Some common words found on third-grade spelling lists include "able," "often," "spelling," "street" and "picture." These words belong to a list of around 850 words that constitute 80 percent of the vocabulary elementary-age children use in their writing.
Many of the words found on the average third-grade spelling list are sight words, which are the most frequently used words in the English language. Sight words are taught to be recognized by sight rather than comprehension, and learning them helps children read faster and more confidently during their elementary education.
Fifty percent of all reading text is made up of approximately the same 100 sight words. By teaching these words to children early, teachers and parents ease young readers into the habit of reading so that more difficult words are teachable later on. The concept of sight words was created by educator E. W. Dolch in 1936 and is still used in schools to help children learn to read. Most third-grade lists of sight words include 41 words that appeared on Dolch's original list.
With regular practice from an early age, children can learn these basic spelling words and build the reading skills that are crucial to academic success later in life.