New K-8 Reading Passages

Here’s a selection of our favorite new non-fiction and literary K-8 reading comprehension passages. All passages are Lexile leveled and authentic.

Each one is paired with an intentionally crafted and research-based question set that:

  • Provides scaffolding to build student comprehension of the main idea or theme, and enables students to make complex inferences
  • Requires close reading of evidence in the text
  • Models the questions that good readers should be asking themselves as they read
  • Aligns to Common Core and state standards

Let us know what you think.


Danisha Sees a Cricket
I Need Quiet!
Stuck in the Snow
The Story of a Snowflake
Ticktock, Meet this Clock

1st Grade

A Clean Drink of Water
Save My Cat!
Too Much Rain
What Plants Need
Which Shopping Bag is Best?

2nd Grade

The Grey Sheep
The Paper Airplane Contest
The Perfect Sandcastle

3rd Grade

The Disappearing Room
How to Have an Adventure
The Pool
Summer Vacation

4th Grade

The Farmer, the Snake, and the Eggs and Bacon
The Surfer Girl
Running Like a Pro
Up in the Air

5th Grade

The Mermaid of Kona, Hawaii
I Break Stuff for a Living
Preparing for a Disaster
Weekend at Sawyer Farm
From City to Farm
Keep Looking

6th Grade

The Penny Experiment
Lightning and Fire
It Would Be Hard to Smile at a Smilodon
The Inside Scoop
What is Heat?
The Problem Solvers
The Palmer Homestead

7th Grade

Saucy by Nature
Mapping the West: The Journey of Lewis and Clark
Heat, Energy, and Bicycling in New York City
Will Human Life on Earth Come to an End
Finding Salinger
New York Buildings "Going Green"
Profile of an Actor

8th Grade

Fewer Americans are Now Going to Prisons, Highlighting a Shift in U.S. Policy
The Great Barrier Reef
"Seven Minutes of Terror," Eight Years of Ingenuity
The Cooling from the Warmth of Nature
Tag! You're Hit!
Traveling to Thailand
Crashing, Jumping, Falling
Dropping the Ball

"I spent most of my summer learning how to be better with the Common Core. I was so happy to see how these new passages are so beautifully aligned with the Common Core, and how the questions have changed to help students show evidence from what they are reading and understanding. Thank you so much!"

– Teacher, New York City

"The new reading passages are fantastic. The questions align perfectly to the Common Core. These passages will provide my students ample opportunity to practice a variety of skills. I'm looking forward to the others you are preparing for this site. Thank you."

– 3rd Grade Teacher, New York

"Thank you so much for this wonderful resource! I love that I can pull up passages and questions to use not only during my reading lessons, but also passages that match the content I teach in science."

– 5th Grade Teacher, Connecticut