Reading Comprehension Passages

These close reading comprehension passages are the perfect no-prep, standards-based, and high interest way to strengthen your students’ close reading skills!

This resource includes 100 passages professionally written by a published children’s author with more than 100 books in print!


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Reading Comprehension Passages with Questions


  • 60 printable passages with comprehension questions (Each with 2 levels! 120 passages total.)
  • Teacher answer keys
  • Student annotation guide
  • 3 graphic organizers to use with the 5 included paired passages


  • Google Slides


  • Digital or Print
  • Optional Audio Support
  • 2 reading levels for each passage!
  • Digital Passage Tracker and Skill Finder

Great for 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade!


NOTE: This resource uses American English and is not editable.

About the Passages

There are 60 reading comprehension passages, each presented at two reading levels (grades 3-4 and 4-5) for a total of 120 passages. The passages are a mix of high-interest and curriculum-based topics and include informational text, literature, and poetry. The included text-dependent questions address a variety of close reading skills. You can read more here. 

Text Dependent Questions

The Show What You Know, text-dependent questions are identical for both reading levels. This allows you to discuss the passages altogether, even if you have students using different reading levels. Note that some questions may be challenging for third-grade students, especially near the start of the year.

Audio Support

Audio support is included through links or QR codes. These are recordings created with the most advanced AI text to talk technology on the market for a natural human-like sound. You can click here for an example of what the audio sounds like.

Use in 2 Ways

  • As Printable Pages:

Teacher instructions, student pages, and answer keys are all included in the PDF. There are two versions of printable pages: with and without QR codes.

  • As Google Slides:

Links to the digital versions are included in your download. Click the links for your own copy of the resources. 2 Google Slide files are included: with and without audio support.

More about the reading passages:

The reading comprehension passages are sequenced in cycles of six as follows:

  • IT: Informational Text (nonfiction)
  • L: Literature (fiction)
  • IT: Informational Text (nonfiction) with an illustration such as a map, chart, graph, diagram etc.
  • L: Literature (fiction)
  • IT: Informational Text (nonfiction)
  • P: Poetry

Breakdown by type: 1/2 Informational Text, 1/3 Literature, and 1/6 Poetry.

Within the 60 passages, there are five sets of paired passages. The paired passages appear adjacent to each other and address a similar topic for comparing and contrasting. Three additional printables are included to use with these paired passages. These passages will also work as stand-alone activities if you do not want to use them together.

The skills addressed in each passage are written in small print at the bottom on the left-hand side. The skills address most of the RI and RL Common Core Standards and include: reading for details, main idea, summarizing, inference, predicting, genre setting/character/plot, theme, context clues/vocabulary, figurative language, author’s style, author’s purpose, point of view, mood/tone, text structure, comparing and contrasting, interpreting an illustration (map, chart, diagram, table, or photo), analysis, and evaluation. They are also listed in the table of contents for easy reference.

If you would like consistent practice all year long, use two Text Time reading comprehension pages per week, perhaps on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Another option is to use them three times a week, possibly Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, which will get you through most of the school year. A third possibility is to go ala carte, selecting passages for their subjects or the skills addressed, as needed.

These passages could be used for morning work, at a center or station, as part of a reading packet, with a small group, as homework, as enrichment for younger, highly capable students, as remediation for struggling students, or as test prep. For interactive notebooks, just cut the two sections apart.

Parents and Caregivers:

This resource will work best if your child is already familiar with the reading skills in this product (you can see them in the table of contents in the free preview). This product is meant to reinforce those concepts, not to teach them. If you feel your student would benefit by being able to reference specific reading skills, you might also consider these reading posters/charts.

Here’s what teachers are saying:

✏️ “Thanks for a great resource–I love that there are 2 versions of the same text with the same questions so we can discuss those together no matter which version my students had.” -Eilidh H.

✏️ “This is an amazing resource!! It is comprehensive and full of engaging articles that I know my students will love! It also has metric conversions in the articles, which I HUGELY appreciate as a Canadian teacher. Thank you so much for all your hard work!! This resource is absolutely worth the price and then some!” -Candace E.

✏️ “I love that these are differentiated and so well thought out. Excellent. I use these for morning work and students walk in and do the work, the expectation is clear, and no time is lost getting on track with literacy.” -Kerri C.

Passage Titles:

1 A Real Life Batman

2 At the Amusement Park

3 Be a Tree Detective

4 California Bound!

5 So Many Satellites!

6 Victory

7 Insects for Dinner

8 The Gorilla and the Monkey

9 Alligator or Crocodile?

10 Why I am Afraid of Balloons

11 Author Louis Sachar

12 A Boy’s Summer Song

13 The Pony Express (paired)

14 My Brother the Rider (paired)

15 One Country or Four?

16 The Case of the Missing Poodle

17 A Quarterback Who Gives Back

18 Little-Girl-Two-Little-Girls

19 Mission to Mars (paired)

20 A New Life on Mars (paired)

21 The Layers of the Earth

22 Pandora’s Box

23 Coniferous and Deciduous Trees

24 Brother and Sister

25 The Invention of Earmuffs

26 Hamster Adventures

27 Too Much Sugar!

28 Kirla’s Quest

29 Mountain Food Chains

30 Which are You?

31 Sojourner Truth

32 Snow Day

33 Animal Bedtimes

34 The Best Day Ever!

35 Our Incredible Sun

36 Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

37 Amazing Anacondas (paired)

38 I Saw an Anaconda (paired)

39 The Population of Australia

40 Sam and the Swim Team

41 The Early Life of Benjamin Franklin

42 Chicago Poet

43 Conductors and Insulators (paired)

44 Safety First (paired)

45 Hurricanes

46 Jamie and the Bear

47 Staying Safe in the Sun

48 The Wind

49 Reading to Rover

50 Super Cheese Man to the Rescue!

51 China’s Terracotta Soldiers (paired)

52 An Ancient Soldier(paired)

53 Ice Cream in a Baggie

54 The Grass So Little Has to Do

55 Machu Picchu

56 Lizzy’s Lemonade Stand

57 Wind Power

58 The Wind and the Sun

59 Hooray for Peanut Butter!

60 The Fisherman


Need Text Time at a lower level? Check out

Text Time for Grades 1-3

Love Text Time but need more paired reading comprehension passages? Then you need:

Text Time Triples


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About the Author

These reading comprehension passages were written by me, Rachel Lynette. I am a published author of over 120 nonfiction books for children on a variety of subjects, as well as several teacher resource books. I have written for publishers such as Harcourt, Thompson-Gale, Rosen, Children’s Press, Evan-Moor, Kagan, and several others. These passages reflect more than a decade of professional writing experience.

Terms of Use

This resource was created by Rachel Lynette and Cassi Noack for Minds in Bloom INC., all rights reserved. It may be used by the original purchaser for single class use only. Teachers may distribute this product in email, through google classroom or over the Internet to their students (and parents) as long as the site is password protected. In other words, you may distribute it to your own students, but may not put it on the Internet where it could be publicly found and downloaded.

If you want to share this resource with colleagues, please purchase additional licenses. Thank you for respecting these terms of use.

This product is happily brought to you by Rachel Lynette and Cassi Noack of Minds in Bloom

SKU: W1987225


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