Third grade grammar lessons include introducing new vocabulary words that are different from 3rd grade spelling and Dolch sight words. Try to present and explain 3rd grade vocabulary games with definitions and use these fun games to help keep kids engaged.
3rd Grade Vocabulary Words and Game Ideas
3rd Grade Spelling Words With 5 Letters or Fewer
The NYS Next Generation ELA Learning Standards emphasize academic vocabulary words for third graders in literature, math, science, social studies, and other subjects. Start with these shorter words that match up with typical lessons for this age group.
cause (n.) - the agent that brings about an effect or result
coast (n.) - land along the ocean
effect (n.) - the result of something
elect (v.) - to choose, or vote, a person for office
event (n.) - something that takes place
fatal (adj.) - something that causes death or leads to a failure
gist (n.) - the main point
infer (v.) - to conclude from evidence
mend (v.) - to fix or repair
occur (v.) - to be found or to happen
peer (n.) - an equal in age or skill
scar (n.) - a mark left on the skin or in the mind after it heals
unite (v.) - to join or bring together
vat (n.) - large basin that holds a liquid
3rd Grade Vocabulary Words With 6 or 7 Letters
As the school year progresses, students in third grade can start to add longer words to their vocabulary. These words should be taken from your grade level reading list and subject lessons.
addend (n.) - a number or quantity to be added to another
arrange (v.) - to put things in correct, proper, or suitable order
attract (v.) - to draw in
compose (v.) - to combine or put something together
credit (n.) - praise for something or a financial balance
culture (n.) - a particular set of customs, morals, and traditions from a specific time and place
decree (n.) - an official order or decision
divisor (n.) - the quantity by which another quantity is to be divided
example (n.) - something or someone used as a model
passage (n.) - an enclosed area you move through
radiant (adj.) - sending out rays of light
region (n.) - a specific area
repair (v.) - to fix something
scatter (v.) - to spread something around in many directions
shiver (v.) - to shake or tremble
similar (adj.) - nearly but not exactly the same or alike
vermin (n.) - small destructive animals
vertex (n.) - the top or highest point
3rd Grade Vocab Words With 8 or More Letters
Students in third grade should be able to read, spell, and properly use these long vocabulary words by the end of the school year. Many of these are math terms that can be presented as part of math lessons rather than ELA lessons.
additional (adj.) - something more or added on
agreeable (adj.) - willing or ready to consent
attribute (n.) - quality or characteristic of a noun
congruent (adj.) - having the same measure or same shape and size
continent (n.) - one of the seven main land masses on Earth
decompose (v.) - to break down into basic components or parts
denominator (n.) - the number below the line in a fraction
endangered (adj.) - in danger or at risk
equation (n.) - a statement of equality between two quantities
intelligent (adj.) - someone or something that is informed and shows sound judgement
numerator (n.) - the top number in a fraction
procession (n.) - a group of people or things moving forward in an orderly fashion
remainder (n.) - what is left over after some is removed
ridiculous (adj.) - something silly and foolish that can’t be true
shrieking (n.) - a high pitched sound
swindler (n.) - person who cheats
volunteer (v.) - to give without being asked or paid
3rd Grade Vocabulary Game Ideas
There are tons of simple games you can play to build vocabulary with children in third grade. Try to think outside of the box and use games that 9-11 year olds will really enjoy.
Vocab Musical Chairs
Play a unique game of musical chairs without the music.
Set up chairs in a circle so you have one chair for all but one student.
Kids will walk around the chairs while you read vocab words.
Instead of playing music, read off a list of vocabulary words.
When you say a word that isn’t from your class vocabulary list, kids have to sit down in a chair.
The person who doesn’t get a chair is out.
Remove one chair from the game and continue.
The last child sitting is the winner.
Vocabulary Sentence Race
If you’re working with only one student, challenge them to a vocab sentence race. The objective is to use as many vocabulary words properly in sentences as you can.
Split your vocabulary list into groups of ten words.
For the first list, start by saying “I can use X number of vocabulary words in separate sentences.”
Both people take turns saying how many of those 10 vocabulary words they can use in separate sentences within one minute.
When one person feels like the other won’t be able to do what they say, this person says “Go ahead, use those words in sentences.”
Start the timer and the challenged player has one minute to use the number of vocabulary words they said they could use, each in a different sentence.
If the challenged person uses the right number of words in proper sentences before time is up, they get a point.
Each round is played the same, but uses a different list of 10 vocabulary words.
Vocabulary Scavenger Hunt
Use your vocabulary list as a scavenger hunt list. Head out on a walk around school or your town and try to find examples of each vocabulary word as you walk. If you find all the items on the list, you win.
Play With Words
This vocabulary list may only get you through a few weeks of vocabulary lessons in third grade depending on how many words you explore in a week. Continue building your 3rd grader’s vocabulary with 3rd grade high frequency words or fun vocabulary group games.