Third Grade Writing Standards
Writing standards for third grade define the knowledge and skills needed for writing proficiency at this grade level. By understanding 3rd grade writing standards, parents can be more effective in helping their children meet grade level expectations.
What is 3rd Grade Writing?
In third grade, writing becomes a key component of school curriculum. Third grade students write more independently than in any previous grade and spend significant blocks of time engaged in writing on their own, as well as in assigned projects. Students hone their paragraph writing skills and write multi-paragraph compositions. As specified in third grade writing standards, students learn to organize their work using a beginning, middle, and end, focusing on sequence of events. Students are also taught to use descriptive detail and literary devices, such as dialogue, point of view, and figurative language (metaphors and similes). Third-graders continue to expand their knowledge of grammar, spelling, and mechanics, as well as how to evaluate writing and conduct research.
The following writing standards represent what states* typically specify as third grade benchmarks in writing proficiency:
Grade 3: Writing Strategies
Third grade writing standards focus on the writing process as the primary tool to help children become independent writers. In Grade 3, students are taught to use each phase of the process as follows:
Grade 3: Writing Purposes
In Grade 3, students write in different forms for different purposes, and communicate with different audiences. Students write compositions that describe and explain familiar objects, events, and experiences. Specifically, third grade writing standards stipulate that students write in the following forms:
Grade 3: Writing Evaluation
Third grade students learn to respond constructively to others’ writing and determine if their own writing achieves its purposes. In Grade 3, students also identify the most effective features of a piece of writing using criteria generated by the teacher and class. Writing standards recommend that each student keep and review a collection of his/her own written work to monitor growth as a writer.
Grade 3: Written English Language Conventions
Students in 3rd grade are expected to write with more complex sentences, capitalization, and punctuation. In particular, third grade writing standards specify these key markers of proficiency:
Grade 3: Research and Inquiry
Third grade students learn how to gather information systematically and use writing as a tool for research and inquiry in the following ways:
3rd Grade Writing Tests
In some states, standardized writing assessment begins in the third grade. Students will be given questions about grammar and mechanics, as well as a timed writing exercise, in which they must write a response to a writing prompt. In addition, third-graders are evaluated by their writing portfolios and classroom-based writing tests.
Most state writing assessments are correlated to state writing standards. These standards-based tests measure what students know in relation to what they’ve been taught. Educators consider standards-based tests to be the most useful as these tests show how individual students are meeting grade-level expectations. Teachers use the assessments to pinpoint where each student needs improvement. State departments of education often include information on writing standards and writing assessments on their websites, including sample questions.
Writing Test Preparation
The best writing test preparation in third grade is simply encouraging your child to write, raising awareness of the written word, and offering guidance on writing homework. For example, you can talk about the different purposes of writing as you encounter them, such as those of letters, recipes, grocery lists, instructions, and menus. By becoming familiar with third grade writing standards, parents can offer more constructive homework support. Remember, the best writing help for kids is not to correct their essays, but offer positive feedback that prompts them use the strategies of writing process to revise their own work.
Time4Writing Online Writing Courses Support 3rd Grade Writing Standards
Time4Writing is an excellent complement to third grade writing curriculum. Developed by classroom teachers, Time4Writing targets the fundamentals of writing. Students build writing skills and deepen their understanding of the writing process by working on standard-based, grade-appropriate writing tasks under the individual guidance of a certified teacher.
Writing on a computer inspires many students, even reluctant writers. Learn more about Time4Writing online courses for third grade.
For more information about general learning objectives for third grade students including math and language arts, please visit Time4Learning.com.
*K-12 writing standards are defined by each state. Time4Writing relies on a representative sampling of state writing standards, notably from Florida, Texas, and California, as well as on the standards published by nationally recognized education organizations, such as the National Council of Teachers of English and the International Reading Association.