11 Free 3rd Grade Reading Fluency Passages

Building reading fluency is essential for any child’s education. Children who can read with accuracy, efficiency, and expression will have an easier time comprehending what they read because they won’t get stuck sounding out words.

Improving fluency takes practice. Encourage your child or students to do repeated readings and watch their reading become stronger and faster with 3rd grade reading fluency passages.

If you’re looking for fun stories that will encourage and engage your students, you’re in the right place! Keep reading to discover these enjoyable passages.

How Many Words Should My 3rd-Grader Be Able to Read?

3rd graders should be able to read at a pace of 77 words per minute to be considered on grade level. By the end of the year, these early readers should be able to have built up to reading about 120 words per minute. Fluency practice allows students to read smoothly and improve reading comprehension.

Reading Fluency Passages For 3rd Grade – Top 11 Picks

We’ve rounded up 11 free 3rd grade reading fluency passages to give to your child or students to improve their reading fluency. These independent reading fluency worksheets are designed to increase 3rd-grade reading fluency by introducing sight words and including comprehension questions at the end to test the child’s understanding of the passage.

1. Outer Space

outer space picture

Build the reading fluency and comprehension of your 3rd graders with this delightful passage about our space, solar system, and our natural world.

This reading fluency passage has five included comprehension questions at the end to check your 3rd-grade reader’s understanding of the text. It also includes a monitoring question to gauge your student’s interest in the topic and foster curiosity about outer space. More advanced readers will love the number of scientific facts in this piece

2. The Monster in the Barn

barn in a farm

All your students will love this passage about a young boy who hears a suspicious noise coming from his father’s barn. This passage is designed to increase the reading rate and test your student’s ability to capture dialogue, especially when reading out loud.

Consider administering this fluency passage orally to test your student’s oral fluency and then use the five comprehension questions at the end to gauge your third graders’ understanding of the reading passage.

3. Hoppin’ John

3rd grader student with book smiling

This third-grade reading fluency passage is a creative choice as it uses a down-south recipe. 3rd-grade readers should be adept at reading various texts and genres, including nonfiction and fiction reading passages.

This fluency worksheet is sure to engage even the most reluctant readers. Use the connections piece to engage your students, foster a love of reading, and learn more about them.

4. The Butterfly

butterfly on a flower

This poem is short but still an appropriate fluency passage for third-grade readers. Advanced readers will love this reading fluency passage to analyze and read between the lines. It’s also a great choice to work on sight words.

The short format makes it an ideal reading fluency passage for improving reading rates over the school year. You can also incorporate this reading fluency passage as a choral reading assignment because it’s not too long.

5. Types of Teeth

This passage might look intimidating, but it’s appropriate for third-grade readers. This reading fluency worksheet is all about our different types of teeth and their uses and would be useful alongside a science lesson. It’s also helpful to introduce nonfiction passages to your young readers.

While it might not be the most interesting piece, it does a great job of presenting the information in a digestible format for your third graders.

6. Are You Ready, Sam?

All the students will love this passage about fourth-grader Sam giving an oral presentation to his class. This reading fluency passage includes a good bit of dialogue appropriate for testing your third grader’s expressive reading skills.

Test your third graders with the included comprehension questions included with this fluency worksheet, which includes a confidence scale so you can assess how sure your third grader is of their answers. Make connections with the open-ended questions at the end and engage your entire class with this passage and other books for 3rd graders.

7. Thomas Edison

This fluency passage for third graders is a great introduction to a history lesson or President’s Day celebration. It’s a true story of Thomas Edison and takes the most interesting pieces of information from his life and puts them into a format that’s digestible enough for your third-grade readers.

While it’s hardly historical fiction, it does introduce your readers to a different time period and will be an appropriate choice for preparing them for 4th grade reading passages. Encourage students to create a timeline of Thomas Edison’s life based on what they have read and let them get creative with this fluency passage.

8. Lady and the Garden Hose

This playful animal fluency activity is great for improving the reading fluency of your third graders. Get fluency practice while improving comprehension, retention, and expression while reading a fantastic story.

The included comprehension questions test sight-reading skills and your third grader’s ability to digest the information. Make connections at the end and engage your entire classroom afterward with this reading fluency activity.

9. Jackson’s Day

This reading fluency passage is also about animals! Appropriate for third-grade students and more advanced readers, too, this passage uses higher-level vocabulary in a digestible format so your young readers can begin to work on their context clues skills.

There are many sight words included, too– this reading fluency passage would be a great choice for partner reading. Consider tying it into an art lesson or other 3rd grade poems and ask your students to draw their favorite pet or share their favorite animal poem after reading this fluency passage.

10. Let’s Bake Sugar Cookies

This sweet reading passage is great for third-grade reading fluency practice. It’s a short recipe that quickly overviews the history of sugar cookies. You can even bring in some sweet treats for your kids to try after the lesson! All the students will love this fluency worksheet and comprehension questions at the end.

It’s also a great way to introduce math fluency through the recipe format. In fourth grade and middle school, many math questions are in word problem form, and this is a great fluency passage to introduce this idea to your students.

11. Piano Lessons

In this fluency worksheet, a young girl begins piano lessons. It’s a classic tale of responsibility and work ethic with a great lesson.

This fluency passage is great for the end of the school year when your students have the stamina for long reading passages and big blocks of text. This comprehension package will do a great job of preparing students for longer 4th-grade books and the award-winning novels they’ll encounter next year.

Final Thoughts

Improving third-grade reading fluency is easier when your students enjoy the passages they are reading. No one likes to read boring stories. But sometimes it can be hard to find quality, enjoyable reading that will keep your students motivated and engaged, and you don’t have time to read every story!

From summer camp tales to sideways stories, these eleven free third-grade reading fluency resources truly include something for every student. Improve their reading rate with these independent reading assignments and watch their reading improve over the course of the school year.

Last Updated on May 13, 2022 by Emily

Emily/ author of the article

Emily is an active mother of two and a dedicated elementary school teacher. She believes the latest technology has made a huge impact on the quality of early learning and has worked hard to upgrade her classroom and her own children’s learning experience through technology.
She created this blog to make it easier for other teachers to take advantage of some of the best devices out there to upgrade their classrooms without having to do the research themselves. She loves to hear your tech-based problems and share her extensive experience :)

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