Reading Comprehension Passages and Assessments: Informational Grades 5-6
**ALL GRADE 5-6 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 5-6 in ONE bundle of 20 teacher-friendly and student-friendly printables!
PLEASE NOTE: These lengthier passages and rigorous assessments are ideal for implementing 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 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.
This ready-to-use bundle of TWENTY engaging Common Core Informational Text assessments contains 85 full pages of engaging and content-rich student work in total, aligning with 26 different Common Core Informational Text Standards in Grades 4-7, including ALL 20 standards for Grades 5-6. These passages and assessment questions were specifically written for Grade 5-6 reading levels and include four passage formats: historical, biographical, scientific, and technical texts. There is truly something for every reader's interest in this massive collection!
UPDATE: I have created a FREE download to accompany this text collection. Students can now complete extended learning projects based on three of the informational texts they read in this bundle. Please go to my store and download this FREE product to accompany this collection: Learning Projects for Common Core Informational Text Collection: Grades 5-6
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 5-6 fit naturally together too, and this two-grade level set provides a clear spiraling with skill development for your different reading levels.
A table of contents with an introduction to the article, text type, the number of words and questions, readability level, and detailing which Common Core skills 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.
Each of the TWENTY multi-page printables includes:
1) An engaging and leveled non-fiction informational passage (historical, scientific, biographical, or technical) of between 500-1330 words for students to read. Each is ideal for using with implementation of a close reading program.
2) A variety of questions, from simple to more challenging and in varied formats, each written to align with one of the Common Core Informational Text Standards below:
RI.4.3, RI.4.5, RI.4.6, RI.4.9, RI.5.1, RI.5.2, RI.5.3, RI.5.4, RI.5.5, RI.5.6, RI.5.7, RI.5.8, RI.5.9, RI.5.10, RI.6.1, RI.6.2, RI.6.3, RI.6.4, RI.6.5, RI.6.6, RI.6.7, RI.6.8, RI.6.9, RI. 6.10, RI.7.3, RH.6-8.1
3) Answers to every question, including clear examples for all the written response questions.
Please see the Preview for a sample of what is included.
**Note: This collection includes 4 individual items that are sold separately in my store. (SIXTEEN items, "The Arctic Husky,” Tree Rings," “The Mystery of the Salmon,” Printable: Informational Texts on the Same Topic,” “Analyze Multiple Accounts of the Same Event or Topic,” “Marco Polo,” “The Unknown Spy," “The Vikings,” "Intelligent Listening," "The Whitetail Deer," "Are You A Weatherperson?" "Happy Denmark!" "How Birds Navigate," "Our National Parks: Stephen Mather," "Diving Into History," and ""This Land is Your Land":Woody Guthrie" 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. You will save 50% off the individual prices when purchasing this as a bundled collection.
Science Informational Text: The Arctic Husky
Students read an 800-word passage on the Husky dog breed and its role on life inside the Arctic Circle. The article contains interesting facts about Huskys as well as details of the important work they have traditionally done for humans. Students follow the reading by completing a set of 25 questions that align with Common Core Standards RI.5.1, RI.5.3, RI.5.4, RI.5.10, and RI.6.1. Flesch Kincaid Grade Level = 5.6
Historical/Biographical Informational Text: Albert Nobel and the Nobel Prize
Students read a grade-level appropriate historical passage on Alfred Nobel, the inventor of both dynamite and the Nobel Prizes. There is a particular focus on the relationship and interaction between the development of this destructive force and Nobel’s decision to create the Nobel Peace Prize upon his death as well as the influence his two brothers had on the invention of dynamite and Nobel’s legacy. After reading the informational text students respond to eight written questions, each of which requires somewhere between a single sentence and several sentences to answer and require application of Common Core Standard RI.5.3 and RI.6.10 to the text. Flesch Kincaid Reading Level = 6.9
Scientific Informational Text: Tree Rings
Students read an interesting two-page informational passage on the science of studying tree rings (dendrochronology). The text is called “History: Tree Rings Tell It.” The text contains 800+ words and is divided into 17 paragraphs. After the text reading there are a total of 18 multiple choice and short answer questions that require application of Common Core standards RI.4.3, RI.5.1, RI.5.2, RI.5.3,and RI.5.10 to the text. At the end is a challenge question that can be used as a group activity in class, discussion starter, or as an investigation exercise at home. Flesch Kincaid Reading Level = 5.8
Historical Informational Text: Lincoln’s Beard
Students read an engaging two-page informational text on Abraham Lincoln and his decision to grow a beard before the 1860 Presidential election. The text is called “Why Lincoln Grew A Beard.” The text contains 500+ words and uses both primary and secondary sources. After the reading there are nine multiple-choice or fill-in-the-blank questions that require application of Common Core Standards RI.5.1, RI.6.1, RI.6.10, RI.7.3, and RH.6-8.1 to the text. At the end is a challenge question that can be used as a group activity in class, discussion starter, or as an investigation exercise at home. Flesch Kincaid Reading Level = 6.5
Technical Informational Text: The Brooklyn Bridge
Students read an engaging two-page informational passage on the technical aspects of the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. The text is called “Building the Brooklyn Bridge” and contains 900+ words divided into 19 paragraphs. After the text reading there are a total of 20 questions that require application of Common Core Standards RI.5.1, RI.5.2, RI.5.3, RI.5.10, RI.6.1, and RI.6.2. At the end is a technology question that can be used as a group activity in class, discussion starter, or as an investigation exercise at home. Flesch Kincaid Reading Level = 6.0
Historical/Biographical Informational Text: Samuel Morse
Students read a historical passage called “Samuel Morse’s Genius,” which is about the life and achievements of the inventor of the now-obsolete telegraph. Students then complete a set of 17 questions that require application of Common Core Standards RI.5.3, RI.6.1, and RI.6.10. The activity concludes with a challenge for students, which is to investigate and report on another obsolete inventions besides the telegraph (typewriter, cameras with film, etc). Flesch Kincaid Grade Level = 6.9
Science Informational Text: The Mystery of the Salmon
Students read a lengthier 1300-word passage on the amazing life cycle of the fish we call salmon. The article contains amazing facts about salmon and also follows the life cycle of a typical salmon, detailing what is known and what remains unknown about the fish. Students complete a set of 30 questions after reading that each align with one of these Common Core Standards: RI.5.2, RI.5.4, RI.5.10, or RI. 6.5. Flesch Kincaid Grade Level = 5.7
Printable: Reading Informational Texts on the Same Topic
Students read four different shorter passages, which in total are about 600 words. Each passage briefly tries to provide an answer to this question: What is the best food for a dog? This is followed by a set of 8 questions that require comprehension and interpretation of the texts and then a writing activity asking students to integrate the information from the four texts into a written opinion. This printable was created to align with one of these Common Core Informational Text Standards: RI.5.2, RI.5.5, RI.5.9, RI.6.8, and RI.6.10. Flesch Kincaid Reading Level = 6.8
Printable: Analyzing Multiple Accounts of the Same Event or Topic
Students read a fascinating set of six short historical passages, which in total are 750 words. They detail an attempt on General George Washington’s life by a traitor during the Revolutionary War that is part fact, part legend. There are firsthand and secondhand accounts involved, which are followed by 9 questions requiring evaluation of each of the sources and then two short answer questions requiring interpretations and conclusions drawn from them. This printable was written to align with Common Core Informational Text Standards RI.4.6, RI.4.9, RI.5.7, RI.5.9, and RI.6.10. Flesch Kincaid Reading Level = 7.8
Historical/Biographical Informational Text: Marco Polo
Students read an 1100-word passage on the life, travels to Asia, and adventures of the famous Marco Polo of Venice. Students then complete a set of 26 questions after reading that were written to align with one of these Common Core Standards: RI.4.5, RI.5.2, RI.5.3, RI.5.7, RI.6.1, RI.6.7, and RI.6.10. Flesch Kincaid Grade Level = 6.6
Historical Informational Text: The Unknown Spy
Students read an engaging grade-level informational passage of 1000 words on John Honeyman’s role as an American spy and how he helped secure the American victory at the Battle of Trenton on December 25, 1776 for General George Washington. Students complete a total of 18 questions written to align with one of these Common Core Informational Text Standards: RI.5.1, RI.5.4, RI.6.1, RI.6.3, RI.6.4, RI.6.6, and RI.6.10. Flesch Kincaid Reading Level = 6.5
Historical Informational Texts: The Exceptional Vikings/The Violent Vikings
Students read two different informational passages on the Vikings, those Scandinavian explorers and marauders of the early Middle Ages. The passages contrast greatly in their viewpoints on the worth and character of the Vikings. The passages are followed by a set of 16 questions that allow students to practice their skills with two of the more challenging Common Core Informational Text Standards: RI.5.8 and RI.6.9. Flesch Kincaid Reading Level = 6.8
Technical Informational Text: Intelligent Listening
Perfect for today’s kids! An engaging informational passage of 800+ words on useful and straightforward strategies students can use to develop stronger listening skills during presentations. The text is followed by 16 questions, written to align with these Common Core Informational Text Standards: RI.6.1, RI.6.2, RI.6.3, RI.6.4, RI.6.5, and RI.6.10. Flesch Kincaid Reading Level = 7.3
Scientific Informational Text: The Whitetail Deer
An interesting 900-word passage on the amazing whitetail deer of North America, including fascinating facts and information on their beauty, grace, and toughness. The text is followed by 10 mainly short-answer questions that align with Common Core Standards RI.5.5, RI.5.8, RI.5.10, and RI. 6.2. Flesch Kincaid Reading Level = 5.4
Scientific Informational Text: Are You A Weatherperson?
Students read an engaging 900-word scientific passage on the wisdom and science behind old folk sayings that were used to make weather predictions, including the influence of rainbows, clouds, and halos. There are a total of 19 questions requiring application of Common Core Standards RI.5.3, RI.6.1, RI.6.7, RI.6.8, and RI.6.10. Flesch Kincaid Reading Level = 6.4
Historical Informational Text: Happy Denmark!
Students read a 950-word passage on the country of Denmark. In 2013 a United Nations study reported that the citizens of Denmark were the happiest people in the world, and this text looks at characteristics of the country and the possible reasons for this. The text is followed by 32 questions written to align with Common Core Standards RI.5.2, RI.6.3, RI.6.4, RI.6.5, and RI.6.10. Flesch Kincaid Reading Level = 6.7
Scientific Informational Text: How Birds Navigate
Students read an informational passage of 1200 words on the incredible navigational skills of birds. It looks at the mystery and science behind the study of how birds find their way across oceans and over great distances to exact locations. The text is followed by 15 questions that align with Common Core Standards RI.5.3, RI.6.1, RI.6.5, and RI.6.10. Flesch Kincaid Reading Level = 6.5
Historical/Biographical Informational Text: Our National Parks: Stephen Mather
Students read an informational passage of 850 words that explains how our National Park Service came to be created through a look at the life and work of its founder, Stephen Mather. There are a total of 22 questions written to align with Common Core Informational Text Standards RI.5.1, RI.5.3, RI.5.9, RI.6.2, RI.6.5, RI.6.6, and RI.6.10. Flesch Kincaid Reading Level = 6.0
Technical Informational Text: Diving Into History
Students read an informational passage of 950+ words on the work of underwater archaeologists, including both the technical difficulties of such work and the benefits it offers the world in helping us learn about ancient cultures. The text is followed by 12 questions written to align with Common Core Standards RI.5.1, RI.6.2, RI.6.4, RI.6.5, and RI.6.10. Flesch Kincaid Reading Level = 6.6
Biographical Text: “This Land is Your Land”: Woody Guthrie
Students read a biographical passage of 900+ words that tells the story of folk music legend Woody Guthrie, probably the most influential songwriter of 20th century America. Students complete a total of 20 questions, each written to align with one of these Common Core Informational Text Standards: RI.4.1, RI.5.2, RI.5.3, RI.6.4, RI.6.5, and RI.6.10. Flesch Kincaid Reading Level = 6.4
Read some of the reviews from teachers:
”Finding really strong articles to do close reading exercises with can be tricky, so your collection is fantastic! I love your teaching/use suggestions and the topics you have chosen. Looking forward to using these throughout the year!”
“GREAT resource. High interest, highly engaging and challenging organizational strategy..thanx, you really gave me a resource worth more than the price paid...”
“Excellent product! Saves me prep time. Can be used as is or tailored to meet your individual needs. Very glad I purchased this!”
"Goodbye to searching for passages! I can meet everyone's needs with these excellent leveled passages. Thank you!"
"These are perfect. It is so hard to find a variety of texts that are suitable for a diverse classroom that also cover the standards. These come with questions and an answer key which makes them perfect for small groups as well as guided reading and even whole class instruction. great resource."
“I no longer have to search the internet or my cupboard of resources to find passages!! Thank you for doing all of the hard work for me!”
“This is the resource I have been needing! Thank you, thank you! Worth $$$”
“Teaching close reading with these. It is wonderful. Thank you.”
“Awesome resource placing informational text at my fingertips!”
“It's always great not having to reinvent the wheel! Thank you for laying it out so practically!”
“A lot higher rigor than other passages. The questions are stimulating and challenging.”
“Great resources that provide rigor and a chance to get out of our language arts textbooks.”
“I appreciate the diversity of texts. These are a great time-saver - well written questions of varying complexity lets all students feel some success.”
“The texts keep the attention of my 5-8 graders who do not like reading. The questions are wonderful. Thank you!”
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.