Books and Passages

"Seven Minutes of Terror," Eight Years of Ingenuity


Grade: 8
Lexile Level: 1260L
Domain: Earth & Space Science, Technology & Engineering
Text Type: Informational
Skill/Strategy: Multi Skill/Strategy

Grade: 8
Lexile Level: 1260L
Domain: Earth & Space Science, Technology & Engineering
Text Type: Informational
Skill/Strategy: Multi Skill/Strategy



Paired Text Lesson
These texts have been paired because they share the topic of space exploration.


This Passage & Question Set, related Vocabulary materials, and Paired Text align to the following Common Core Anchor Standards:

Passage & Question Set

Vocabulary Material

Paired Text

Full Standards Descriptions

Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.

Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.

Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.

Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.

Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.

User Comments

What is StepReads?

Thanks for posting. A StepRead is a more accessible, less complex version of an authentic nonfiction or literary text. StepReads give struggling readers a rich, high-quality, less complex version of the original text without sacrificing the value or author’s craft of the original. StepReads provide a clear pathway to help struggling readers read and comprehend the original article. We encourage teachers to have students tackle the original article after reading a StepRead, whenever possible.

This website is too good. Our work has become easier. Passages are very informative and selected according to the standard of the students

I need audio files

Very good

Mind blowing! I appreciate wholeheartedly!

Excellent reading tool for my undercredited/overage 9graders. I am using the material as a diagnostic test.

Where might one find the answers to the paired-text, multiple-choice questions that follow the second article? I am unable to locate them.

The answer key for "From the Earth to Outer Space" can be found by going to its passage page. For your convenience, here's a link to it: "From the Earth to Outer Space" Passage Page

As for the "Paired Text Questions," we do not provide the answer keys for them at this point in time. As you know, we are committed to providing the highest quality, research-based content, and providing educators with more and more of it. In order to provide the most value to educators and their students, we felt it was more important to write more paired texts and the questions than writing the answers at this point in time. We wish we could do everything at once, but it will take some time. It is our intention to provide answers for the "Paired Text Questions," but we cannot give you a definitive time frame as to when this will happen.

You can read the articles and answer the questions for yourself. Many of the questions have no single correct answer as students are asked to compare/contrast the articles or write a summary of each. Other questions are simple recall activities with the answers clearly stated in the texts.

I like this one and its accompanying text particularly for its high interest and sentence complexity. Presently engaged in summer planning and assessment building. Eager to see how students might respond to analytical work where they have to draw upon both texts to speculate as to whether a manned mission to Mars by 2030 could actually materialize. Many thanks to the educators who put this fine site together and contribute. Great stuff.

Thanks! Great lesson.

This a great Comprehension skill worksheet.

Resources I am using every time. It’s just great to have them ready to be used. Thanks.

Now this is just what I needed after showing a video on "Curiosity on Mars"

i am enjoying have this information available to me to work on comprehensions with my EL students.

Thank you so much for making things much clearer and relatable.


I just need the answers for my answer key so will someone comment they please and thank you

This is an awesome resource. Thank you so much.

A very useful resource to enhance students' application in comprehension lessons. Thank you read works!

This is a wonderful resource, which aligns with the lesson I teach. It also helps me to incorporate all of the other subject areas to my subject area, which is social studies.

This story is awesome!

It is kind of you to make this resource available. It is absolutely helpful.
Thanks again and again

i like the resources this site gives

Incredibly useful information and interesting reading passages...Great resource...

The readings are interesting and the questions challenging...Great resource...

great resource

Excellent resource that keeps students on target with present day events as well as practice skills.

This is a good resource of reading passages that really helps improve that skill.

I teach incoming 9th graders and I am happy that I have signed into this Readworks. The name given is really appropriate. This topic is very good to understand what is going on in Space science.

Good article as i am teaching my kid to take Transfer Test and found it very useful

It is very interesting and useful for students to develop their reading abilities.

How do I access the video that goes with this reading passage?

Hi Tammy! As Maggie shared below, here is the link to the video:

This is a fantastic resource, and I plan to make great use of it.

It's brilliant

Just found this website and I am so excited!!!!! Can't wait to use the resources this year in my classroom!!!

Interesting topic! Awesome!

Thank you for this science resource.

My students are very excited by this, it has stimulated interest in more research about Mars and Curiosity. Wonderful!!!!

I'm running out of ink on my printer; I really like this site; it has some awesome lesson for earth science.

very useful indeed!

The passages presented are lexile rated and help with formative assessments.

I love these resources for my special education resource classes. These passages will better prepare them for the upcoming standardized testing that they are required to take. Thanks:)

I love the new emphasis on paired passages! I can't wait to use it with my students next week.

This is a great resource and it would be even better for students with Learning needs to be able to listen to the text.

Great resource! Thanks


Thank you so much for the interesting and engaging lessons you offer. They are truly magnificent!