Nonfiction Reading Passages and Inference Questions About Natural Disasters

Rated 4.79 out of 5, based on 109 reviews
109 Ratings
Grade Levels
6th - 8th
Resource Type
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10 pages
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What educators are saying

My students enjoyed this resource. We reviewed several skills in informational text using the relevant readings that kept student interest.
I have such a difficult time finding short nonfiction texts that my students enjoy, but this one did not disappoint. Thank you for sharing!
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  1. Use these brief illustrated non-fiction reading passages to address ELA reading standards in science and social studies classes, and to provide students with practice making inferences from reading. They are perfect for bell work or for those ‘ragged times’ when you need a quick independent activit
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Use these brief illustrated reading passages to support the Common Core ELA standard for making inferences from informational text (CCSS RI.6-8.1). They are perfect for use as bell work activities in science classes, but can be used by any teacher who needs scientifically accurate reading passages to help students practice making inferences.

The reading level is intended for middle school. You can see excerpts in the preview that will help you determine if the reading level is appropriate for the students with whom you are working. The passages are short which makes them useful for either reading intervention or for bell work or homework with students who read on grade level.

Each of the passages is about a historic natural disaster. The events are:

• The 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

• An (unidentified) tornado in Missouri.

• The eruption of Mt. Saint Helens volcano.

• The 1815 volcanic eruption of Mt. Tambora, and its surprising link to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

• A 1935 dust storm in the U.S. and its link to the National Soil Conservation Service.

Each reading passage gives clues about the natural disaster being described. Inference questions that accompany the reading passage require that students find and cite evidence from the text to support the inferences they make to answer the questions.

Please see the preview for excerpts, and a full sized image of one of the passages with the questions that accompany it.

This is the first set in the Make Inferences in Science series. Click on the link to see the second set Make Inferences in Science - The Elements

Click on this link to see the third in the series: Inventors and Inventions

Or click on the link to see the fourth in the series: Make Inferences in Science - Epidemics

Now available: a money-saving bundle of 18 reading passages with inference questions. Click here to see the bundle.

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Total Pages
10 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant, accurate data and evidence that demonstrate an understanding of the topic or text, using credible sources.
Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.


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