Mysteries and Wonders Passage and Assessment #23: What Are UFOs?

Grade Levels
4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th
Resource Types
Common Core Standards
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1.49 MB   |   5 pages


UFOs have fascinated people around the world since the famous first sighting of nine “flying saucers” by pilot Kenneth Arnold in 1947. But what are UFOs? Are they aliens placing the Earth under surveillance, elaborate hoaxes and fabrications, natural phenomena like clouds and meteorites, or something else that we just don’t understand yet? This article examines in an unbiased way the history of UFOs since 1947 and includes details of several alien encounters that have not yet been explained and remain a mystery to this day. The text concludes without judgment or opinion on the original question of “What are UFOs?” and lets the reader decide for themselves what the truth is about UFOs.

This Common Core-aligned informational reading and assessment can be used in Grades 4-8 depending on your students' ability levels and in a number of ways by teachers (teacher-directed study in class, close reading, independent practice, homework, test prep, etc). This is a high interest article that works equally well with either reluctant readers or in the regular classroom! Please download the Preview to see part of the text and ALL the questions included in the printable.

This passage and assessment is ideal as part of a close reading program in your 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 assessment for the 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.”

This product is part of a larger collection on Mysteries and Wonders. The bundle can be purchased at a 50% discount to the price of the individual resources that are included by clicking and purchasing the resource below.

Mysteries and Wonders Informational Passage and Assessment Collection

The printable includes:

1) An engaging, high-interest informational article of 950 words called “UFOs: Aliens, Hallucinations, or Natural Phenomena?” Flesch Kincaid Reading Level = 6.9

2) A set of 27 questions, from fill-in-the-blank to more challenging, written to align with these Common Core Informational Text Standards:
RI.5.1. Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
RI.5.4. Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.
RI.6.6. Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.

3) Answers to every question.

While you are here, take a look at my popular Common Core-Aligned Informational Text bundles, created to help busy teachers implement the ELA standards! All the best texts and assessments organized into easy-to-use collections.

Common Core-Aligned Informational Text Assessments: Grades 4-5

Common Core-Aligned Informational Text Assessments: Grades 5-6

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
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 hour

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Mysteries and Wonders Passage and Assessment #23: What Are UFOs?