including problems and solutions

    6. Follow simple multiple-step written instructions (e.g., how to assemble a product or use a game board)

  3. LITERARY RESPONSE AND ANALYSIS: Students read and respond to a wide variety of significant works of children's literature. They distinguish between the structural features of text and the literary terms or elements (i.e., theme, plot, setting, and characters). The quality and complexity of the materials to be read by students are illustrated in The California Reading List.

    Structural Features of Literature:

    1. Distinguish among common forms of literature (e.g., poetry, drama, fiction, non-fiction)

    Narrative Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text:

    1. Comprehend basic plots of classic fairy tales, myths, folktales, legends, and fables from around the world

    2. Determine what characters are like by what they say or do and by how the author or illustrator portrays them

    3. Determine the underlying theme or author's message in fiction and non-fiction text

    4. Recognize the similarities of sounds in words and rhythmical patterns in a selection (e.g., onomatopoeia, alliteration)

    5. Identify the speaker or narrator in a selection


  1. WRITING STRATEGIES: Students write clear and coherent sentences and paragraphs that develop a central idea. Their writing considers audience and purpose. They successfully use the stages of the writing process (i.e., pre-writing, drafting, revising, and editing.

    Organization and Focus:

    1. Create a single paragraph that

      1. develops a topic sentence
      2. includes simple supporting facts and details


    1. Write legibly in cursive or joined italic, adhering to margins and correct spacing between letters in a word and words in a sentence

    Research and Technology:

    1. Understand the structure and organization of various reference materials (e.g., dictionary, thesaurus, atlas, encyclopedia)

    Revising and Evaluating Strategies:

    1. Revise drafts to improve the coherence and the logical progression of ideas, using an established rubric

  2. WRITING APPLICATIONS (GENRES AND THEIR CHARACTERISTICS): Students write compositions that describe and explain familiar objects, events, and experiences. Student writing demonstrates a command of standard English and the drafting, research, and organizational strategies outlined in Writing Standard 1.0.

    Using the writing strategies outlined in Writing Standard 1.0, students:

    1. Write narratives that

      1. provide a context within which an action takes place
      2. include well-chosen detail to develop the plot; and
      3. provide insight into why this incident is memorable

    2. Write descriptions that use concrete sensory details to present and support unified impressions of people, places, things, or experiences

    3. Write personal and formal letters, thank you notes and invitations that

      1. consider the audience, purpose, and context
      2. address knowledge and interests of the audience, stated purpose, and context
      3. include the date, proper salutation, body, closing, and signature

(English Language Conventions are integral to Writing and to Listening and Speaking. Thus, these standards have been placed between the other two.)

  1. WRITTEN AND ORAL ENGLISH LANGUAGE CONVENTIONS: Students write and speak with a command of standard English conventions that are appropriate to each grade level.

    Sentence Structure:

    1. Understand and be able to use complete and correct declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory sentences in writing and speaking


    1. Identify and use subject/verb agreement, pronouns, adjectives, compound words, and articles in writing and speaking

    2. Use past, present and future verb tenses in writing and speaking

    3. Identify and use subject and predicate of single-clause sentences in writing and speaking


    1. Punctuate dates, city and state, and titles of books correctly

    2. Use commas in series, dates, locations, and addresses


    1. Capitalize geographical names, holidays, historical periods, and special events correctly


    1. Spell correctly one-syllable words that have blends, contractions, compounds and orthographic patterns (e.g.,qu, consonant doubling, change y to I) and common homophones (e.g., hair-hare)

    2. Arrange words in alphabetical order


  1. LISTENING AND SPEAKING STRATEGIES: Students listen and respond critically to oral communication. They speak in a manner that guides and informs the listener's understanding of key ideas, using appropriate phrasing, pitch, and modulation.


    1. Retell, paraphrase, and explain what has been said by a speaker

    2. Connect and relate prior experiences, insights, and ideas to those of a speaker

    3. Respond to questions with appropriate elaboration

    4. Identify the musical elements of literary language (e.g., rhymes, repeated sounds, or instances of onomatopoeia)

    Organization and Delivery of Oral Communication:

    1. Organize ideas chronologically or around major points of information

    2. Provide a beginning, middle, and end, including concrete details that develop a central idea

    3. Use clear and specific vocabulary to communicate ideas and establish tone

    4. Clarify and enhance oral presentations through use of appropriate props (e.g., objects, pictures)

    5. Read prose and poetry aloud with fluency, rhythm, and pace; and use appropriate intonation and vocal patterns to emphasize important passages of the text being read

    Analysis and Evaluation of Oral and Media Communications:

    1. Compare ideas and points of view in broadcast and print media

    2. Distinguish between the speaker's opinions and verifiable facts

  2. SPEAKING APPLICATIONS (GENRES AND THEIR CHARACTERISTICS): Students deliver brief recitations and oral presentations about familiar experiences or interests that are organized around a coherent thesis statement. Student speaking demonstrates a command of standard English and the organization and delivery strategies outlined in Listening and Speaking Standard 1.

    Using the speaking strategies outlined in Listening and Speaking Standard 1.0, students:

    1. Make brief narrative presentations on an incident that

      1. provide a context within which an incident occurs
      2. provide insight into why the selected incident is memorable
      3. include well-chosen details to develop character, setting, and/or plot

    2. Plan and present dramatic interpretations of experiences, stories, poems, or plays with clear diction, pitch, tempo, and tone

    3. Make descriptive presentations that use concrete sensory details to set forth and support unified impressions of people, places, things, or experiences

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