Third Grader


You and your third grader can have an exciting and meaningful year together. The faith of eight-year-olds is expanding as is their ability to think logically, to make connections between events, and to understand the feelings and point of view of others. Their enthusiasm for life is unmatched. Eights welcome new challenges. They have a growing sense of competence and independence. They can do their homework, complete chores, read for enjoyment, and carry on a conversation.



  • Enjoys participating in sports, dance or gymnastics and is involved in these activities after school
  • Wide variations in physical growth from child to child
  • Enjoys active play during free play time



  • May become frustrated if his or her work does not live up to expectations
  • Enjoys figuring out solutions to problems
  • Predominance of literal thinking over abstract reasoning
  • Enjoys learning facts in entertaining ways such as games and puzzles



  • Heightened interest in being a member of a group and a community
  • Increasing importance of peer relationships
  • May be very competitive
  • Enjoys cooperative learning tasks



  • Understands and appreciates the community dimension of sacramental celebrations
  • Enjoys stories from the Acts of the Apostles
  • Inspired by Jesus' Law of Love to incorporate good works in everyday life
  • Enjoys having a role in liturgical experiences
  • Identifies with the dramatic action and vivid images in the stories of Jesus
  • Likes active community service
  • Relates to saints as role models who stand for morality, justice, and faith
  • Comfortable with a variety of prayer forms



Third graders are at an exciting time in their development. More independent than in previous years, they can develop a deeper appreciation for Scripture, liturgy, community and prayer. Though they cannot yet think in abstract terms, they can understand and apply Jesus' teaching to their lives and become involved in efforts that will help them recognize their own unique gifts and their role in the Christian community.

We asked a group of third graders what they would like a parent to know about them. Here's what they said:

I Wish...
  • you would give me more projects to do.
  • you would let us act out Scripture stories.
  • you would understand that I sometimes expect a lot of myself.
  • you would let us tell you what we want to learn.
  • you would give us opportunities to take part in Mass.
  • you would let us work and play in groups and sometimes let me choose who I work with.
  • you would greet me every day with a smile.
  • you would give us a chance to play and have fun.