3rd Grade

Language Arts

At Moses Brown, third graders gain independence as readers and writers, tackling more complex chapter books and penning multi-paragraph stories and essays in cursive.  With favorites like Kate DiCamillo’s Because of Winn-Dixie and award-winner Stone Fox by John Reynolds Naylor as all-class reads, and their own interests to guide them in finding their own ‘just right reads,’ children build stamina and grit through 20 minutes of daily reading homework.  Along the way, they ‘make movies in their minds’ and form reasoned predictions by noticing clues that authors have left for them.

Additionally, these readers figure out what matters–and assess the author’s point of view on a topic–by applying inferential thinking to the way a text is organized.  They study characters as a window into other people–and themselves–getting to know the people in books as friends.  As they untangle complex motivations, develop hunches, and advocate for their well-reasoned predictions, students begin to see the larger design of a web of characters from a structural point of view.  They also climb ‘story mountain’ to give names to the parts of narrative structure, and use that knowledge to guide their own writing.

They build their writing stamina throughout the year, helping kids get comfortable writing a full page in one sitting.  They learn to generate ideas in a writer’s notebook, set personal writing goals, and work with a partner to develop an idea through multiple tellings.

Children learn strategies for crafting hooks and endings, adding action and dialogue, and including subtle glimpses into characters’ thoughts and feelings–ultimately bringing one great idea through the full writing process to be shared in final draft form at a Writing Celebration.



Samantha Bradshaw ’85

Lower School Literacy Coordinator

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Samantha Bradshaw ’85

University of Vermont – B.A.
University of Rhode Island – M.A.

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