Friday, April 13, 2012

Free Stories & Thoughts on Grade 3

A reader had written to me asking what Grade 3 stories we were doing and so I am attempting to find some free stories that pertain to this year which have been helpful for us.  I am not someone who does well reading online, so I usually purchase the books (used if possible - borrowed from the library is best), but I have found that many of the fables or snippets from folktales or fairytales have been perfect from these free online sites.  The best one pertaining to stories used in Waldorf homes is from

So far, what we've found is that Grade 3 centers so much on the 9 year change (and I am beginning to experience it now with one of my twins, just as they turned 9 a month or so ago).  So the Bible stories from the Old Testament are key and most of the time, can be woven in nicely into the other subjects.  So much else of Grade 3 - with measurements of every sort seems to put us outside the 'traditional' classroom: experimenting with grains, farming, gardening, constructing basic dwellings, weaving together, baking, etc.  It's just a really fun year!

As usual, we are going through and reading lots of books together.  I will link a few of the ones we've like the best below:

Hurlbut's Story of the Bible 

The Red Indian Fairy Book (a nice tie-in to Native dwellings)

The Wind in the Willows (found Toad to be a great 9 year change character for children to relate to - he means well, but has bouts of selfishness where he is concerned with his own ego and takes to fibbing when it serves him well.  He is left feeling very much alone, though his friends continue to flock to his aid.)

The Secret Garden (this is a WONDERFUL book about a little girl who begins alone, hardened and cast out of her home due to circumstances.  She comes to live with her uncle in England and blossoms through the promise of the Secret Garden.  It is leading us into our gardening block now.)

The Jungle Book (works well for basic dwelling and survival skills.)

here is the Grade 3 list from
here is a link to Project Gutenberg who offers free quality books online

In Grade 3, you can also tackle cursive, turn your handwork into weaving projects that are practical and useful in everyday life (pot holders, place mats, purses or sacks for boys to carry things in, maybe even a book bag for those library trips), money, telling time, and we started spelling this year, too!

Some of the books we have read or are set to read (aside from Wind in the Willows and Secret Garden) are the following:

The Cat Who Went to Heaven
Mr. Popper's Penguins
Farmer Boy and the Little House Series
The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking
The Dragon of Two Hearts (from the Dragon Boy series)
Patter~Paws the Fox and Other Stories
Trumpets of Happiness and Other Stories

There is a wonderful post (one of many) on Carrie's blog The Parenting Passageway and she posted an extensive reading list here.  Her blog is a wealth of knowledge that transcends across the board - not just to the waldorf circle!

This isn't nearly as much as I would like to share, but I hope it helps stir your thoughts just a bit as you plan out your 3rd Grade year.  I always find myself getting antsy to start that planning in the spring for the next grade, forgetting that we still have lots of time left until the year's end!


  1. Thanks so much! I agree with you that springtime is a great time to start thinking about next year. Even though we might not be sure where we'll end up at the end of THIS school year, we can always tweak things a bit as we get closer to summer.

  2. I just took the Wind in the Willows from the library. They had such a beautiful copy. I just had to have it. But I see it might be better for third. I am thinking to do Robin Hood or King Arthur in place of the King of Ireland at the moment, though I am still not certain. I wonder if the are sort of even exchanges - legends set in medieval times or before, pretty much.

  3. Hi Mama Goose! Wind in the Willows is great for 3rd grade. It is a long and very wordy story (beautifully written, but extremely detailed). I had tried it with the girls when they were younger and it didn't hold their interest, so we shelved it until this year and they loved it! And yes, Robin Hood and King Arthur are great legends, particularly for Grade 2 :) and yes, you could totally swap either or both for the King of Ireland. I have a favorite version of King Arthur (will get you the title in a minute) that is hard to find, but it is great for younger listeners of the stories. My hubby was a history major, so my girls have grown up with him verbally telling stories of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight through Odysseus and Paris and Achilles. At older ages, we will read the legendary books as their authors penned them, but for now, this is precious time for my husband to share his storytelling gifts with them. Always listen to your gut. You know your children and where they are and what they are ready for :) IMHO, that supersedes everything else.

  4. MamaGoose, the King Arthur book is called, "Knights of hte Grail" by Linda Proud. It is a British publication so harder to find in the US, but there are some used copies available through amazon and alibris currently :) We loved this book, though - short chapters which make for great bedtime reading and my girls would keep asking for 'one more chapter' - we all enjoyed it very much :) HTH!

  5. Dear Jen,

    Thanks so much for your input, and for taking the time to look up that book. I have been going through some different King Arthur books over the months, some of which I liked, and some not as much. Same thing with some Robin Hood stories. I found one a few years back that I really liked, and am going to have to search for again. We have SO much 2nd grade stuff to finish! :-)
    thanks again!

  6. Thanks for the list. I hadn't thought about Wind in the Willows for next year, but yes, perfect timing on that one!