Reading strategies 3rd grade

Third Grade Reading Comprehension Activities Your Students Will Love

By the third grade, most students are really starting to get the hang of reading. They are enthusiastic readers, with preferences for particular themes and genres and opinions about everything they read! Here are 12 third grade reading comprehension activities that will help them dig deeper into what they’re reading and build skills to carry them to the next level.

1. Build a Comprehension Cootie Catcher.

Turn reading comprehension into a fun game with these free cootie catchers. There are three different versions available, and each has questions that will help your students dig deeper into their reading. Each cootie catcher tackles elements of reading comprehension like character, plot, setting, problem, and solution, and the questions are general enough that they can be used with any book.

Source: The Classroom Game Nook

2. Play a round of Roll and Retell.

One of the best ways to help students build comprehension is giving them a chance to talk about what they’ve read. This is a fun game to play, and all you need is a pair of dice. Students can pair up and share information with one another about what they’ve read. Or they can work solo and roll the dice and write out their answers.

Source: Home School Giveaways

3. Make a paper chain of connections.

Good readers make connections as they read. Track your students’ connections with this engaging visual activity from Brooke at Literacy in Focus. First, students write their connections on colored strips of paper (each type of connection is made on a different color). Next, students link up their connections and attach them to the corresponding text-connections label or poster (see the example bulletin board at the link below). Links can be added throughout the year as new texts are read. The link-up activity makes a great visual representation of the entire text-connections process.


Source: Literacy in Focus


Build inference skills.

Check out this blog for eight fun activities to build students’ inference skills, including watching short films, reading wordless books, and using picture task cards.

Source: The Teacher Next Door

5. Bat around a beach ball.

Using a Sharpie marker, write different questions for students to answer about the book they are reading. Hit different elements such as character, problem and solution, setting, connections, predictions, etc. Kids will have a blast batting the inflatables around as they build comprehension skills.

Source: Conversations in Literacy

6. Run a nonfiction relay race.

According to instructor Clio Stearns, Ph.D., “Kinesthetic games allow third graders to put their bodies to use alongside their minds and can be particularly helpful for students who do not like to sit still or who benefit from multi-sensory approaches to learning.”

One of her ideas for boosting reading comprehension is to run a nonfiction relay race. This activity is great after reading a nonfiction book or article together. Break students into teams and head to the gym or outdoors. Set up a racecourse, for instance 100 yards marked off by flags or one lap around the track. The first student on each team will run the course, and once they return, and before the next student in line can run, they must repeat one fact they learned from the reading. The first team to have all runners complete the course wins. 

Source: First Cry Parenting

7. Hold a Book Character Day.

Kids love Book Character Day! It gives them a chance to show how much they really know about one of their favorite characters. Encourage them to dress as their character and carry props that are part of their story. Maybe they’d even like to act like, and talk in the voice of, their character. Be sure to set aside time for each student to tell their classmates about the character they chose and why.

Source: Shann Eva’s Blog

8. Retell a story with rock painting.

Take a classic childhood art project—rock painting—and add a story for a creative, engaging reading comprehension project. In this activity, children will read a book, then retell the story with pictures they have painted on stones.


9. Play a board game.

There are many fun games that boost literacy skills, including Scrabble, Story Cubes, Tall Tales, Headbanz, and more. Try this fun board game, available on Amazon, which has three different games that students can play to boost their reading comprehension. Put it on your classroom wish list!

Source: Amazon

10. Track your thinking with sticky notes.

According to Home Reading Helper, one great way for students to remember and internalize what they read is by using sticky notes. Using these symbols as a guide, students place a sticky note with the appropriate symbol next to a line in a book to show their thinking as they read.

Source: RB Comprehension Strategies


Create anchor charts together.

From marking a text to visualizing to understanding a character’s journey, we’ve got the best reading comprehension anchor charts for you! There are more than 35 colorful samples for you to build along with your students during direct instruction time.

Source: WeAreTeachers

12. Make “wanted” posters.

Your kids will love this fun writing and drawing activity that demonstrates their understanding of character development. After reading a story, kids will use what they know about the bad guy in a book to create a wanted poster.


Looking for more ways to encourage third grade reading comprehension? Check out our list of more than 60 best third grade books.

Plus, get all the latest teaching tips and tricks by signing up for our newsletters!

Comprehension for 3rd Grade | NC DPI

What is Comprehension?

Reading comprehension refers to the ability to understand what one reads. It is the ultimate goal of reading instruction. (Definition from University of Oregon)

In third grade, readers answer questions citing evidence from the text. They are able to identify the central message or moral of a text and describe characters and their role in the story. Third graders accurately use text-specific terms (e.g., chapter, scene, stanza) and can distinguish their own point of view from another's point of view (e.g., narrator's, character's). They can explain how the illustrations contribute to the text and use text features to locate information. Readers can compare and/or contrast features of texts written by the same author, and describe how the author connects ideas within a single text. They describe relationships using time, sequence, and cause/effect language and can compare and/or contrast two texts written on the same topic.

What Does it Look Like?

Is your reader building knowledge from reading?

Does your reader understand all that is read?

How can comprehension be addressed before, during, and after reading?

Practice Activities

Before, During, and After: Engage before reading a book to the child by making a prediction about the book, reading the blurb on the back, or connecting the topic of the book to something familiar to the child.  During reading, make personal connections, predict what will happen next, or discuss characters and/or emotions.   After reading, talk about favorite parts of the story and your opinions.  Before, During, and After (optional)

Check-ins: Stop every few pages to “check-in" while the child is reading or as you are reading together.  This is one way to know if the child is understanding what is being read or heard. Use open-ended questions to gauge their understanding (e.g., “What are your thoughts about this part of the story?”, “How do you know?”, “What do you think might happen next?”).  You can vary how frequently you check-in based on how well your child is understanding the text.  For more challenging texts, check-in more frequently.

Graphic Organizers: Create a visual with the child as texts are read and discussed.  Watch Graphic Organizers.

Five Finger Retell: Retell a story with the child, having each finger represent a story element.  Your thumb is the characters, pointer finger is the setting (where the story took place), middle finger is the beginning, ring finger is the middle events, and pinkie is the solution ending.   After the child retells, ask them their favorite part of the story.

Exploring Poetry: Read short, simple poems together.  Discuss what they are about and the feelings they convey.  Create your own poems together and share.  Providing notebooks, journals, or stapled paper allows children to keep a collection of their writings to reread and share with others.

Family Book Club: Encourage different family members to pick the book.  Discuss the main ideas, plots, characters, and personal opinions about the book together.  This is a great way to enjoy quality family time while experiencing the joy of reading together.

Dear Character: Ask the child to write a letter to the main character in the text.  Have the child write about their favorite part of the book and include questions they have after reading.

mCLASS Home Connect: Access Comprehension activities to practice reading at home or on the go.

Practice Activities (with Printables)

If you don't have a printer, your child's school will print these for you.

Incredible Inferences: Play this Bingo-like game with the child by covering the situation described on the card drawn.  This activity supports children as they practice the skill of inference.  Inferencing can be a challenge for young readers and is often needed to determine the moral or lesson of a story.  Incredible Inferences

Story Element Sort: Using the cards provided, sort the cards by story.  Then, match the descriptor to the appropriate story element.  Story Element Sort

Just the Facts: Support the child as they read informational text.  Look for facts about the topic.  Children are expected to refer to the text to support what they have read about the topic.  Just the Facts

Story Question Cube: Use a dice-like cube with questions on each side to review elements of a recently read story.  Roll the cube and answer/discuss the question on top.   Story Question Cube

Character Characteristics: Describe a character in a story by answering questions to complete a graphic organizer.  Extend this activity by completing the graphic organizer for two characters and then comparing the characteristics.  Character Characteristics

Persuade, Entertain, and Inform Sort: Read short passages with the child and sort them by the author’s purpose.  Persuade, Entertain, and Inform Sort

Online Activities

Question Cube: This game provides a short story to read.  Click the question cube and answer the question based on the story.

Detective's Notebook: The game is designed to get students thinking about what they are reading and answering questions that require inferencing.

Train Game: This game supports children in developing synthesis skills by asking them to group and order words to form sentences.

Main Idea Millionaire: This game has players find the sentence that does not fit with the main idea of the paragraph.

Sir Readalot: This game has players smash boxes to find a key that will unlock the treasure box while practicing skills around fact and opinion, drawing conclusions, context clues, and syllables.

Author’s Purpose: This game provide practice identifying the author’s purpose after reading a brief passage. Is it to entertain, inform, or persuade?

Effective strategies for working with text in the classroom at school

The ultimate goal of teaching Russian is practical literacy and language competence. The basis of the content of literature as an academic subject is reading and textual study of works of art.

Work with the text as the main didactic unit allows schoolchildren to combine the activities of developing practical skills of literate writing and speech development.

Every teacher dreams that all students come to the lesson prepared: they have completely read this or that work or paragraph. And not just read, but understood the meaning of the text read. During the final certification, the graduate must also understand the meaning of the read text. Whether it is a task to the text or the text itself.

Teachers working in grades 9 and 11 know that most mistakes are made due to misunderstanding of what is read, as well as when reading the assignment itself.

Teaching a child to read “correctly”, “effectively”, “productively” is an important task for a teacher. That is why the technology of productive reading (PRT), developed by Professor N. Svetlovskaya, acquires a leading role and contributes to the achievement of the results that are mentioned in the new standards.

The technology is universal and can be used in lessons of any cycle.

It is aimed at the formation of all universal educational activities: cognitive, communicative, regulatory, personal.

The technology of productive reading differs sharply from the traditional technology of transferring ready-made knowledge to a student. The teacher organizes the children's research work in such a way that they themselves "think" about solving the key problem of the lesson and can themselves explain how to act in new conditions. The teacher becomes a partner, a mentor, an observer.

The developed technology includes three stages of working with text, a three-stage process.

The goal of is the development of anticipation (the ability to guess, predict the content of the text). Task - to develop motivation for reading the text

1. Strategy "Forecast by headline".

Task: think about what can be discussed in the story of K.G. Paustovsky "Warm bread", in the work of P.P. Bazhov "Mistress of the Copper Mountain", etc.

– Try to predict the content by the first line of the story…Remember the name of the story…. Does the content of the story match the title?

Give examples of such discrepancies.

Associative bush (circle, row). Today we will read and discuss the topic… What associations do you have about the stated topic?

2. Strategy "Brainstorm" ("Basket of ideas").

Task: answer the questions before reading the text (fairy tales "Warm bread") - What do you know about K. G. Paustovsky? What do you think the story will be about? Who can be the main character? What event in the story can be described.

3. Strategy "Image of the text".

Task: check your assumptions. Based on the words taken from the text, try to make a short plot story. The title of the story is given.

4. Strategy "Battery of questions".

Task: make up questions to the text according to the title, according to the illustrations.

5. Glossary strategy.

Task: look at the list of words and mark those that can be related to the text. When you finish reading the text, go back to these words and look at their meaning and the use of words used in the text.

6. "Competing with the writer" strategy.

Task: try to predict the content of the book by looking at the illustrations. One student offers his version, the rest complete it.

7. Strategy "True and False Statements".

8. Strategy I know, I want to know, I found out.

Stage 2 - stage of text activity.

The purpose of is to understand the text and create its reader's interpretation, summarizing part of the read text, asking questions of a general nature, making assumptions about the further development of the plot and the role of characters in the composition of the text, etc.).

The main task of is to ensure the full perception of the text. The main strategies at the stage of text activity are dialogue with the author, commented reading.

1. Strategy "Reading in a circle". The text is read in turn (each "circle member" reads a paragraph). After this, a stop follows: everyone asks questions to the read passage. If the question cannot be answered (it does not correspond to the text), then the question is considered incorrect. * All correct questions can be recorded.

2. Silent reading with questions strategy.

3. Strategy “Reading to yourself with notes. (Insert)" . Marginal notes: + - knew; - - new; ? - Interesting; V is unclear. Others are possible: B - question; O - answer; Z - I know; N - new; And - interesting; X - I want to know; C - ask; U to clarify.

4. Strategy "Reading with stops". Reading the text with stops, during which tasks are given in the form of questions: some are aimed at checking understanding, others - at predicting the content of the next passage.

5. "Pose a problem - offer a solution" strategy. Remember what problems the heroes of the work face (the problem is formulated and written down in an oval). Next, the children can name several problems, students are divided into groups and offer all kinds of solutions to problems.

6. Strategy "Creating a question plan". The student carries out a semantic grouping of the text, highlights the strong points, divides the text into semantic parts and titles each part with a key question…….

Stage 3 – stage of post-text (post-text) activity.

The purpose of is to correct the reader's interpretation in accordance with the author's meaning.

The main task of is to provide in-depth perception and understanding of the text, to raise a question to the text as a whole, followed by a conversation, the result of which should be an understanding of the author's meaning. Re-addressing the title, illustrations, performing creative tasks.

2. Question tree strategy Crown – what? Where? When? Barrel - why? How? Could you? Roots - how to relate the text to life? With current events? What is the author trying to show?

3. Strategy "Bloom's Cube" (Benjamin Bloom is a famous American teacher, author of many pedagogical strategies = technician).

The beginnings of the questions are written on the faces of the cube: “Why?”, “Explain”, “Name”, “Suggest”, “Think up”, “Share”. The teacher or student rolls the die.

It is necessary to formulate a question to the educational material on the side on which the cube fell.

The “Name” question is aimed at the level of reproduction, i.e. at the simple reproduction of knowledge.

Question "Why" - the student in this case must find cause-and-effect relationships, describe the processes occurring with a certain object or phenomenon.

“Explain ” question – student uses concepts and principles in new situations.

All of the above strategies provide for serious work with the text, its deep analysis and understanding, the organization of independent cognitive activity of students on educational material. socially moral experience and makes you think, knowing the world around you.

Technology Advantage:

1. Applicable in the lessons of any cycle and at any level of education.

2. Focused on personal development.

3. Develops the ability to predict the results of reading.

4. Promotes understanding of the text in the lesson.

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Semantic reading strategies.

Report | Methodical development on reading (grades 1, 2, 3, 4):

"Semantic reading strategies"

Compiled by: Sosnina O.A.0007

“These kind people don't even suspect what

work and time it takes to learn to read.

I myself spent 80 years on this and I can’t say everything,

to fully achieve the goal"

J. Goethe

The educational standards of the new generation force us to take a fresh look at the very definition of the meaning of the word “reading.” Reading should be considered as a quality of a person that should be improved throughout his life in different situations of activity and communication Therefore, the technical side should be considered as a subordinate semantic.0007

FSES LLC is included in the meta-subject results of mastering the main educational program of basic general education as a mandatory component "mastering the skills of semantic reading of texts of various styles and genres. " The components of semantic reading are included in the structure of all universal educational activities:

personal UUD - includes motivation for reading, motives for learning, attitude towards oneself and towards school;

into regulatory UUD - student's acceptance of a learning task, arbitrary regulation of activity;

in cognitive UUD - logical and abstract thinking, working memory, creative imagination, concentration of attention, vocabulary volume;

in communicative UUD - the ability to organize and implement cooperation and cooperation with a teacher and peers, adequately convey information, display the subject content and conditions of activity in speech.

"Semantic reading" is such a quality of reading, in which an understanding of the informational, semantic and ideological aspects of the work is achieved. The purpose of semantic reading is to understand the content of the text as accurately and fully as possible, to catch all the details and practically comprehend the extracted information. When a child masters semantic reading, then he develops oral speech and, as the next important stage of development, written speech.

To work with the text at each stage, the reader chooses his own strategies. Learning strategies are a set of actions that a learner takes to facilitate learning, make it more efficient, effective, faster, more enjoyable, aim and bring learning activities closer to their own goals

resources, transfers the strategy to other situations, makes it universal. The number of strategies and the frequency of their use are individual.

Strategy No. 1. Directed reading

Purpose: to form the ability to purposefully read the educational text. Ask questions and lead group discussions.

  1. Update.

"Associative Bush" technique: the teacher writes a keyword or title of the text, the students express their associations one by one, the teacher writes down. The use of this technique allows you to update knowledge, motivate subsequent activities, activate the cognitive activity of students, set them up for work.

2. Pupils silently read a short text or part of a text, stopping at the indicated places.

3. The teacher asks a problematic question on what has been read.

4. The answers of several students are discussed in class.

5. The students make an assumption about the further development of the event.

Strategy #2. Reading in pairs - generalization in pairs

Purpose: to form the ability to highlight the main thing, summarize what has been read in the form of a thesis, ask problematic questions.

1. The students silently read the text or part of the text chosen by the teacher.

2. The teacher puts the students in pairs and gives clear instruction. Each student alternately performs two roles: speaker - reads and summarizes the content in the form of one thesis; the respondent listens to the speaker and asks him two substantive questions. Next comes the role reversal.

3. The teacher invites all students to the discussion.

Bloom's Chamomile

Chamomile consists of six petals, each of which contains a certain type of questions. The value of this technique is that it teaches children to listen and hear, develops speech, enables communication, activates mental activity, cognitive interest, encourages children to act, and forms the skill of working with text. Bloom's chamomile can be used in any subject and at all levels: both in primary and senior levels.

The chamomile is made up of six petals, each containing a specific type of question. Thus, six petals - six questions:

1. Simple questions - questions, answering which you need to name some facts, remember and reproduce certain information: "What?", "When?", "Where?", "How?". The question should begin with the word - name ...

2. Clarifying questions. Such questions usually begin with the words: "So you say that ...?", "If I understand correctly, then ...?", "I may be wrong, but I think you said about ...?". The purpose of these questions is to provide the student with opportunities for feedback on what they have just said. Sometimes they are asked in order to obtain information that is not in the message, but is implied. The question should begin with the word - explain ...

3. Interpretive (explanatory) questions. Usually begin with the word "Why?" and aimed at establishing cause-and-effect relationships. Why do leaves on trees turn yellow in autumn? If the answer to this question is known, it "turns" from an interpretive question into a simple one. Therefore, this type of question "works" when there is an element of independence in the answer.

4. Creative questions. This type of question most often contains the particle "would", elements of convention, assumption, forecast: "What would change ...", "What will happen if ...?", "How do you think the plot will develop in the story after ...?". The question should begin with the word - think of ....

5. Practical issues. This type of question is aimed at establishing the relationship between theory and practice: "How can you apply . ..?", What can be done from ...?", "Where in ordinary life can you observe ...?", "How would you acted in the place of the hero of the story?". The question should begin with the word - suggest ....

6. Evaluation questions. These questions are aimed at clarifying the criteria for evaluating certain events, phenomena, facts. "Why is something good, but is it bad?", "How does one lesson differ from another?", "How do you feel about the action of the protagonist?", etc. The question should start with the word - share ...

The questions are formulated by the students themselves. This option requires some preparation from children, since it is easy to come up with reproductive questions, but task questions require a certain skill.

“Chamomile of questions” is one of the effective techniques that can be used at different stages of the lesson. It helps to teach children to ask questions to the text on their own. Students like to formulate and write down questions to the work (at any stage of work), work can be done in pairs, groups and individually. Children are most interested in practical questions: “What would you do ...?”

"Chamomile" can be used at the "Challenge" stage, then students first ask questions, and then look for answers, comprehension, or at the "Reflection" stage to summarize the knowledge gained.

The use of the technique "Daisy Bloom" allows for a differentiated and student-oriented approach in the educational process. Bloom's taxonomy is one of the forms of work on the development of critical thinking.

Strategy No. 2. Reading in pairs - summarizing in pairs

Purpose: to form the ability to highlight the main thing, to summarize what has been read in the form of a thesis, to ask problematic questions.

1. Students silently read the text or part of the text chosen by the teacher.

2. The teacher puts the students in pairs and gives clear instruction. Each student alternately performs two roles: speaker - reads and summarizes the content in the form of one thesis; the respondent listens to the speaker and asks him two substantive questions. Next comes the role reversal.

3. The teacher invites all students to the discussion.

Strategy No. 3. Reading and asking

Purpose: to develop the ability to work independently with printed information, formulate questions, work in pairs.

1. Pupils silently read the proposed text or part of the text chosen by the teacher.

2. The students work in pairs and discuss which key words should be highlighted in the reading. (Which words occur most often in the text? How many times? Which words are in bold? Why?

If you were to read the text aloud, how would you make it clear that this sentence is the main one? We are talking about highlighting the phrase with your voice. Here hides an unobtrusive but reliable memorization.)

3. One of the students formulates a question using key words, the other answers it.

4. Discuss key words, questions and answers in class. Correction.

Strategy No. 4. Double entry diary

Purpose: to develop the ability to ask questions while reading, critically evaluate information, compare what is read with one's own experience.

1. The teacher instructs the students to divide the notebook into two parts.

2. In the process of reading, students should write down on the left side the moments that struck, surprised, reminded of some facts, caused any associations; on the right - write a concise commentary: why this particular moment surprised you, what associations it caused, what thoughts it prompted.

Strategy No. 5. Reading with notes

Purpose: to develop the ability to read thoughtfully, evaluate information, formulate the author's thoughts in your own words.

The teacher gives the students the task to write information in the margins with icons according to the following algorithm:

  • V Familiar information
  • + New information
  • - I thought (thought) differently
  • ? This interested me (surprised me), I want to know more

The essence of semantic reading strategies is that the strategy is related to choice, functions automatically at the unconscious level and is formed in the course of the development of cognitive activity. Reading strategy training includes the acquisition of skills:

- distinctions between message content types - facts, opinions, judgments, assessments;

- recognition of the hierarchy of meanings within the text - the main idea, theme and its components;

- own understanding - the process of reflective perception of the cultural meaning of information.

Mastering strategies occurs mainly in groups or pairs, which allows students to develop not only speech, but also communicative competence.

Strategy No. 6. Reading with an Euler-Venn diagram

Purpose: to form the skills of comparing and classifying, structuring information.

  1. Pupils read the text, carefully analyzing it.
  2. The teacher sets the task - to compare two or more objects, write the comparison data in the form of an Euler-Venn diagram.

Strategy No. 7. Senkan.

Purpose: to develop the ability of students to highlight key concepts in what they read, main ideas, synthesize the knowledge gained, and show creativity.

Learn more