Free Reading Comprehension Worksheets

There are several methods people used decades ago to try to digest a thick book in less than an hour. The most obvious method, which we all do from time to time, is skim read or skim a passage and scroll through pages looking for keywords. Or the method of meta-guiding, aka visual guidance, where we use our fingers to point to certain words, so that our eyes are always focused and not distracted.

Then there is also the method in which we learn to read several lines of writing simultaneously. And now with the development of digital technology, there are applications that process a reading and then display the words one by one on the screen in sequence. Of course a smart method like the one above can help us browse the text faster. The question is, do people who read quickly really understand the writing they are reading?

When it comes to solid evidence, it is difficult to measure the effectiveness of courses or commercial applications that claim to improve speed reading skills, because experiments are rarely conducted under controlled conditions by independent parties on this. When you search the internet for nonfiction reading comprehension worksheets that can be used to challenge high school or college students, you are often out of luck. You will find printed items that are too easy, not difficult enough, not authoritative enough, or too expensive to buy.

Here, find lots of nonfiction reading comprehension worksheets for teachers who want to help improve their students’ mastery of finding the main idea, setting the author’s goals, drawing conclusions, and more. They’re also great for replacement lesson plans!

  1. Readings on Escaping from Endless Adolescence

Robert Nickelsberg / Getty Images News / Getty Images

Copyright: From Escaping the Endless Adolescence by Joseph Allen and Claudia Worrell Allen. Copyright © 2009 by Joseph Allen and Claudia Worrell Allen. Article Summary: Perry, a fifteen year old boy suffering from anorexia, meets a psychologist who is trying to find the root of the child’s suffering. Number of Part Words: 725

Format: Text followed by multiple choice questions Assessed Skills: finding points of view, assessing the author’s goals, identifying literary devices, understanding vocabulary in context, and finding facts

  1. End Overeating

Copyright: From “The End of Overeating” by David Kessler. Copyright © 2009 by David Kessler. Article Summary: A reporter and her food industry liaison assess the processed food people eat without thinking when a reporter observes a woman eating at a Chilean restaurant. Number of Sections: 687 Format: Text followed by multiple choice questions Assessed skills: making conclusions, finding main ideas, looking for facts, and understanding vocabulary in context

  1. Carbohydrate Craze

William Thomas Cain / Getty Images News / Getty Images. Copyright: From “Carbohydrate Craze” by Dr. Rubina Gad. Copyright © 2008. Article Summary: Dr. Rubina Gad criticized the popular notion that carbohydrates do not play a role in a healthy, balanced diet. Number of Section Words: 525. Format: Text followed by multiple-choice questions Assessed skills: understanding vocabulary in context, paraphrasing, finding facts, identifying the purpose of the passage, and making conclusions

  1. Minimalism in Art and Design

Copyright: VanEenoo, Cedric. “Minimalism in Art and Design: Concepts, influences, implications, and perspectives.” Journal of Fine Arts and Studio Vol. 2 (1), p. 7-12, June 2011. Available online http://www.academicjournals.org/jfsa ISSN 2141-6524 © 2011 Academic Journals. Article Summary: The author describes Minimalism as pure, plain and simple in relation to art, sculpture and music. Number of Section Words: 740. Format: Text followed by multiple choice questions. Assessed Skills: understanding vocabulary in context, finding facts, identifying the purpose of the passage, and making conclusions

What For the Fourth of July Slave?

Copyright: Douglass, Frederick. “What Against Slaves on the Fourth of July ?: An Address Delivered in Rochester, New York, on July 5, 1852.” Oxford reader Frederick Douglass. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996. (1852). Article Summary: Speech by Frederick Douglass denies the 4th of July as an insult to an enslaved population. Number of Word Sections: 2,053. Format: Text followed by multiple choice questions. Assessed Skills: setting the tone of the author, finding main ideas, finding facts, and determining the author’s goals

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