By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, at the high end of the grades 2–3 text complexity band independently and proficiently.


The writers of the CCSS collaborated with the Council of Chief State School Officers in hosting a one-hour webinar "The Common Core State Standards Supporting Districts and Teachers with Text Complexity" to share tools and resources to support teachers and districts with understanding and addressing text complexity

  • Stories
  • Poetry
  • Drama

  • By the end of third grade students should be able to independently read and comprehend adventures stories, folktales, fables, realistic fiction, and myths at the higher end of the grades 3 text complexity band. These maturing readers can interpret narrative poems, limericks, and free verse and read and present dramas within the grade 3 text complexity band.
  • Students who understand the purpose for reading a specific text are able to focus their attention appropriately as they read this more complex text.
  • Reading stories, poems, and dramas independently provide students opportunities to practice decoding and sight word skills, gain reading confidence, and build vocabulary.
  • Engaging in rich, structured conversations with adults in response to texts read within the grade 3 complexity band provides students opportunities to respond to increasingly complex text.
  • Reading and responding to adventures stories, folktales, fables, realistic fiction, and myths provide students with opportunities to practice reading-related thinking skills such as finding similarities and differences, questioning the text and the author, analyzing characters, making inferences, and synthesizing/summarizing what is read.
  • Students must have the academic vocabulary necessary to understand text they read or listen to as well as engage in rich conversations about that text. Students who have acquired grade level vocabulary and have mastered, and can employ, basic grade level phonics skills are able to handle more complex text.
  • Students in grades 2-3 are able to tackle books in the lexile range of 450-790 and benefit from classroom libraries with books within that range.
  • Students who are able to successfully read text at the higher end of their grade level complexity band are prepared to handle the demands of increasingly sophisticated and dense texts as they move into higher grades and into different content subjects
  • Reading a broad range of high-quality literary texts, both prose and poetry, exposes students to text structures and elements that are applicable to all types of text.
  • Reading from a wide and varied range of stories, poems, and drama builds background knowledge that supports reading in content areas such as social studies, art, science, and mathematics.

what's this
  • How can teachers determine text complexity for students in grade 3? (Refer to the following website for a brief description of three factors used in measuring text complexity. For more detailed information on text complexity and how it is measured, refer to Appendix A of the Common Core Standards.)
  • How do teachers make informed decisions about choosing appropriate informational texts for students to read at the grade 3 complexity band? What resources are available to help teachers choose appropriate informational texts for third graders? (Refer to the following website for a list of sample texts representative of a wide range of topics and genres. See also Common Core Standards Appendix B for excerpts of these and other texts illustrative of K–5 text complexity, quality, and range.)
  • How can children be supported to read increasingly more complex texts at the grade 3 level?
  • What balance of story, drama, and poetry texts are appropriate for the classroom library?
  • What are current best practices in teaching reading comprehension?
  • What level of academic vocabulary development must students acquire in order to be able to read books of increasing complexity within the grade 3 complexity band?

Go to RL.2.10 to see skills mastered prior to this.