Third grade exemplifies the concept of integrated reading and writing. Students enter the exciting world of fairy tales through familiar classics like Cinderella. But soon they are introduced to “fractured fairy tales” like Prince Cinders, which switch up events, characters, or motivations for a surprising twist.
After comparing and contrasting the two forms, your child will get a kick out of trying her hand at writing her own fractured fairy tale. “Windows and Mirrors” books will help your child grow in empathy and understanding. “Windows” books expose him to people whose lives differ from his own, while “mirrors” books reflect and affirm his own experience. One of our most popular third grade Windows and Mirrors books, I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark, educates students about issues of gender equality through the eyes of Supreme Court justice “RBG” and asks them to write reflections on her life’s work. Books that we refer to as “STEAM novels”—like Wonder, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Mr. Popper’s Penguins—not only teach students about literary themes and character traits; they also inspire students to engage in writing and design thinking exercises fueled by their own imaginations. Kids engage with novels in a way that leads them to love (or dislike) a character and relate to it in a personal way. That’s called making “text-to-self” connections. Then your child might be inspired to retell the story of his favorite scene by creating a stop motion animation film. Our unit on Greek mythology provides fertile ground for writing for a range of purposes about a god, demi-god, or monster. At every step, your child is developing facility and passion for reading and writing. She is learning to learn.