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Effective 3rd Grade Phonics Worksheets

I’m so excited to share these 3rd grade phonics worksheets with you because phonics is still important in upper elementary! As students make their way to the upper grade of elementary, we normally expect them to know all of the phonics patterns.  They’ve been around the sun a few times and have surely received direct and explicit instruction, with plenty of time to apply their skills.  Though that would be ideal, we know that the truth is that’s not always the case – and this is okay!  Students come to us all at different points, and there are no rules for this.  It’s our job as teachers to meet students where they’re at, regardless of what grade we teach.  And when they come to us lacking the decoding skills they should have, it normally lies in decoding multiple syllable words.  Students who struggle with this need to focus on decoding big words.  Don’t you just wish there were some printable worksheets you could just use to grab and go?  There are!  My 3rd grade phonics worksheets are the perfect resource that will help your third graders with decoding new words that are longer in length.  Additionally, I’ll also give you some free phonics worksheets at the end that you can use today!

The Six Syllable Types

Before we dive into these 3rd grade phonics worksheets, let’s chat a bit about how we can help our readers decode bigger words.  When we separate larger words into more manageable parts, students find more success.  If we don’t work on separating longer words into syllables, students really just end up guessing at the word, and we don’t want that!  Let’s go over the six types of syllables we find in our language.

1. Closed Syllables – these syllables end in a consonant and the vowel sound is normally short (examples: basket, ribbon, etc.).  This is the most common syllable type.

2. Open Syllables – these syllables end in a vowel and the vowel sound is normally long (examples: baker, relax, etc.)

3. Vowel-Silent e Syllables (yep those tricky silent letters haven’t escaped us this time, either!) – these syllables normally contain long vowel sounds (impede, tadpole, etc.)

4.  Vowel Team Syllables – these syllables contain vowel teams like ai ay, ea, ee, oa, ow, oo, oi, oy, ou, ie, and ei.  When we see these words, we need to keep in mind that these vowel teams will always be together in the same syllable:  (float, feet, employ, toaster,, etc.)

5.  R-Controlled Syllables – these syllables contain an r-controlled vowel.  As with the vowel team syllables, they also appear in the same syllable (harper, skirt, absurd, etc.)

6.  Consonant + le – These syllables normally appear at the end of the word and is after a consonant.  This consonant + le are the final syllable (stable, uncle, waffle, etc.)

3rd Grade Phonics Worksheets

My 3rd grade phonics worksheets are such an easy resource that help your students focus on decoding bigger words.  Each fun worksheet after fun worksheet will aid them in becoming the readers that we know they can be!  Check out what I love most about my 3rd grade phonics worksheets (that can actually be used in 1st grade, 2nd grade, and 4th grade, too).

3rd Grade Syllables Phonics Reading Passages

Why is it that syllable worksheets can be hard to come by?  I firmly believe in the importance of learning syllables and why they matter, so that’s why I created these syllable-focused review passages.  They are an effective way to gain that syllable practice with those 3rd graders who need it most.

  • These passages are specifically and carefully designed so your students can focus on decoding bigger words.
  • Students are exposed to the same type of syllables multiple times in each reading.  That means they get direct, focused instruction on the syllable type they’re practicing.
  • All six syllable types and their passages are included in this resource!
  • Students will read and then re-read passages. This means that these student worksheets are a great way to build upon fluency and confidence. 
  • After, students will then find specific words that contain the word parts of the specific syllable type they’re focusing on.
  • Finally, students will use their knowledge of the passage to answer comprehension questions!
  • Because these passages are packed with syllable practice, your students will brush up on their word analysis skills with each fun worksheet.
  • These 3rd grade phonics worksheets include 30 reading passages focusing on the six types of syllables, so you can be sure to find one that’s perfect for your students.
  • As students make their way through these third grade reading passages, they won’t only be focusing on syllable types, but also decoding words in contexts, learning new sight words, and dividing bigger, unfamiliar words into syllables in order to make them easier to read.
  • These 3rd grade phonics worksheets are perfect for extra practice!

Want to learn more about this resources?  Check out my blog post 3 Ways to Use Syllables Worksheets for 3rd-5th Grade!

Need these for lower elementary as well, as an easy way to differentiate for your readers? Read this Syllables Worksheets for Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd Grade blog post!

Free Phonics Worksheets for 2nd-5th Grade

You know I always love to give you free resources!  If you’re interested in these awesome phonics activities but aren’t quite sure yet, try them out for free here to see what all the fuss is about. You’ll get to try out some of these 3rd grade phonics worksheets before buying!

Looking for more resources that follow the same format?  Check out these other amazing resources below and why you’re going to want them for your lesson plans.

2nd Grade & 3rd Grade Phonics Focused Review Reading Passages

While it’s great to get some free worksheets here and there, we all want resources that pack a big punch.  These phonics focused review passages do just that, and they’re perfect for the end of the year 2nd graders or beginning of the year 3rd graders.  When you have that kind of flexibility with phonics skills, you know it’s a 3rd grade phonics worksheets resource that’s worth it!

  • These 3rd grade phonics worksheets (and end of year 2nd grade) come with 15 decodable review reading passages that cover phonics patterns that pertain to that grade level.
  • Students will practice decoding words in context and then identify words that focus on that specific phonics skill.
  • Confidence will soar as they work on reviewing previously-taught literacy skills.
  • These are versatile, which means they’re perfect for small group, whole group, independent activities, and take-home work.
  • Students will focus on comprehension by answering questions about the passages at the end.
  • Whether students are focusing on r-controlled vowels or short vowels, you’re promised to find a grade-level phonics skill that’s right for you.

3rd Grade & 4th Grade Phonics Focused Review Reading Passages

It’s always my goal to provide you with quality resources.  And I firmly believe that this can only be done when we provide teachers with a wide range of grade-level options and phonics skills.  This is why I’ve also created phonics focused passages for end of the year 3rd graders and beginning of the year 4th graders.  As we all know in education, we have a wide range of students and some of us either teach more than one grade level or often get moved around.  By providing teachers with a variety of grade level phonics work, I know that each of your needs is met and that I’m providing you with more useful practice than just giving one set for one grade level.

  • Much like above, these 3rd grade phonics worksheets provide students with comprehension questions, passages that pertain to phonics skills specific to their level, and the confidence that readers (no matter what grade level) need to feel good about themselves and to see themselves as readers.
  • These printable phonics worksheets make prepping for your class smoother and easier.
  • Through these passages, it’s my hope that students will also grow their word knowledge as they decode bigger words.

We know that focus on syllables can be difficult, and it can be hard to find quality resources.  It’s my hope that you find these syllable passages (and phonics ones too!) fit right into your 3rd grade lesson plans and provide your older students with the practice that they need to decode big words!

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Aylin Claahsen

Providing resources and support to engage all readers.

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Hi, I'm Aylin!

I’m so happy you’re here! I’m a certified reading specialist who loves talking all things literacy. I have a huge passion for providing resources and support to engage all readers!


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