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Grade 3 Reading Goals

English Language Arts
Core Curriculum

NYSED-EMSC website


Literacy Competencies

The reading competencies common to all four ELA standards that students are developing during grade 3 are:


Decoding Including Phonics and Structural Analysis

• Use knowledge of letter-sound correspondence to blend sounds when reading unfamiliar, but decodable,

grade-level words

• Decode by analogy using knowledge of syllable patterns (e.g., CVC, CVCC, CVVC) to read unfamiliar words, including multisyllabic grade-level words that are part of word families

• Decode grade-level words using knowledge of word structure (e.g., roots, prefixes, suffixes, verb endings, plurals, contractions, and compounds)


• Sight-read automatically grade-level

high-frequency words and irregularly spelled content words

• Read grade-level texts with decodable and irregularly spelled words at appropriate speed, accuracy, and expression (target benchmark at grade 3: 115 WPM) (Davidson, M., & Towner, J. (2000). Reading Screening Test. Bellingham, WA: Applied Research and Development Center.)

Background Knowledge and Vocabulary Development

• Study categories of words to learn grade-level vocabulary

• Analyze word structure (e.g., roots, prefixes, suffixes) to learn word meaning

• Connect words and ideas in books to spoken language vocabulary and background


• Learn new vocabulary and concepts indirectly by reading books and other print sources

• Identify specific words causing comprehension difficulties in oral or written language

• Use a dictionary to learn the meanings of words and a thesaurus to identify synonyms and antonyms

Comprehension Strategies

• Read grade-level texts with comprehension and for different purposes

• Use comprehension strategies to monitor own reading (e.g., predict/confirm, reread, attend to vocabulary, self-correct) to clarify meaning of text

• Work cooperatively with peers to comprehend text

• Organize and categorize text information by using knowledge of a variety of text structures (e.g., cause and effect, fact and opinion, directions, time sequence)

• Use knowledge of structure of imaginative text to identify and interpret plot, character, and events

• Listen to or read grade-level texts and ask questions to clarify understanding

• Listen to or read grade-level texts and answer literal, inferential, and critical/application questions

• Summarize main ideas of informational text and details from imaginative text orally and in writing

• Support point of view with details from the text

• Lead and participate in discussion about grade-level texts by integrating multiple strategies (e.g., ask questions, clarify misunderstandings, support point of view, summarize information)

• Demonstrate comprehension of grade-level text through creative responses, such as writing, drama, and oral presentations

• Infer underlying theme or message of written text

Motivation to Read

• Show interest in a wide range of grade-level texts, including historical and science fiction, folktales

and fairy tales, poetry, and other imaginative and informational texts

• Read voluntarily for own purposes and interests

• Show familiarity with titles and authors of well-known grade-level literature

• Read independently and silently, including longer fiction and chapter books


Grade-Specific performance indicators

The grade-specific performance indicators that grade 3 students demonstrate as they learn to read include:


Standard 1: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for information and understanding.

• Locate and use library media resources to acquire information, with assistance

• Read unfamiliar texts to collect data, facts, and ideas

• Read and understand written directions

• Locate information in a text that is needed to solve a problem

• Identify main ideas and supporting details in informational texts

• Recognize and use organizational features, such as table of contents, indexes, page numbers, and chapter headings/subheadings, to locate information, with assistance

• Use text features, such as captions, charts, tables, graphs, maps, notes, and other visuals, to understand informational texts, with assistance

• Relate data and facts from informational texts to prior information and experience

• Compare and contrast information on one topic from two different sources

• Identify a conclusion that summarizes the main idea

• Identify and interpret facts taken from maps, graphs, charts, and other visuals

• Use graphic organizers to record significant details from informational texts

Standard 2: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for literary response and expression.

• Select literature on the basis of personal needs and interests from a variety of genres and by different authors

• Engage in purposeful oral reading in small and large groups

• Read print-based and electronic literary texts silently on a daily basis for enjoyment

• Recognize the differences among the genres of stories, poems, and plays

• Relate the setting, plot, and characters in literature to own lives, with assistance

• Explain the difference between fact and fiction

• Use previous reading and life experiences to understand and compare literature

• Make predictions, draw conclusions, and make inferences about events and characters

• Identify cultural influences in texts and performances, with assistance

• Maintain a personal reading list to reflect reading accomplishments

• Use specific evidence from stories to describe characters, their actions, and their motivations; relate sequences of events

• Use knowledge of story structure, story elements, and key vocabulary to interpret stories

• Use graphic organizers to record significant details about characters and events in stories

• Summarize main ideas and supporting details from imaginative texts, both orally and in writing

Standard 3: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for critical analysis and evaluation.

• Evaluate the content by identifying

   - the author’s purpose

   - important and unimportant details

   - whether events, actions, characters, and/or settings are realistic

   - statements of fact and opinion

• Compare and contrast characters, plot, and setting in literary works, with assistance

• Analyze information on the basis of new or prior knowledge and/or personal experience

• Recognize how language and illustrations are used to persuade in printed and filmed advertisements, with assistance

• Judge accuracy of content to gather facts, with assistance from teachers and parents/caregivers

• Use opinions of teachers and classmates to evaluate personal interpretation of ideas and information

Standard 4: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for social interaction.

• Share reading experiences to build relationships with peers or adults; for example, read together silently or aloud

• Respect the age, gender, social position, and cultural traditions of the writer

• Recognize the types of language (e.g., informal vocabulary and jargon) that is appropriate to social communication