Read-aloud books are books that teachers often choose to read out loud to their class. And, in 3rd grade, read-aloud sessions are just as imporant as the time allowed for independent reading.
This is because, during read-aloud sessions, students develop important skills for listening and practice their oral comprehension skills.
Read-aloud sessions are also an opportunity for teachers to model fluent reading. By adding expression and drama into the way they read, students are given a chance to ‘see how it’s done’. And, students will hopefully try to replicate this in their own reading when the time comes.
Furthermore, for students who find reading difficult, read-aloud sessions provide them with the chance to listen to stories which they may not be able to read for themselves. They can enjoy the books without the anxieties and struggles of reading the texts themselves.
Aside from the educational benefits, having books read to you is extremely relaxing, listeners can sit-back, relax and get lost in the words of the story.
So, we have put together a list of the 15 Best Read-Aloud Books for 3rd Graders, to help you select the perfect book for your class or child.
1. Room on the Broom
Julia Donaldson’s books are some of the best choices when it comes to read-aloud options. Room on the Broom is no exception!
Donaldson’s rhyming stories are excellent, and teachers can use them to model how to read with poetic rhythm and flow.
As well as being a rhythmic masterpiece, Room on the Broom is a fun story. It is so popular with kids worldwide that has been turned into an Oscar dominated animation.
Plus, due to its popularity, there are a whole load of fun games and activities online that relate to the story. These make excellent follow-up tasks for students after they have listened to the story.
2. The Snowy Day
A story perfect for the winter months when you and your class are hunkered down inside the warm classroom.
The book is about a boy who is exploring the snow. It follows him as he makes tracks, snow angels and of course snowballs.
The book includes onomatopoeia which is a good chance for teachers to model how this written technique translates into spoken form.
The illustrations help with comprehension and are a visual treat.
This book contains some lovely descriptions and it would be a super book to share with children who have never experienced snow themselves.
3. Dog Heaven
This book is an excellent choice if you are looking for a book that deals with the emotional issue of losing a pet.
The book talks about what it is like in doggy heaven, painting a happy picture for kids who might be struggling with the emotional effects of saying goodbye. The colorful illustrations help to maintain a positive and up-beat tone to the book.
It is a good read-aloud choice because the content and message of the book is important. So, by reading this aloud, adults can ensure their kids are focusing on the words.
4. The Giving Tree
The Giving Tree is about the relationship between a boy and a tree. And, we love the way the tree has been personified. In doing this, the readers and listeners connect to the story on a deeper level.
The book demonstrates to kids how useful trees and plants are in our daily lives. At the end of the book, readers discover that the boy actually cuts the tree down despite the tree giving him so much over his lifetime. An ending that is slightly shocking compared to the usual ‘happy-ever-after endings’.
It is a provocative read and it isn’t a typical ‘save the forest’ story. Instead, it gets kids questioning and examining their conscience when it comes to the environment.
This book would be great for teachers to read during an outdoor learning session and as a read-aloud book it allows time for 3rd graders to really stop and think.
5. Miss Rumphius
Miss Rumphius is a great choice for a read-along book because it gives the reader time to focus on the beautiful and detailed illustrations.
The main character, Miss Rumphius, is an artist who journeys around the world describing the amazing things she sees. Upon her return, she decides she needs to give something beautiful back to the world. She sets out to make the world a more beautiful place by planting flowers.
The beauty of the illustrations, the fact the main character is an artist, and the link to flowers would make this book fitting for an art lesson on flowers and nature.
6. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
The Lord of the Ring Trilogy is a difficult series for 3rd Graders to read alone. It has challenging words and a complex storyline. Therefore, it is easy for readers to lose their way, like the characters in the books.
That being said, many 3rd graders still love the plot and characters that feature. So, it seems a shame for students to not be able to access the stories based on their reading level.
That is why we have chosen the Lord of the Rings Trilogy as a read-along option instead.
Break the story down into manageable parts, discuss what has happened and take these books slowly. By reading it to kids, they can forget about the difficult language. Instead, they can sit back and piece together the plot.
7. The Hobbit
The prequel to the Lord of the Rings Trilogy is The Hobbit. Although it is a prequel, it is also a standalone story in it’s own right.
Compared to the previously mentioned trilogy, The Hobbit is a lighter read and the story is easier to follow. Despite this, we still recommend it as a read-along text for similar reasons as above.
The Hobbit is a loveable character. And, we love the way J. R. R. Tolkien describes the character and settings. By the end of the book everything seems so familiar.
8. The Little Prince
A bestselling picture book and translated for readers across the world.
The book begins when a pilot stranded in the desert meets an inquisitive little boy. The pilot begins to tell enchanting fables that teach ‘The Little Prince’ all about the mysteries of life.
Appealing to 3rd graders by uncovering some of the mysteries that they themselves surely ponder.
Some of the vocabulary will stretch the knowledge of third graders bit this shouldn’t be seen as a negative. Instead, it’s an opportunity to learn new words and broaden their vocab.
9. Owl Moon
This book is a soft and soothing story which makes it great for a bedtime read or as a story to end a busy day in class.
A girl and her father go out into the winter woods in search of an owl. Despite being a winter story the relationship between the daughter and her father is warm and comforting. This helps listeners relax and feel the story.
The delicate illustrations draw you in and make you feel as though you are out in the forest too.
Poetically written, beautifully illustrated and a comforting story to read and to listen to, time and time again. We highly recommend Owl Moon as a read-aloud book for 3rd Graders.
10. Action Jackson
A nonfiction selection for a read-aloud now. Action Jackson, is a biography all about the famous painter Jackson Pollock.
The text in the book is factual about the life of Pollock but is written in a soft and descriptive narrative form. So, for 3rd graders listening along it means they can still become wrapped up in the story but also learn about the artist’s life.
This read-aloud would be a perfect introduction to an art lesson on Pollock.
11. The Secret Seven Series
The Secret Seven by Eind Blyton has been a hit with kids for generations. Blyton is world famous for her children’s books and her writing is easy to understand still to this day.
It is about 7 kids whose goal is to solve mysteries. Storylines include haunted houses and catching thieves. The books will have your 3rd grade listeners on the edges of their seats.
These books are full of suspense in every chapter which is why they are great read aloud options. Teachers can choose where to stop and leave things on a cliffhanger until the next reading session. This is bound to keep your class of listeners eager and excited about the books.
12. Charlotte’s Web
Charlotte’s web is on our list of read-aloud books because it offers so much opportunity for class discussion. It is beautifully written and tells a story of a loving friendship.
The book can be read for fun but can also be used to teach 3rd graders about friendships, family and death. Therefore, we recommend it as a read-aloud because parents or teachers can highlight the most useful messages and address the parts of the story which children may struggle with.
13. Mary Poppins
Mary Poppins is most popular for the film adaptation made by Disney. But the book deserves some attention too!
When magical nanny Mary Poppins arrives, she changes the lives of the Banks family forever.
The writer conveys all the magic and fantasy that the films wonderfully portray. But by hearing it read aloud students can use their own imaginations and make the story theirs.
The book is set in the early 1900’s and this is subtly eluded too throughout. As a result, there are some interesting history topics that can be discussed with your class too.
14. The Keeping Quilt
The Keeping Quilt is a story that relates to belonging, families and touches on what it feels like to be away from home.
For these reasons, we recommend The Keeping Quilt as a read-aloud choice for Social-Emotional education sessions.
It is a book that will elicit conversations about feelings and emotion. And, also get kids thinking about the importance of home and belonging.
It would make a good choice of book for children that have just arrived in a new country, as it helps discuss and deal with the upheaval of moving.
15. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Written by one of the best children’s authors of all time, Roald Dahl.
His books are great for read-aloud sessions. This is because his writing is designed to bring words to life. Parents and educators can therefore model to children how Dahl intended his books to be read.
With changes in volume, pace, and character voice, adults can bring Dahl’s writing alive.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is one of Dahl’s stories that is longer in length and therefore another reason to read it together as a read-aloud.
The books on this list of the 15 Best Read-Aloud Books for 3rd Graders have made it onto the round-up for a variety of reasons.
Some books are poetic or require the text to be read aloud in a particular style or rhythm. Others are to allow 3rd graders access to stories which they may not be able to read independently. There are also books that should be read aloud by educators in order for the listeners to fully absorb the messages they hold.
But one thing they all have in common is that they are great stories. So, depending on whatever you are looking for from a read-along text, we are sure that you will find a book on this list to suit your needs.