ReadWorks

Thirty 6th-8th Grade Passages

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.
 

6th GRADE [top]


“The Venus Flytrap”

Domain: Life Sciences
Illustrates the parts of a Venus flytrap and how it catches its prey
Lexile: 1200

“Intertwining Memories”
Domain: Life Science
Details a young woman’s recollection of her childhood memories in her grandmother's house
Lexile: 670

“The Matter with Matter”
Domain: Life Science + Physical Science
Defines the roles of producers, consumers, and decomposers in an ecosystem and describes how energy and matter are constantly being recycled
Lexile: 980

“A Drop’s Journey”
Domain: Earth & Space Science
The passage describes the cycle and different states of water on Earth
Lexile: 1220

“The Wonders of Flight”
Domain: Earth & Space Science
A rainbow, as seen from the window of an airplane inspires an interesting lesson on properties of light and how it’s travels
Lexile: 920

“Energy Screams”
Domain: Physical Science
Describe how potential energy and kinetic energy are applied in roller coasters to make an exciting ride
Lexile: 990

“Early People in Central American Land Bridge”
Domain: Geography & Societies
Describes the history and development of ancient people using the Central American land bridge—first for hunting and eventually to settle and farm
Lexile: 940

“Desert Racing”
Domain: Geography & Societies
Describes the 4 Deserts series of ultra-running events and the challenges of running in a desert environment
Lexile: 1070

“The Mystery of the Whistling Building”
Original Reporting
Domain: Technology & Engineering
Reveals the culprit behind an annoying whistling noise heard in a part of Staten Island, NY in 2012
Lexile: 1020

“Music Inside of Us”
Original Reporting
Domain: Arts, Culture, and Religion
Describes the determination of a woman who never gave up on her desire to learn to play the piano the happiness it brought her
Lexile:  550

“An Urgent Message”
Original Fiction
Lexile: 1170


7th GRADE [top]


“Selective Breeding”

Domain: Life Science
Shows how through selective breeding or artificial selection, humans have the capacity to influence certain characteristics of organisms. One can choose desired parental traits determined by genes, which are then passed on to offspring. Outlines the benefits and drawbacks of selective breeding in dogs, foxes and farm animals.
Lexile: 1090

“Naturally Selected to Survive”
Domain: Life Science
Through the example of peppered moths in England during the Industrial Revolution, shows that for any particular environment, some kinds of organisms survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all
Lexile: 1090

“Is the Earth Getting Warmer”
Domain: Earth & Space Science
A look at some of the positive and negative “feedback loops” in nature associated with global warming. Shows that all Earth processes are the result of energy flowing and matter cycling within and among the planet’s systems. The energy that flows and matter that cycles produce chemical and physical changes in Earth’s materials and living organisms.
Lexile: 1090

“As Time Flies By”
Domain: Arts, Culture and Religion + Earth & Space Science + Physical Science
Through the example of “Back to the Future” this passage explores how the movement of the earth, time, and time travel are related
Lexile: 1170

“Islam”
Domain: Arts, Culture, and Religion + World History
Traces the origins and early history of Islam and the life and teachings of Muhammad
Lexile: 1310

“Who Speaks for the Animals”
Original Reporting
Domain: Geography & Societies
The story and questions surrounding a dead shark found on a New York City subway
Lexile: 1110

“The Postcard Collectors”
Original Reporting
Domain: Geography & Societies
Provides a deeper look into postcard collecting and the mindset of postcard collectors, particularly through the Metropolitan Postcard Club of New York City
Lexile: 1110

"Local Mailman"
Original Reporting
Domain: Geography & Societies
A description of the life of a mailman in Queens, New York
Lexile: 1140

“The Boy Who Didn’t Want to Catch”
Original Fiction
Lexile: 900


8th GRADE [top]
 

“Artificial Selection: How Humans Can Sway Nature”
Domain: Life Science
Explains how in artificial selection, humans have the capacity to influence certain characteristics of organisms by selective breeding. One can choose desired parental traits determined by genes, which are then passed on to offspring. Uses the examples of domestic dogs, farm animals, and the mustard plant.
Lexile: 1170

“Jake and Alice”
Domain: Life Science
Shows variation of traits and mutations among a family of two siblings and their parents
Lexile: 1150

“Digitized Signals are the Future of Black Box”
Domain: Technology & Engineering
Details the components of a black box, its history, and how the digitized signals used today are a more reliable way to encode information
Lexile: 1130

“The Meteor”
Domain: Earth & Space Science + Geography & Societies + Physical Science
The passage details meteor strikes that have occurred in the past, shows the damage they’ve caused and that the faster a given object is moving, the more energy it possesses
Lexile: 1230

“California and Mesopotamia - Similarities and Differences”
Domain: U.S. History + World History
Traces the geographical advantages that permitted the production of economic surplus and the emergence of Mesopotamia and California as centers of culture and power
Lexile: 1340

“The First American”
Domain: U.S. History
Describes the life of American hero, Benjamin Franklin, his inventions, innovations, influence in founding the United States, and how he worked to secure our freedoms
Lexile: 1180

“Measure R”
Original Reporting
Domain: Geography & Societies
A look at the traffic problem in Los Angeles, steps to alleviate LA traffic with public transportation, and LA residents’ reaction to “Carmageddon” in 2011 and 2012
Lexile: 1340

“The Creative Path”
Original Reporting
Domain: Arts, Culture, and Religion
Answers questions about the definition and purpose of art through two interviews, one with a painter and one with a choreographer/dancer
Lexile: 1040

“I Don’t Like Ron Gonzales”
Original Fiction
Lexile: 860

“Routine”
Original Fiction
Lexile: 1180