The Sundance 3rd Grade Language Arts Curriculum conforms to the Core Curriculum Content Standards (CCCS) for Language Arts Literacy. Components of our Language Arts curriculum include Guided Reading, Reading Comprehension, Spelling, Grammar concepts, Vocabulary study, Read Aloud, Writing (Writers’ Workshop), Note Taking and Handwriting.

In all our Language Arts components, we are ever mindful of creating and sustaining differentiated lessons that are tailored to all of our students’ needs and skill levels.


In our Guided Reading program, our students explore and enjoy the many facets of age-appropriate literature and informational texts. Students are immersed in a “book circle” atmosphere, where all aspects of a text are investigated and discussed. Each class commences with students engaging in oral reading sessions. Discussion follows. Components include:

  • Question and Answer sessions where text is dissected
  • Character study (protagonist/antagonist)
  • Vocabulary
  • Importance of text illustrations
  • Discussion and written assignments that pertain to themes, settings, plots and points of view
  • Drawing conclusions/making predictionsTexts include Scholastic Guided Reading Program Level Books (Levels L-S) as well as cross curricular theme-based books, integrating both literature and informational texts with our science and social studies curricula.

    Examples of books:

  • The Littles
  • Because of Winn-Dixie
  • The Good Dog
  • Al Capone Does My Shirts
  • The Cricket in Times Square
  • Misty of Chincoteague
  • The Skeleton Book
  • Clementine


    Students develop fluency in determining text details, sequencing, the importance of captions and illustrations (including maps and graphs), comparing and contrasting the elements of a text, grasping main ideas, drawing conclusions and predicting outcomes, and distinguishing fact from opinion.
    Textbook: Making Connections (Books 3 and 4)


    Spelling conventions are both introduced and reinforced. Word lists are assembled from various sources, including Guided Reading texts, cross curricular themes, sight words and standard thematic spelling conventions (using Spellwell textbooks, levels A-Cc).


    Grammar is reinforced on a daily basis through spoken and written means. One dedicated lesson each week focuses on a key element of grammar. 3rd grade elements include:

  • Sentence structure: subjects and predicates
  • Parts of speech: nouns, verbs, pronouns, adjectives and adverbs
  • Forming and using of possessives
  • Capitalization and punctuation
    Textbook- Voyages- level 3


    Vocabulary is stressed in all our curricula. We habitually introduce new words on a weekly basis, culling words from our math, science, social studies and reading lessons. We also use a textbook called Words are Wonderful. The lessons in this workbook present new words in a thematic setting.


    Listening skills are a key element to enjoying both literature and non-fiction. Our teachers love reading classics to the students. Dedicated time is set aside each week for this purpose.

    Books include:

  • The Phantom Tollbooth
  • The Incredible Journey
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  • Dr. Doolittle


    Two to three hours are set aside each week solely to develop students’ writing proficiency. Classes typically include a mini-lesson. Each lesson stresses some elemental aspect of writing:

  • Brainstorming- finding an idea
  • Organizing thoughts and ideas
  • Creating a thesis statement
  • Writing rough drafts
  • Editing
  • Final copy/publishing
    Throughout the year, 3rd graders are exposed to:
  • Essay writing
  • Poetry
  • Personal narratives
  • Persuasive letters
  • Fiction writing*Teaching elements of good writing can be found in all facets of our curricula. Both written and visual prompts are often given to students in both our science and social studies lessons. Students also receive written assignments geared towards exploring and sustaining writing proficiency, using their Reading Comprehension and Guided Reading texts.


    By 3rd grade, students are also taught and encouraged to sharpen their note-taking skills. Note taking helps etch thoughts and ideas in the mind. They are also a much-appreciated study aid in the children’s later school years. Organized note taking (note cards) is taught and encouraged. Note cards are used to deliver oral presentations in math, science or social studies.


    Neat and uniform handwriting is reinforced using the Zaner-Bloser series of workbooks. Cursive is introduced in 3rd grade.