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This third grade vocabulary list was built from an analysis of difficult words that appear in basal readers and other books commonly taught in the 3rd grade. These spelling words can be challenging but they set the foundation for a more expanded academic vocabulary for transitioning from primary elementary grades (K-2) into intermediate elementary grades (3-5).

In third grade, students are expected to:


  • Increase word usage and knowledge.
  • Discuss books, articles, and short stories.
  • Analyze and clarify language.

In order to help you do that in your classroom, use these sheets that will:

  • encourage students to use context clues
  • grow vocabulary
  • enhance spelling
  • produce better readers
  • increase new word usage

By the end of the year, third graders should demonstrate an understanding of text and word meaning, integrate knowledge and ideas, and read and comprehend literature. In order to do that, we must encourage children to use BIGGER words in their vocabulary.

An example of this would be instead of saying trash students are encouraged to say garbage or find other synonyms in the choices provided. These sheets will expand their field of view mentally of other words that can better get the point across in every day conversations.

Students will use context clues to find out what the following words mean: additional, agreeable, argue, arrange, assist, attract, careless, cause, climate, construct, garbage, triumph, sincere, exchange, symbol, jammed, rapid, frightening, dangled, defend, described, details, develop, purpose, event, examined, example, furious, catch, clever, defend, nap, chill, contain, distant, main, intelligent, invitation, irritate, marine, mend, multiply, nervous, occur, disappointed, pleasant, pause, plunge, prevent, process, rare, rate, recall, honor, endangered, trembled, slumber, solution, stumbled, unite, valuable, volunteer, predict, recognize.

Hope this helps!