3rd Grade Vocabulary Words

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

In this lesson, we will learn some of the academic vocabulary words that are necessary for students to understand in a third grade English class. These words support both reading and writing skills.

Text Features and Grammar Conventions

Why is academic vocabulary important? Students in a third grade English class will need to understand certain text features and grammar conventions as they begin to delve more deeply into text analysis and writing. Understanding the following terms will help the third grader better understand the third grade curriculum.


Understanding the following terms will help third grade students be more successful in English class.

  • Abbreviation is a shortened form of a word. For example, Dr. is an abbreviation for the word doctor. In the sentence, 'My dad is 6 ft. tall,' 'ft.' is the abbreviation for the word 'feet.'
  • Antonym is a word that means the opposite of another word. For example, 'stop' is the antonym for 'go.' What would be the antonym for 'messy? The correct answer would be 'clean.'
  • Apostrophe is a punctuation mark ('). Apostrophes are used to indicate the missing letter in a contraction. For example, the contraction for 'do not' is 'don't.' The apostrophe marks the location of the missing 'o.' Apostrophes are also used to indicate possessive nouns. For example, 'That is Tara's coat.' The apostrophe before the 's' indicates that the coat belongs to Tara.
  • Caption is the words under a picture that describe its importance. Pictures with captions are frequently seen in textbooks. The picture below of John F. Kennedy has a caption that tells you who he was.

John F. Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States.

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