Literacy Stage: Third Grade (Year 8)

Continuing to build on the previous literacy stages, children should now be significantly more comfortable with their learning routine.  At this point, there is a very structured curriculum for learning all the facets of literacy but parents still need to nurture literacy development outside of school. 

The list below highlights some of the new developments that a parent can expect to see by the time their child finishes the third grade.  Note: Children vary in how they develop and learn – some skills should develop in the next literacy stage in they are not achieved at this stage.

Most 8 year olds should be able to:


  • read longer fictional text and chapter books on her/his own
  • articulate grade appropriate fictional/ nonfictional text with fluency (how s/he reads)
  • comprehend grade appropriate fictional/nonfictional text (understanding what s/he is reading)
  • identify the underlying theme or message when interpreting fictional stories
  • distinguish the cause and effect, fact and opinion or the main idea and supporting details when reading nonfictional text
  • summarize the major points in fictional and nonfictional texts


  • combine information from many resources when writing reports
  • use all parts of the writing process (brainstorm / plan, draft, revise, edit and publish) with some guidance
  • incorporate more elaborate descriptions and figurative wording in his/her own writing
  • compose various written works (e.g. book reports, creative stories, poems)
  • review and edit mistakes in spelling, punctuation and capitalization independently

Spelling / Phonics

  • break words down into their basic parts to determine the meaning
  • decode words using the relationship of the letters of the alphabet to the sounds they produce
  • identify specific words that are causing difficulties in comprehension
  • recognize word meanings using root words, prefixes and suffixes previously taught
  • continue to expand his/her vocabulary with grade level words

Speaking / Listening

  • develop what, how and why questions for nonfiction texts
  • present and discuss her/his own writing with peers
  • provide helpful responses to the writing of other students
  • use reasoning and learned information to form an opinion or hypothesis