Most students in Waldorf Third Grade are 8 and a half or nine years old. They should be this age! The third grade curriculum is designed specifically to speak to the developmental issues surrounding the nine-year change. There are quite a few articles on this blog regarding the nine-year old if you need to look those up! If your second grader is doing “third grade academics”, so be it, but please let the fables, folktales, Native American tales be the conduit to carry these pieces until they are eight and a half or nine and then ready for those Old Testament Stories!
Here are some suggestions for Third Grade Reading; most of these are geared toward a child who is close to nine or at that nine-year-old change. The themes may be too much for children under nine, so please pre-read if your children are not yet nine! Also, please feel free to add your suggestions via the comment box below!
- Mr. Popper’s Penguins – Atwater – always a fun story to re-visit even if you have done it before! Children like repetition!
- The Wizard of Oz series – Baum (and this may be early for the whole series, my 13 year old daughter is reading the entire series now and really enjoying them; there is violence and such so pre-read!)
- Burgess – Nature Stories
- Carpenter- Tales of a Korean Grandfather
- Dahl, Roald – Matilda, etc. (This recommendation came from the “Waldorf Student Reading List” book- I personally don’t really like Roald Dahl’s work).
- Holling C Holling – The Book of Indians
- Juster – The Phantom Tollbooth (which I also like in Fourth Grade and Fifth Grade math blocks, so you might consider saving)
- Kipling – Just So Stories, The Jungle Book
- Ursula Le Guin – Catwings series
- Osborne – American Tall Tales
- Patterson – Angels, People, Rabbis and Kings from the Stories of the Jewish People
- Chief Seattle’s Brother Eagle, Sister Sky (may want to preread, I have heard this is a tear-jerker!)
- EB White – Stuart Little, Charlotte’s Web, The Trumpet of the Swan
- Isabel Wyatt- King Beetle-Tamer and Other Light-Hearted Wonder Tales, The Book of Fairy Princes
- Ella Young- Celtic Wonder Tales, The Tangle-Coated Horse
- Tove Jansson’s Moomintroll Series – either you love ‘em or hate ‘em; we love ‘em!
- Rafe Martin’s The Boy Who Lived With Seals, The Brave Little Parrot
- Meindert De Jong – The Wheel On the School (which you might consider saving for fourth grade for your Man and Animal block)
- Brian Jacques – Redwall series
- Susan Kantor’s One Hundred and One African-American Read-Alouds
- Adele Geras – My Grandmother’s Stories: A Collection of Jewish Folktales
- Elizabeth Shub – The White Stallion
- Phil Strong – Honk the Moose
- Margaret Stranger – That Quail, Robert
- Ethel Cook Eliot – The Wind Boy and others
- E. Nesbit – Five Children and It and others
- Farley Mowat – Owls in the Family – funny!
- Donald Hall – Ox Cart Man – should be part of reading in your Farming Block along with “Farmer Boy” by Laura Ingalls Wilder
- Noel Streatfield – Ballet Shoes and others
- Dorothy Canfield Fisher – Understood Betsy
- Carol Ryrie Brink – Caddie Woodlawn
- Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons series
- Astrid Lindgren – The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking – the reason we put these books around the nine-year-change is the lack of parents and Pippi as a strong individual character.
- Selma Lagerlof’s The Wonderful Adventures of Nils
- Elisa Bartone- Peppe the Lamplighter
- Elizabeth Orton Jones – Twig – If you read it before, you can go back and re-read it!
- Valerie Flournoy – Patchwork Quilt
- Lois Lenski – Strawberry Girl, Texas Tomboy, etc. I personally would hold off on these until at least fourth or fifth grade and perhaps tie them in with North American Geography for fifth grade, but up to you!
- Robert Lawson – Rabbit Hill (pre-read)
- Astrid Lindgren – Ronia the Robber’s Daughter – I also like in fourth grade to tie in with map making but could be okay for third grade reading. Pre-read and see what you think
- Alice Dalglish’s The Bears in Hemlock Mountain
- Johanna Speyri- Heidi
- Anything by George MacDonald
- Chronicles of Narnia Donna Simmons recommends for those 10 and up, but The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe might be okay for a nine-year-old. I suggest waiting on JRR Tolkien. Some children devour “The Hobbit” between the ages of 9 or 11, but my very avid 13 year old readers has started this book four times and has never gotten through it and finds the language hard to read. So, do what you think is best!
- Marguerite Henry’s horse books
- Geraldine McCaughrean’s The Crystal Pool, The Golden Hoard, The Silver Treasure
- Robert McClosky – I still love these, One Morning in Maine and the like and Homer Price and others are good for a nine-year-old.
- Jospeph Bruchac – preread! Donna Simmons recommends “Children of the Longhouse”
- Enid Blyton –
- George Seldon’s “Cricket in Times Square”
Again, please add your favorites at the bottom! And please do pre-read, you know your child best!
There is a comment below about Percy Jackson. I would not recommend these for third graders as the main characters are teens, the books are heavy on references to Roman Mythology which comes in the sixth grade curriculum in Waldorf, and there is violence. I would put that series as reading for middle schoolers.