Reading Material for Third Grade

I have been using the Jakob Streit books to introduce variations of Old Testament stories. I am working through And There Was Light. I am planning to use Journey to the Promised Land and We Will Build a Temple for Language Arts blocks after the holidays. 

Since I last wrote, I am wondering if it is better to use And It Came to Pass to have my daughter practice reading and do a picture and story summary based on those stories rather than me telling a story from the Jakob Streit books. I don't know how And It Came to Pass compares to the reading level in The Secret Pet as per the next paragraph. I am not familiar with And It Came to Pass and would love your input?

After reading Set 1 from Shelley Davidow, I had my daughter start the books I borrowed from the Rudolf Steiner College Canada. She was able to get through Lazy Jack; however, Sylvain and Jocasa was too hard for her. So, we switched to The Secret Pet chapter book by Shelley Davidow. It is going much better as my daughter uses what was taught in Set 1. My daughter is able to read with a few challenges; however, is gaining confidence and building her decoding skills. 

I'd like to weigh in on your question about whether to have your daughter read or listen to Old Testament stories in third grade. It is a good one, and it can be approached from two angles: 1) academic; and 2) developmental.

Academic

Based on your description, your daughter is probably at the beginning of the Pattern Phase. (You would need to assess to confirm.) If so, her reading should be to practice basic skills (i.e., decoding and sight word skills), not to learn new academic content. If she is reading Davidow's The Secret Pet, she should continue books at that level with an emphasis on improving her basic skills. It is only when she cracks the code that you can expect her to read academic material and work with it. Again, this would argue for telling Old Testament stories as you have been doing.

Developmental

Steiner intended the Old Testament stories to be told by the class teacher. They are part of his storytelling curriculum. He was very clear that these stories could not simply be read–they were to be told as stories. Therefore, I would continue to tell the stories, as you had been doing. 

However, Steiner did have a caveat that some Old Testament stories could be read by the students after the teacher has told them. If you wanted to try it as an experiment, it might be worth your while. However, it would need to be in addition to (not instead of) having the student read The Secret Pet and other leveled booksOtherwise, it would slow down her progress in reading.

Good luck!

About the Author Jennifer Militzer-Kopperl

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