Oral Language for 3rd Grade

What is Oral Language?

Parent with child.

Oral Language is sometimes called spoken language. It includes speaking and listening and is the way people communicate with each other.

In third grade, readers can effectively participate in discussions and ask and answer questions with detail. They can share the main idea of information that is read or heard. Third graders can present information that is organized and uses complete sentences. They are capable of using media to support their presentations.

What Does it Look Like?

Vocabulary is Critical to your Child's Reading.

Learn how to help your third grader tackle an unfamiliar word.

Practice Activities

Conversation Starters: Engage in conversation with the child to build their oral language skills.  Conversation starters can serve as ice-breakers to initiate a meaningful conversation and build confidence to converse with others.  Follow up by asking who, what, when, why, where, and how questions.  Conversation Starters (optional)

New Experiences: Give your child opportunities to participate in new experiences.  Visit (in person or virtually) museums, historical sites, theaters or discover new hobbies and interests together.  Ask questions and discuss your experiences together to build vocabulary and speaking skills.

Current Events: Talk about current events together.  Discuss with the child so they understand what is happening and how it connects to their lives, other events they may have seen or read about, and other parts of their community.

Role Model Verbal Skills: Become aware of how you speak.  Do you only give one word answers?  Do you explain how you feel in ways that are clear? Make your thinking “visible;” model how you make decisions (e.g., “I knew it was going to be really hot today because it felt so warm early in the morning. By the time the sun is directly above us, it’ll be scorching.  This is why I parked under a tree.  I didn’t want the inside of our car to get that hot, so I parked in the shade and I’ll leave the windows cracked to let cooler air flow in.”).

Convince Me: Provide opportunities for the child to persuade you the next time the child is trying to convince you to buy something, go somewhere, etc.  Ask them to create a presentation (e.g., speaking, writing, or using online tools) to share their side of the story or opinion.  This will give children practice thinking about the most important points and an opportunity to work on their presentation skills.

Practice Activities (with Printables)

If you don't have a printer, your child's school will print these for you.

CROWD Strategy: Use the CROWD (complete, recall, open-ended, wh- questions, and distance) strategy to ask different types of questions and begin conversation about the book, passage, or article.  Access printable materials here: Trifold 1, Trifold 2, Trifold 3.

Grocery Shop Talk: Use this recourse to engage in conversation while shopping.  Use words the child may not hear in other environments (e.g., deli, loaf of bread, 1/2 pound), and ask questions that require more than a "yes" or "no" answer (e.g., Why should we look in the carton before we decide to buy the eggs?).  If desired, write your grocery list on the printed paper, fold the paper in half, and refer to the questions as you shop.  Grocery Shop Talk

Conversation Cards: Use conversation cards any time or place to increase a child’s use and understanding of oral language.  Suggestions include at the dinner table, while waiting in a store or restaurant, and during bedtime routines.  Use follow up questions to increase the number of turns taken in a conversation.  Conversation Cards

Online Activities

No Online Activities: The best way to support oral language development is engaging in conversation with the child. Increasing the number of turns taken expands the oral language the child hears and uses. Strive for 5 or more!