ReadWorks

All passages are authentic and leveled and each is paired with a Common Core-aligned question set based on the highest quality research.

ReadWorks encourages teachers to choose texts based on their students’ reading levels. Often times, texts in grades above or below grade level could be appropriate for your students.

 

KINDERGARTEN [top]

 “Traffic Lights”
Social Studies
Illustrates how to identify the lights in a traffic light and safely cross the street, includes a poem
Lexile: 300

“Getting Water From a Well”
Social Studies
Describes how people in earlier times got water from wells to use for cooking and cleaning
Lexile: 350

"Bright as the Sun"
Life Science
Presents some characteristics of sunflowers including how they need water and light to live and grow
Lexile: 310

“A Big Push”
Physical Science
Illustrates how a bigger push from a bigger kid makes a sled go faster than a smaller push from a smaller kid
Lexile: 320

“How to Ride a Skateboard”
Physical Science
Illustrates how to ride a skateboard- shows that a small push will make you go slowly and a big push will make you go faster
Lexile: 290

“Paddle a Canoe”
Physical Science
Illustrates how to paddle a canoe and shows that pushing the blade of a paddle will make the boat move forward, and pushing the blade with a bigger push will make the boat go faster
Lexile: 320

"Stop the Rock!"
Physical Science
A fictional story in which a fox knocks into a rock to start it rolling down a hill and how a badger was able to stop the motion of the rock
Lexile: 230

“Stuck in the Snow”
Physical Science
A family trying to get a stuck car out of the snow with different amounts of strength to illustrate that a bigger push makes things go faster
Lexile: 70

“A Cool Pool”
Earth & Space Science
Tells a story about a girl's experience with her pool's temperature going from cold to warm because sunlight warms the Earth’s surface
Lexile: 110

"The Story of a Snowflake"
Earth & Space Science
Illustrates the formation of snowflakes
Lexile: 310

 

1ST GRADE [top]

“Callie Learns to Listen”
Social Studies
A girl learns to be a good listener and to have respect for the rules by which we live
Lexile: 380

“A Smelly Skunk”
Life Science
Demonstrates a dog's response to a skunk on a walk with his owner
Lexile: 270

“A Class of Twins”
Life Science
Shows how the kids in a class are recognizable as similar, but also vary in many ways
Lexile: 390

“Kerry Kangaroo Hops”
Life Science
Explains a young kangaroo's first time hopping and the mother keeping a close eye—shows how parents and their offspring engage in behaviors to help the offspring survive
Lexile: 330

“An Owl is a Bird”
Life Science
Explains how an owl uses different body parts to find and take in food
Lexile: 380

“Learning About Your World”
Life Science
Explains how body parts can capture and convey different kinds of information by listing the five senses
Lexile: 290

“Maria Makes a Snake”
Physical Science
A boy and a girl make shadows with flashlights to show how hands can block all the light and create a dark shadow on any surface beyond them, where the light cannot reach
Lexile: 380

“Too Much Rain”
Earth & Space Science
A description of the causes and effects of floods
Lexile: 480

“A Day for Fishing”
Earth & Space Science
A story about a day of fishing and the sunrise and sunset a girl and her father observe and describe
Lexile: 290

“Henry's Homework Folder”
Science
A boy solves the problem of forgetting his homework folder—showing that a situation that people want to change can be approached as a problem to be solved
Lexile: 520

2ND GRADE [top]

“Mommy Bird Feeds Her Chicks”
Life Science
Describes how a mother bird hunts for prey and feeds her baby chicks to ensure their survival
Lexile:  640

“Clara and Phillip the Turtle”
Life Science
Clara nurses Phillip the turtle back to health by providing food, water and a clean space to live
Lexile: 760

“Mr. Whiskers’ Whiskers”
Life Science
A mother explains some characteristics of cats and how those characteristics help them grow and survive
Lexile: 490

“Shoot and Score”
Physical Science
An older sister teaches her younger sister how she can control the motion of a soccer ball
Lexile: 570

“How Rocks are Like Dessert”
Earth & Space Science
A young girl learns how patterns in rocks are formed through both a visit to her school library and a tiramisu demonstration by her pastry-chef father
Lexile: 610

“Tea with Grandma”
Technology & Engineering
A narrative about the love between a boy and his grandmother, and how they use different communication devices to connect between Texas and India
Lexile: 600

“Painting a Bus”
Science
An account of two sisters and their friends brainstorming and collaborating on the best solutions for the transformation of a refrigerator box
Lexile: 380

“Sister Problems”
Science
A story about an older sister helping to resolve a fight by first gathering all the information and then helping her younger sisters come to a solution
Lexile: 420

“Playtime in the Snow”
Science
A boy and his mom figure out ways to plays on the slide through changing seasons
Lexile: 670

“Too Much Chocolate”
Original Fiction
Lexile: 390

“Learning New Things”
Original Fiction
Lexile: 520

“Making Piano Fun”
Original Fiction
Lexile: 560

“Bobby Gets a Doggy”
Original Fiction
Lexile: 760

3RD GRADE [top]

“Oral Histories”
Original Reporting
Provides insight to the uses, benefits, and influences of recording oral history
Lexile: 900

“Portrait of an Artist”
Original Reporting
An interview with a New York artist reveals both the joy and the challenges of living an artist's lifestyle
Lexile:  720

“The Campanile”
Original Reporting
Highlights the features and history of the Campanile (aka Sather Tower), a bell tower, in Berkeley, California
Lexile: 910

“The First Greenmarket in NYC”
Original Reporting
Outlines Barry Benepe’s ideas and actions that led to the creation and success of the first Greenmarket in NYC
Lexile: 750

“Moosewood Restaurant”
Original Reporting
Presents the background and method behind the Moosewood Collective and their restaurant
Lexile: 850

“Lessons from Fishing”
Original Reporting
Highlights how fishing has been the lifelong hobby of a teenager named Morgan and how fishing has shaped his perspective on life
Lexile: 780

“A Bit about Buttons”
Original Reporting
The passage describes the history of buttons and shares many little known facts about them
Lexile: 860

“Computers vs. Books”
Social Studies
Compares and contrasts the approaches to a school project between a student and her parents
Lexile: 660

“Haboob!”
Earth & Space Science
Describes the haboob, a severe type of dust storm
Lexile:  770

“Learning on the Soccer Field”
Original Fiction
Lexile: 760

“Amra and the Skateboard”
Original Fiction
Lexile: 820

“Apple the Cat Calls a Meeting to Order”
Original Fiction
Lexile: 710

“Surprise Message”
Original Fiction
Lexile: 750

“Reggie the Reader”
Original Fiction
Lexile: 850

“Magic Tomatoes”
Original Fiction
Lexile: 850

4TH GRADE [top]

“Reaching for the Sky: A History of Great Buildings”
World History
How different buildings were built to meet different needs in societies across the world—looks at the construction of the Egyptian pyramids, Mayan pyramids, and European Gothic churches
Lexile: 990

“Oxen”
Social Studies
Explains different modes of transportation in Cambodia comparing cars, oxen and motor scooters—shows how transportation for Cambodians has both changed over time and stayed the same
Lexile: 950

“Mother Cats and their Kittens”
Life Science
The behaviors a mother cats and her offspring engage in to help the kittens survive
Lexile: 1060

"Pythons Invade the Florida Everglades"
Life Science and Earth Science
How the characteristics of the Florida Everglades have varied over time, especially the introduction of the Burmese Python and how that has caused a disruption to the ecosystem
Lexile: 940

“Shoot it Harder, Shoot it Softer”
Physical Science
Displays how a bigger push or pull makes things go faster using the examples of a basketball arcade game and an air hockey game
Lexile: 830

“Lizzie Escapes”
Original Fiction
Lexile: 650

“An Unexpected Trip”
Original Fiction
Lexile: 690

“Open House”
Original Fiction
Lexile: 560

“Remember to Call!”
Original Fiction
Lexile: 600

“The Bird”
Original Fiction
Lexile: 810

5TH GRADE [top]

“A New Letter for the Alphabet”
Original Reporting
Spotlights a man's determination to add the schwa into the English alphabet, looks at his reasoning and his efforts
Lexile: 1040

“Homemade”
Original Reporting
Highlights the daily life and honed home economics skills of a stay-at-home dad who freelances as a photographer
Lexile: 1060

“The Process of Acting”
Original Reporting
Describes the typical life of a theater actor including how to try out for and prepare for roles by telling the story of an actress named Becky Baumwoll
Lexile: 940

“The World’s First Modern Shopping Mall”
Original Reporting
Offers a description of the first enclosed shopping mall and the attractions it offered when it opened in Minnesota in 1956
Lexile: 910

“Adventure on a Hot Air Balloon”
Physical Science
A story of a man losing and regaining control of his hot air balloon that illustrates how pressure, weight, and the interaction of different gasses affect the flight of a hot air balloon
Lexile: 950

“The Phonograph”
Original Fiction
Lexile: 980

“Sherry's Game”
Original Fiction
Lexile: 900

“Unexpected Fortune”
Original Fiction
Lexile: 590

6TH GRADE [top]

“A Monument for Peace”
U.S. History
Details the history behind the Battle of Nashville monument in Tennessee—a national landmark that exemplifies the cherished ideal of peace and honors those who died in the Civil War, regardless of which side they fought for
Lexile: 870

“The Roman Name Game”
World History
Explores the legend of Romulus and Remus founding Ancient Rome, includes a discussion of the history and origin of the legend
Lexile: 1240

“Never Too Late”
Original Reporting
Looks into the causes and effects of adult illiteracy for individuals and society in the US today and looks into how some programs are working to help improve the problem
Lexile: 1020

“Grade Six in Edmonton”
Original Reporting
Presents the school environment, typical traits and thought processes of sixth graders in Edmonton, Canada as they experiment with their sense of identity
Lexile: 1030

“The Film Editor”
Original Reporting
Illustrates the film editor's role in filmmaking through an interview with a Brooklyn film editor
Lexile: 790

“True Life - I’m a Teacher”
Original Reporting
Presents the responsibilities and workload of a teacher by looking at the daily schedule of a 2nd grade teacher
Lexile: 1050

“All the Pieces Matter”
Life Science and Earth Science
This fictional story of a boy coming to understand his local wildlife reserve describes how an ecosystem functions, varies over time, and how a disruption to any physical or biological component can lead to shifts in all its populations
Lexile: 940

“Biochar”
Earth & Space Science
Describes the history and use of biochar and demonstrates how scientists used systematic processes to evaluate the benefits of biochar for regaining post-mining soil and how they explored different solutions with respect to how well they met the criteria and constraints of their specific problem
Lexile: 1020

"Mr. Max the Math Teacher"
Original Fiction
Lexile: 985

"A Bad Robot"
Original Fiction
Lexile: 890

7TH GRADE [top]

“Saichō, Kūkai, the Matrix, and the Diamond”
Social Studies
Traces the development of two different forms of Japanese Buddhism and the influential teachers that brought them to Japan from China
Lexile: 1090

“A Club for Explorers”
Original Reporting
A look at the history of the Explorers Club and its members by highlighting a few noteworthy expeditions, including Kon-Tiki
Lexile: 1100

“Night Vision”
Original Reporting
Explains a successful raid against Al-Qaeda with a focus on how night visions goggles, and understanding heat radiation, contributed to the success of the mission
Lexile: 1010

“Who’s That Boy: Boy Actors and Other Strange Things on the Shakespearean Stage”
Original Reporting
Interesting facts about Shakespeare and his plays and how they violated authority and social norms of the time. The passage also compares theater during Shakespeare’s time with theater and entertainment today.
Lexile: 1020

“The Unknown Hall of Famer”
Original Reporting
Details the history of stickball and New York City's Stickball Hall of Famer, George "Lolin" Osorio
Lexile: 1220

“Life as a Country Girl”
Original Reporting
The passage presents the differences and challenges of modern life in a rural community through an interview with a 14 year old girl from West Virginia
Lexile: 1090

“Karate Teacher Rocks”
Original Reporting
Provides a look into the life of James Clifford as he continues his creative passion of playing in a band, while also staying grounded by teaching
Lexile: 1200

“Abraham”
Original Fiction
Lexile: 1070

“Taken by Surprise”
Original Fiction
Lexile: 970

 

8TH GRADE [top]

“Cliff Dwellers”
U.S. History
Describes the architectural features of the Cliff Palace and the history and culture of the Ancestral Pueblo people that lived there
Lexile: 1220

“When the Empire State Building was New”
U.S. History
Relying heavily on the primary source of a New York Times article from the time, this passage explores the cause and effect of building The Empire State Building during the Great Depression
Lexile: 1150

“Researchers Beginning to Better Understand False Memory Formation”
Original Reporting
Showcases an experiment where false memory was implanted into mice and explores the implications the study may have for humans
Lexile: 1270

“Books Through Bars”
Original Reporting
Highlights the efforts of an organization that donates books to prisoners across the US
Lexile: 1150

“A New Neighborhood Farmers Market”
Original Reporting
The passage details a program that brings locally produced, fresh fruits and vegetables to poverty-stricken neighborhoods
Lexile: 1200

“Changes in Biodiversity”
Life Science
The passage discusses different ecosystems, the idea of biodiversity, and food
Lexile: 1410

“The Orchid's Secret”
Life Science
Details how the varied characteristics of different types of orchids, the lengths humans have gone to find them and how they attract specific insects in order to pollinate
Lexile: 1160

“The Sounds of Baseball”
Physical Science
An explanation of how vibrations lead to the creation of sound, using a baseball game as an example
Lexile: 1150

“Mount Pinatubo and the Ring of Fire”
Earth & Space Science
An explanation of the eruption of the volcano Mount Pinatubo in 1990 and the earthquakes that preceded it, as well as a description of tectonic plates and how they created the “Ring of Fire”
Lexile: 1210

“Readiness”
Earth & Space Science
Examines the relationship of risk and potential harm from natural hazards such as earthquakes and Hurricane Sandy and how people can use these measures to make assessments about where to live and allocate resources
Lexile: 1290

“A Brave New Climate”
Earth & Space Science
The passage illustrates the responses to the effects of global warming on the change in climate, using Hurricane Sandy as an example. It details the ways in which New York and the surrounding areas were vulnerable, why they were, and offers potential changes.
Lexile: 1300

“How to Make a Better Robot”
Technology & Engineering
Details the process of designing and redesigning different robots for different functions, highlighting the iterative process of testing and modifying designs
Lexile: 1140

“The Origins of the Internet”
Technology & Engineering
Chronicles the actions by the government and the individuals involved that led to the first Internet transmission, and describes the day of transmission
Lexile: 1050

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