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Common Core-Aligned Informational Passages and Assessment Collection: Grade 7-8

Common Core-Aligned Informational Passages and Assessment Collection: Grade 7-8
Common Core-Aligned Informational Passages and Assessment Collection: Grade 7-8
Common Core-Aligned Informational Passages and Assessment Collection: Grade 7-8
Common Core-Aligned Informational Passages and Assessment Collection: Grade 7-8
Common Core-Aligned Informational Passages and Assessment Collection: Grade 7-8
Common Core-Aligned Informational Passages and Assessment Collection: Grade 7-8
Common Core-Aligned Informational Passages and Assessment Collection: Grade 7-8
Common Core-Aligned Informational Passages and Assessment Collection: Grade 7-8
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**ALL GRADE 7-8 STANDARDS** Close-reading ready! Engaging, lengthy, and meaningful standards-based non-fiction passages and assessments for ALL TWENTY Common Core Informational Text Standards in Grades 7-8 in ONE bundle of 15 teacher-friendly and student-friendly printables!

These passages and assessments are ideal for implementing a close reading program in your Grade 7-8 classroom based around mastery of the Common Core! What does that mean to you as a classroom teacher? It means that this is not the typical “one reading I'm done” comprehension work often given before the Common Core Standards were created. To complete the assessments for each passage, students will need "to undertake the close, attentive reading and re-reading that is at the heart of understanding and enjoying complex and worthy works.” Please download and look at some of the Preview pages for a better understanding of the collection.

There are 75 content-rich student pages of reading and assessment work in total, with passages and assessments written specifically for Grades 7-8 reading students. The collection consists of text examples from four domains: historical, biographical, technical, and scientific information. A table of contents with an introduction to the article, text type, the number of words and questions, readability level, and detailing which of 26 different Common Core skills for Grades 6-8 the text is aligned with is included in the PDF document. Some specific ideas and instructions for introducing, teaching with, and concluding each passage and assessment are also included in this collection.

Why are there two grade levels in one bundle? Well, I have never had a class where the reading level between the top readers and the lower ability students wasn’t at least two years, have you? This collection allows you to have differentiated CCSS Informational Text passage and assessment work for both the top and bottom of your class across a range of abilities and interests. As many have noticed, the CCS Standards in Grades 7-8 fit naturally together too, and this two-grade level set provides a clear spiraling with skill development for your different reading levels.

Update: To make this collection more eco-friendly and economical with paper usage, I have added a second part to the download. This part, which comes after the original version, has separated the fifteen texts used from the question sections with clean page breaks. Why? This allows a teacher to create a re-usable booklet with just the texts and then only have to print out the consumable question sheets for their students.

Each of the FIFTEEN multi-page printables includes:

1) An engaging grade-level informational passage of 900-1300 words for students to read and annotate if required. Ideal for close reading instruction and practice!

2) A variety of questions, from simple to more challenging, each written to align with one of the Common Core Informational Text Standards below:
RI.6.1, RI.6.2, RI.6.3, RI.6.4, RI.6.6, RI.6.8, RI.7.1, RI.7.2, RI.7.3, RI.7.4, RI.7.5, RI.7.6, RI.7.7, RI.7.8, RI.7.9, RI.7.10, RI.8.1, RI.8.2, RI.8.3, RI.8.4, RI.8.5, RI.8.6, RI.8.7, RI.8.8, RI.8.9, RI.8.10

3) Answers to every question, including clear examples for all the written response questions to help with discussion and grading.

Please see the Preview for a clear sample of styles of text and types of questions that are included.

**Note: This collection contains 2 items that are sold separately in my store (thirteen items, "Message in a Bottle,” “George Washington Carver,” “Charles Blondin: Daredevil," “Iwo Jima: A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words,” “The Calgary Stampede,” “Insect Marvels,” “The Civil War: Surrender at Appomattox,” “Mahalia Jackson: Gospel Legend,” “Man’s Best Friend,” "the Amazing Octopus," "The Curious and Remarkable World of Snakes," "The Great Boston Molasses Tragedy," and "California's Gold Rush" are NOT sold separately). If you do not wish to purchase doubles of an item, read the product descriptions below carefully and compare with the individual products in my store.

Muscle Miracles
An engaging science/technical informational passage of 1000+ words about muscles in the human body and the amazing things we have learned about them and from them. The text is followed by 20 questions created to align with one of these Common Core Informational Text Standards: RI.7.1, RI.7.2, RI.7.4, RI.7.8, RI.7.10, and RI.8.1. Flesch Kincaid Reading Level = 7.1

The First Inauguration
This is an interesting historical information passage of about 900 words about the unusual spectacle and missteps involved in George Washington’s inauguration in New York City as the first president in 1789. The text is followed by 23 questions created to align with one of these Common Core Informational Text Standards: RI.7.2, RI.7.4, RI.7.6, RI.7.7, RI.8.1, RI.8.3, and RI.8.10. Flesch Kincaid Reading Level = 7.8

Message in a Bottle
A fascinating historical/scientific informational passage of 1000+ words about the strange as well as important uses throughout human history of floating bottles containing messages. A total of 16 questions follow, from simpler to more challenging, written specifically to align with important Common Core Informational Text Standards: RI.7.2, RI.7.6, RI.7.8, RI.8.3, RI.8.7, and RI.8.8. Flesch Kincaid Reading Level = 6.5

George Washington Carver
This is an educational and historical passage of about 1000 words on the accomplishments and life of the famous African-American scientist, inventor, and educator, George Washington Carver. The text is followed by 23 questions written to align with Common Core Informational Text Standards: RI.5.5, RI.7.2, RI.7.3, and RI.7.4, RI.7.10. Flesch Kincaid Reading Level = 8.0

Charles Blondin: Daredevil
An engaging 1100-word historical passage about the greatest daredevil and acrobat of the nineteenth century, Charles Blondin, who walked multiple times high above Niagara Falls on a tightrope with all manner of distractions that never stopped him from finishing alive. A total of 20 questions follow the reading which were written to align with these Common Core Informational Text Standards: RI.7.1, RI.7.4, RI.7.6, RI.8.5, and RI.8.6. Flesch Kincaid Reading Level = 6.8

Iwo Jima: A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words
This United States history passage is 1000+ words and is about the world famous photograph of US Marines raising the flag on the island of Iwo Jima near the end of the World War II. It discusses the impact of the Pulitzer Prize-winning image on the photographer and the country in a very understandable manner. A total of 17 questions follow the reading which were written to align with these Common Core Informational Text Standards: RI.7.1, RI.7.3, RI.7.4, RI.7.8, RI.7.10, and RI.8.7. Flesch Kincaid Reading Level = 7.0

The Calgary Stampede
An entertaining and descriptive informational passage of 1200 words on an amazing rodeo event/spectacle known as the “Calgary Stampede,” which is held each July in Calgary, Canada. There are a total of 18 questions that follow the reading which were written to align with one of these Common Core Informational Text Standards: RI.6.8, RI.7.4, RI.7.8, RI.7.10, and RI.8.9. Flesch Kincaid Reading Level = 7.5

Insect Marvels
A fascinating 1300-word scientific passage on the vast and varied types of insects found on the planet Earth. The article is written to inform, entertain, and engage students in learning about the topic. Following the reading are a total of 17 questions, each written to align with one of these Common Core Informational Text Standards: RI.7.2, RI.7.4, RI.7.6, RI.8.1, RI.8.3, and RI.8.10. Flesch Kincaid Reading Level = 8.6

The Civil War: Surrender at Appomattox
A reflective US history passage of 1200 words on the final battle of the Civil War, the surrender of the Confederacy, and the relationship of mutual respect between the famous leaders General Ulysses Grant and General Robert E. Lee. A total of 15 questions follow, from simpler to more challenging, written specifically to align with one of these Common Core Informational Text Standards: RI.7.3, RI.7.5, RI.8.1, and RI.8.4. Flesch Kincaid Reading Level = 8.9

Mahalia Jackson: Gospel Legend
A biographical passage of 1000+ words on the amazing life of famed African American gospel singer Mahalia Jackson. The text is followed by a set of 12 questions, most of them short answer, written to align with one of the following Common Core Informational Text Standards: RI.6.1, RI.6.2, RI.6.3, and RI.6.4. Flesch Kincaid Reading Level = 7.2

Man’s Best Friend
A set of two complementary 600-word texts on the training, peculiarities, and misunderstandings about man’s best friend: the dog. The texts were written to address specific CCS skills and the readings are followed by four lengthier short-answer questions. The questions allow assessment of two key Common Core Informational Text Standards: RI.7.9 and RI.8.2. Flesch Kincaid Reading Level = 6.2

The Amazing Octopus
A scientific passage of 1200 words on the lowly and misunderstood octopus, which is actually one of the most intelligent and unique sea creatures in existence. Following the article are 20 questions, including critical thinking and short answer, written to align with one of the following Common Core Informational Text Standards: RI.7.3, RI.7.6, RI.7.9, and RI.8.6. Flesch Kincaid Reading Level = 7.7

The Curious and Remarkable World of Snakes
A scientific passage of 1400-words that discusses both the myths and misunderstanding about snakes and the amazing adaptations and specialized gifts nature has given them. The passage is followed by 24 questions created to align with one of these Common Core Informational Text Standards: RI.7.2, RI.7.4, RI.8.1, RI.8.6, and RI.8.10. Flesch Kincaid Reading Level = 8.0

The Great Boston Molasses Tragedy
A 1000-word passage that tells the story of one of the most unusual accidents in American history, the bursting of a molasses storage tank in 1919 that sent a massive flood of the sticky stuff through the streets of Boston, causing death and destruction. A total of 16 questions follow the passage, each written to align with one of these Common Core Informational Text Standards: RI.6.6, RI.7.4, RI.8.4, RI.8.5, RI.8.8, and RI.8.10. Flesch Kincaid Reading Level = 8.8

California's Gold Rush
An engaging historical passage of 1400 words that explores, in chronological order, the history of the California Gold Rush, from John Marshall’s find at Sutter’s Mill in 1848 up to the present day. The passage is followed by 16 questions written to align with Common Core Informational Text Standards RI.7.4, RI.7.5, RI.7.6, RI.7.10, RI.8.3, and RI.8.4. Flesch Kincaid Reading Level = 7.9

Read some of the reviews from teachers:

“The passages are fun to read and easy to implement. Saves me tons of time searching!”

“I was having such a hard time figuring out how I was going to take what I had been doing and align it to the new standards. This makes it so clear! Thank you!”

“I absolutely love this! Text choices are interesting to my students and the questions are fabulous.”

“Made my life a whole lot easier! Thank you!”

“Wow! So many times I can find the text, but to have the Common Core questions along with the text will be awesome practice for my students!!”

“It's great to find so many non-fiction pieces in one place. Great resource.”

“Great product! Saves me much prep time. Can be used as is or can be tailored to meet your individual needs. Worth the money.”

“It's not easy to find passages of non-fiction at our grade level. Thank you for doing the brute work. I'm grateful.”

“AWESOME resource with critical thinking questions.”

“I can't tell you how great it will be not to have to search high and low for grade appropriate non-fiction articles...and with questions too! Love!!”


This item is a PAID digital download from my TpT store. As such, it is for use in one classroom only. This item is also bound by copyright laws and redistributing, editing, selling, or posting this item (or any part thereof) on the Internet are all strictly prohibited without first gaining permission from the author. Violations are subject to the penalties of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Any claims of correlation or alignment to the Common Core State Standards are solely those of Mark Aaron and have not been evaluated or endorsed by the NGA. Mark Aaron is the sole creator of this product and does not claim endorsement or association with the creators of the CCSS.
Total Pages
188 pages
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Teaching Duration
1 month
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