Grade 3 Pacing Guide: Q1 ELA

Q2 Guide

Q3 Guide

Q4 Guide


Week 1 - 9/4

Week 2 - 9/10

Week 3 - 9/17

Week 4 - 9/24

Week 5 - 10/1

Week 6 - 10/9

Week 7 - 10/15

Week 8 - 10/22

Week 9 - 10/29

Module 1: Becoming a Close Reader and Writing to Learn

This module uses literature and informational text such as My Librarian Is a Camel to introduce students to the power of literacy and how people around the world access books. This module is intentionally designed to encourage students to embrace a love of literacy and reading.

In Unit 1, students will begin to build their close reading skills; students hear stories read aloud and read works in their entirety and excerpts of more challenging writing closely. Students examine the main message in literature about individuals and groups from world communities (including the United States) who have gone to great lengths to access education. Students will practice identifying the central message and taking notes in the provided categories.

Then in Unit 2, students will focus more on what it means to be a proficient and independent reader. They will continue to read literature about characters who are motivated to learn to read, overcome struggles to learn to read, or are passionate about books and words. Students will assess their strengths and needs as readers, set goals, and begin the yearlong journey of becoming proficient and independent readers who have their own “reading superpowers.” (The phrase “reading superpowers” is meant to help third-graders understand what is required to demonstrate mastery of the Common Core reading standards.) This unit includes a heavy emphasis on building reading fluency.

In Unit 3 (the longest), students will delve into geography, and how where one lives in the world impacts how one accesses books. They will continue building knowledge and vocabulary related to world geography as they study excerpts from My Librarian Is a Camel, which describes how librarians overcome challenges of geography to get books to people. They will apply their learning by writing a simple information report about how people access books around the world, focusing on the role of specific librarians or organizations they studied. This writing will be in the form of a bookmark, which students can then give to their school or local library. The bookmark performance task centers on Standards RI.3.2, W.3.2,W.3.4, W.3.5, and L.3.2.

Notes to Teacher:

Please keep in mind that an organization system may be needed to help students manage all the materials they will need to keep up with during the week. Students will often have to use the same reading or assignment throughout the week. Don't forget to set up time to practice independent reading routines and procedures to help students build stamina. Throughout the year students will have to work independently. Many lessons ask students to engage in reading read at home and many lessons begin the next daily lesson with homework review.  Make sure you have thought about accommodations for this and that you have provided appropriate scaffolds for students to access the level of the text (such as an audio version). Setting up incentives for homework return may help as well.

For Support with Instructional Protocols, utilize this document.

Getting Started

Grade 3 Implementation Guide

Grade 3 Recommended Texts

This link provides a list of engaging and accessible texts with text difficulty ranging from grades 1-8 and Lexiles 140-925. These texts give students opportunities to practice strategies taught during core instruction, build background knowledge around the Module topic, strengthen fluency, and engage in guided and/or independent reading. Keep in mind that these texts not only support independent and/or guided reading, but can also function as a supplemental resource to reteach standards students struggled with through small group instruction.

Standards Assessed:

Lesson 1: RI.3.1, SL.3.1

Lesson 2: RL.3.2, RL.3.3, W.3.8, SL.3.1

Lesson 3: RL.3.1, SL.3.1, L.3.4

Unit Notes

In this first unit, students will explore the question: “Why do people seek the power of reading?” Through the study of literature, literary nonfiction, and informational articles from around the world, and in their own backyards, students will experience the extraordinary lengths to which some people go in order to access the power and privilege of reading.

Weekly Overview: Since this is the first week of school, you will need to model and practice appropriate student interactions in order for students to effectively engage with the Carousel protocol. If needed, you may consider utilizing a TPS at student desks instead of using the full Carousel protocol on day one. The writing assignment can be adjusted to be done as a community builder or done at a different part of the day. While working with students on vocabulary you can address standard 4 using context clues and academic vocabulary. Consider breaking up the first week's lessons across different content areas throughout the week to help you use community builders to teach routines and procedures.

Suggested break down for lesson consolidation this week:

Lesson 1: (a-b; opening and Carousel/TPS),1c (work time: Quotes),1d (debrief and exit slip)

Lesson 2a-b, 2c (work time a), 2d-e ( work time b and closing)

Lesson 3 a-b (opening and worktime: questions and share), 3c-d (worktime: vocabulary and debrief).

Lesson 1: Instructional Protocol: Carousel

Consider having 1-2 pictures attached to a T-chart (poster/chart) and practice with students how the chart paper will transition among student groups as an alternative to Carousel activity (if alternative is needed).

Lesson 2: This lesson introduces students to the concept of reading closely, by moving them through a specific process. Students will use this reading routine throughout the year, so take time in this lesson and in the coming weeks to be sure they understand the purpose and process. To understand this process more fully, review Helping Students Read Closely (Appendix 1). In advance: Create a chart of the Close Read recording form.

Lesson 3: During work time, introduce the importance of specific skills during collaborative discussions, and then begin listening to students’ discussion skills and using the Conversation Criteria checklist.

Standards Addressed:

Lesson 4: SL.3.1, SL.3.6

Lesson 5: W.3.2, SL.3.1, SL.3.6

Lesson 6: RL.3.2, RL.3.3, W.3.8, SL.3.1.b

Lesson 7: RL.3.1, SL.3.1.c, L.3.4

Lesson 8: W.3.2, W.3.10


Mid-Unit Assessment

Bi-Weekly #1

Lesson 7, Mid-Unit Assessment

Question 2

Standards Assessed:

B1: SL.3.1.b, RL.3.1

Weekly Overview:

Consider setting the stage by having students journal about superpowers or super heroes during the morning meeting. During the lesson, students will be asked to think about reading as a superpower.  Consolidate 4-5 (some norms set in previous week) Consider combining Lesson 4 Work Time B and Lesson 5 Work Time A. Also consider combining the TPS and the Fishbowl Discussion practice around the books students select.

Lesson 4: Instructional Protocol: Fishbowl

Work Time A

This part of the lesson has students browse for books. This may be a routine you have practiced already. If clear movement patterns and a check out system have not been developed or practiced, consider having book bins at student desks.

Lesson 5: Instructional Protocol Think Pair Share

Work Time B

You may consider adjusting the writing assignment and/or administering it at a different part of the day (Do Now, journaling, Morning Meeting).

Lesson 6:  Anchor charts are needed. Send parent letter home about the lesson topic so you can approach with sensitivity if needed. The Mid Unit Assessment is anecdotal, make sure to use the Conversation Checklist to assess students re. the norms.

Lesson 7: Instructional protocol: Carousel

Continue to check in with students and complete the Conversation Checklist while students are discussing in groups.   Complete close reading assignment. Question 2 will serve as the Bi-weekly assessment and will assess RL.3.1 (which is addressed during the last two weeks' lessons)..

Lesson 8:  This lesson focuses on student writing and it can be structured as a writing block like lesson 4. Make sure you are modeling with paragraph samples. Make sure you are prepared to annotate and explain samples in Work Time A (Do not Cut). Use this to compare student progress from Lessons 4 and 5.

Standards Addressed:

Lesson 9: RL.3.2, RL.3.3, W.3.8, SL.3.1

Lesson 10: RL.3.1, SL.3.1, L.3.4

Lesson 11: RL.3.2, RL.3.3, W.3.3, L.3.4

Unit 2, Lesson 1: RL.3.2, RL.3.3, W.3.8, SL.3.1


End of unit assessment

Standards Assessed:

Rl.3.2, RL.3.3, W.3.8,L.3.4

Weekly Overview:

This week, consistently highlight appropriate Read Aloud Behavior and expectations. Consider making and posting a Read Aloud Behavior anchor chart.

Lesson 9: The text is written in a dialect, make sure students understand this.

Lesson 10 Instructional Protocols: Think-Pair-Share, Helping Students Read Closely, and Quiz-Quiz-Trade

Vocabulary strategy

Work Time Part A: students answer text dependent questions. Remind students to write in complete sentences (anchor chart).  Work Time Part B. When working with students on vocabulary make sure to address standard 4 using context clues and academic vocabulary. Prep illustrations from the book.

Lesson 11: This is the end of the unit assessment on close reading and note taking.

Unit Notes:

In this second unit, students will explore their own “powers of reading” that help them access text. In the first half of the unit, students will explore fictional accounts of people who worked hard to build their reading powers. Students will then refer to the characters in these books as role models of sorts, as they begin to assess their own reading abilities. They will use information about their individual strengths and needs as readers to set goals for the development of their reading powers, and will write a text-based informational paragraph about their goals. In the second half of the unit, students will focus on one specific “reading power”: fluency. They will learn about the importance of fluency, set fluency goals, practice fluency, and demonstrate their fluent reading in the end of unit assessment.

Unit 2 Lesson 1: Review Read Aloud expectations. As students work independently and in groups, take notes on the Conversation Checklist.  Keep practicing expectations for group and partner work.

Standards Addressed:

Lesson 2: RL.3.1, SL.3.1, L.3.4

Lesson 3: RL.3.2, RL.3.3, W.3.8, SL.3.1

Lesson 4: RL.3.1, SL.3.1, L.3.4

Lesson 5: RL.3.2

Lesson 6: W.3.8


Bi-weekly #2

Lesson 3

Use students' response from "Capturing the Gist of a Story"

Standards Assessed:

B2: RL.3.2

Weekly Overview:

In this week's lessons, students will be working on standards as well as building reading and independent work stamina.  Make sure you motivate students with goals and incentives. Consider Combining Lessons 5 and 6. These lessons are about building reading stamina and setting reading goals. You may consider using some of the activities around the learning targets during morning meeting and/or as do nows. The bulk of the learning is independently directed.

Lesson 2: Instructional Protocol: Review: Think-Pair-Share, Helping Students Read Closely, and Quiz-Quiz-Trade

This vocabulary strategy lesson is similar to Lesson 1.

Lesson 3: Close Reading routine. Think about modeling and practice the routines to ensure you are building stamina.  Any group or partner work should have clear expectations posted and reviewed. Students' responses from "Capturing the Gist of a Story" will serve as the Bi-weekly assessment and will assess RL.3.2  (addressed during the previous weeks' lessons).

Lesson 4: Consider modeling how students can read with questions in mind and write down evidence on sticky notes.  Have students complete the entire "Questions from Text" assignment.

Lesson 5/6: Consolidate

Review the Fishbowl Protocol. This lesson focuses on building reading stamina.

Standards Addressed:

Lesson 7: W.3.2, L.3.6

Lesson 8: SL.3.5

Lesson 9: SL.3.5

Lesson 10: SL.3.5


Mid-Unit Assessment

End of unit assessment

Weekly Overview:

Weekly Overview: Students begin the week by taking the mid-unit assessment and then move into working on fluency practice when reading aloud. Students end the week by taking the end of unit assessment of students' reading fluency.

Consolidate Lessons 7 and 8.

Lesson 7 is the Mid Unit Assessment with a focus on writing. This can be used to compare students' progress with the paragraphs that they wrote in Unit 1. Students will write a letter about their Reading Goals. If students are still building stamina with writing for 30 minutes, consider shortening the time by incorporating Work Time Parts A-C (decrease 5 minutes from each Part). May also consider having students complete their reflection during another part of the day.

Lesson 8:  This lesson formally introduces the term fluency as a reading superpower; students, of course, have been building fluency throughout the module, so they may already know this term.

Lesson 9:  Students will need to select their own text, make sure you have a clear system/routine in place. Students will practice reading with fluency using self selected independent reading books. Set clear expectations and goals/rewards for effective independent reading time. Create anchor charts for students to reference. The emphasis of this Lesson is on working independently  - the attention to developing this in students will support you as you begin pulling small groups or students independently for the End of Unit Assessment (if you have not already begun pulling small groups and/or conducting individual student conferences).

Lesson 10:  This lesson introduces the End of Unit 2 Assessment of students’ reading fluency. This assessment must be done individually with students. It may be completed within or outside the ELA period of the day. Teachers will record students’ reading as time and technology permit.

Standards Addressed:

Lesson 1: RL.3.2, RL.3.3, RL.3.6, RL.3.7

Lesson 2: RL.3.7, SL.3.1

Lesson 3: RL.3.2, RL.3.3, W.3.8, SL.3.1


Bi-weekly #3

Lesson 3

The last question on The Close Read Recording Form

Standards Assessed:

B1: RL.3.1, RL.3.2, RL.3.3

Unit Notes:

In this unit, students will explore how geography impacts readers’ access to books. All instruction in this unit builds toward the final performance task for the module: an informative “Accessing Books around the World” bookmark. In the first part of the unit, students will read informational texts about world geography as they build vocabulary and understanding related to physical features and how physical characteristics of a region influence how people access books. Students then will explore external resources that support the power of reading, focusing on the important role of libraries.

Weekly Overview:

At this point, it is expected that students are able to use the close reading strategy with a developing level of proficiency, so throughout this week, think of ways to review the close reading routine explored earlier in the Module. Students start out the week by building background knowledge to get them ready for the central  text they'll be reading. Students will also build map reading skills as well as then begin to do a close read of the central text.

Lesson 1:  Work Time B should be prioritized. Consider decreasing the time allotted for Work Time A if pacing is a challenge and if students require more time in other parts of the lesson to meet the learning targets. Please note that the materials for this lesson need advance preparation for student work.

Lesson 2:  You will need a map for this lesson. Consider having maps stationed at different parts of the room for students to view/analyze. All maps should have a key or other visuals for students to use to identify important physical features such as rivers, mountains, deserts, etc. Students will not master map reading with just one lesson, but they will begin to develop some background knowledge about how maps give information. They will also have the opportunity to discuss how maps support understanding of informational texts and lay the important groundwork for the research students will do later in this unit. Map reading needs to be reinforced during other times of the day beyond this ELA block.

Lesson 3:  Do not skip this lesson. The Lesson Opening assumes students did their homework about maps which allows them to engage in today's discussion. Be prepared to make adjustments as needed. Students will utilize a close reading routine. The last question on the Close Read Recording Form will serve as the Bi-weekly assessment and will assess  RL.3.1, RL.3.2, and RL.3.3 (which was explicitly taught over the past several lessons)..

Standards Addressed:

Lesson 4: RL.3.1, SL.3.1

Lesson 5: W.3.2, W.3.10

Lesson 6: RL.3.2, RL.3.7

Lesson 7: RL.3.2, W.3.8, SL.3.1


Bi-weekly #3

Lesson 3

The last question on The Close Read Recording Form

Standards Assessed:

B1: RL.3.1, RL.3.2, RL.3.3

Weekly Overview:

Throughout this week, build in time for:

  • students to practice reading independently; consider having students select at least 1 non-fiction text for independent reading.
  • materials organization; students will need materials for next week
  • to explain what informational text is and how it is different from fictional/literature text.

Students will continue to build close reading skills and then will shift to focus on paragraph writing. They will work on determining the main idea of a text and then finish the week with more close reading work.

Lesson 4 Instructional Protocol: Jigsaw

Review the Jigsaw Protocol. Create “expert groups” based around the three texts: Rain School, Nasreen’s Secret School, and That Book Woman. These groups should be heterogeneous. If the class is large, consider making two groups for each text (for a total of six). Create “Jigsaw groups” in which there is one representative from each expert group. Students make several transitions in this lesson. Understand the lesson sequence clearly, in order to alert students to each upcoming transition.

Lesson 5: Note that students plan and write a paragraph in this lesson. This is simply routine writing, not a formal assessment. Consider extending this lesson into your writing block to allow more time for students to engage in developing their paragraph.

Lesson 6: This lesson marks the formal transition from narrative text to more typical informational text. Preview the new recording form in the supporting materials. This document was designed specifically to help students take notes with an informational text that has expository prose and more typical nonfiction text features. In Advance: Create the chart "Using Text Evidence to Determine the Main Idea: Obtaining Books around the World" to show as a model. Create a new "Building Our Word Power in My Librarian is a Camel" anchor chart. Use this throughout this book experience as students learn new words. As you read the information text in Lesson 6, you can incorporate Standards 4 and 5 (context clues and academic vocabulary; text features).

Lesson 7: Students will need to be in the same small groups during Lessons 7 and 8 for this close reading cycle. All students will read along as the teacher models with excerpts from the pages about Kenya. Each group will focus on one country from My Librarian Is a Camel. Students will need access to the text from My Librarian Is a Camel for one of the following countries: Finland, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, or Zimbabwe.

Standards Addressed:

Lesson 8: RL.3.1, SL.3.1

Lesson 9: RL.3.1, RL.3.2, W.3.8, SL.3.1

Lesson 10: W.3.5

Lesson 11: W.3.2, W.3.5

Lesson 12: W.3.2, W.3.5

Lesson 13: W.3.2, W.3.5


Mid-Unit Assessment

Standards Assessed:

RL.3.1, RL.3.2, W. 3.8, SL 3.1

Weekly Overview:

Students begin the week focusing on discussion of the central text and then will take the mid-unit assessment which focuses on answering text dependent questions. Students will then plan and begin writing a draft of an informative paragraph. Since lessons 10 and 11 and 12 and 13 are combined, you may want to choose to use your flex day to give students more time to work on their paragraphs.

Lesson 8: Instructional Protocol:  Jigsaw

Review the Jigsaw protocol and the answering text dependent questions (anchor chart). This lesson requires students to use materials from last week. Create Jigsaw groups that consist of at least one representative from each country group.

Lesson 9: The entire work time for this lesson is the Mid- Unit Assessment. It is broken into sections to help students with pacing. For the Mid-Unit Assessment, all students will read the same new excerpt from My Librarian Is a Camel: “Kenya” (pp. 18 and 19).

For the rest of the Module, many of the lessons focus on writing and, to support pacing, lessons 10 & 11 and 12 & 13 should be combined. Students spend time learning about the writing process through mini lessons and practice. Consider extending lessons into the writing block which will give you time to conduct conferences and provide small group instruction to support students as needed. As your students build stamina for writing, be sure to include time for students to keep building stamina for reading as well. Give them time to continue to practice the skills they learned about setting goals. To reduce frustration, make sure students understand that they will be writing daily and rewriting as this takes them through the process.

Lesson 10: This lesson is the foundational lesson and sets the stage for the subsequent lessons. Be sure to provide explicit modeling during the execution. Some vocabulary words may need to be clarified with students: thoughtful, community, extreme lengths

Lesson 11: Use the model provided. Be sure to use the same model paragraph throughout this sequence of lessons, and be sure that it meets all of the criteria for a quality Accessing Books around the World informative paragraph (for reference, see Identifying Criteria for a Quality Paragraph in 2A of the Lesson Plan). Some vocabulary words are not academic or domain-specific, and may need to be clarified with students: strength, challenge. Encourage students to go to this drafting step if they have finished collecting notes from lesson 10. Think about ways they can work on this draft throughout the day and for homework.

Lessons 12 & 13: Use strong models of topic sentences and detail for Lesson 12 Work Time Parts A and B. A paragraph model is provided. A model paragraph criteria checklist is provided. Combine Work Time Part A/B Lesson 12 with Part A from Lesson 13. Both lessons are about revising portions of the paragraph. This will allow students to see the modeling of how to find the topic sentence or conclusion and look for ways to revise in their own writing.  By modeling from both lessons you will allow students that work at a different pace to move on. This is not a final draft so students will have many opportunities in the next week to receive feedback.

Standards Addressed:

Lesson 14: W.3.2, W.3.5

Lesson 15: W.3.2, W.3.5

Lesson 16: W.3.2

Lesson 17: W.3.2


End of unit assessment

Standards Assessed:


Weekly Overview:

Students continue to edit and revise their informative paragraphs as well as create and illustration for the paragraph.  Since lesson 14 is optional and lessons 15 and 16 are combined, be strategic about how you'll use the time for editing, revision and presenting the final assessment.

Lesson 14: This lesson is optional. If you need more time from previous weeks or lessons consider cutting this lesson. The hook is an additional sentence to invite the reader into the text that precedes the topic sentence. Use a variety of quality hook models.

Lessons 15 & 16: Ensure that you have completed a Conventions checklist for each student. This is essential for Lesson 15 Work Time Step C. During Lessons 15 & 16, which are editing lessons, identify the conventions you want to prioritize. As noted in the Performance Task description, students may create their illustrations using technology or in collaboration with a studio art teacher. Once students have completed both their published paragraph and quality illustration, they should attach them on a piece of card stock for the final bookmark. See Lesson 15 about using a photocopier to reduce students’ writing to fit the bookmark card stock. Vocabulary may need to be clarified for some students: bookmark, superhero, bring to life.

Lesson 17: In this assessment, students read an excerpt from My Librarian is a Camel from another country (not the country that they made their bookmark about). Be sure to invite a real audience for the bookmark share (it may be students within the class, students in a different class, families, etc.). Depending on the audience, the share may happen within this lesson or within another block of time. Note: Although students read their bookmarks aloud, this does not formally address a fluency CCLS, since students’ own writing is unlikely to be at the third grade reading level. Be sure to include this celebration of learning at the end of the Module.