Here are six free printable reading comprehension worksheets. There also tips on how to improve your students comprehension skills and links to more resources below.
Looking for lizards across Los Angles
The Natural History Museum is launching a first-of-its-kind-backyard-survey of lizard species. Brian Brown and Leslie Gordon of the L.A. County Natural History Museum hold preserved lizard species native to Southern California. "Some people think they look like space aliens," Brown said.
They plan to leave no stone unturned in their hunt for "The Lost Lizards of Los Angeles". That's what experts are calling an unusual wildlife safari they plan to launch in backyards across the country.
Museum officials hope to recruit volunteers to poke around flower beds and peek in leaf piles and hedgerows for a first-of-its-kind lizard census.
World Cup glory at last for Kookaburras
Revenge was sweet as the power-packed Australian Men's field hockey team downed Germany 2-1 in the field cup World final over night. It was the third time lucky for the Kookaburras as they reversed the result of the 2002 and 2006 finals to take their first World Cup Title in 24 years.
Man of the match Luke Doerner scored the winning penalty corner 11 minutes from the end.
Eddie Edward Ockenden had put the Kookaburras ahead in the sixth minute, but Moritze Furtste drew level for Germany in the 48th.
Friska and Glum
Many hundreds of years ago, in the good olde time of fairies, there lived a young princess that wore dresses made of silver cloth. Here home was a grand palace of that had walls of white marble, doors of carved rose-wood and windows of gold. The princesses bedroom was the most beautiful room of all. It was adorned with beautiful tapestries, jewel encrusted furniture and embroidered curtains.
The princess has two cats; an elderly one called Glum and a very young playful one called Friska. Friska was not very fond of Glum but because Glum was older than her, Friska was always polite and respectful.
CW The Robot
Marvin Makewell was an amazing inventor. He had already invented a self-cleaning fish tank, a liquid that kept flowers fresh for three months and a surfboard that repelled sharks. For the last five years he had been obsessed with his latest invention, a mechanical artificial agent called CW.
CW was a gigantic creation of metal, electronics and flashing lights. He was so tall that his head scraped on the 10 metre high ceiling in Makewell's laboratory. His advanced electo-mechanical system meant that he was incredibly strong and lightning fast. Marvin had created the first autonomous industrial robot!
Melissa Moves House
Melissa was in the backyard of the new house that her family had moved to, sitting with her knees up and her head down. There was no way she was going to be happy about moving. She liked her old house and she liked her old friends. right now Amy and Ann her best friends in the whole world, would be playing in the big tree behind her house. They would have climbed as high as they could and then started swinging like monkeys or talking about what happened at school that day. "It isn't fair", Melissa muttered and then kicked the dirt in front of her which made the old see-saw she was on start to rock and creak.
Zombies at the Door
I could hear the zombies banging on the front door. They had been doing it all night. Banging and then scraping and then silence. At first we thought that the silence meant that the zombies had given up and gone away. But the noise always started again. I was exhausted; Melissa and Jake were exhausted.
"Look", Melissa whispered. She turned her head to the front door and its loosening top hinge which was clearly cracking under the pressure. In only moments it would come off and the only barrier between the zombies and us would be broken.
Students can be shown the mistakes they commonly make when doing a reading comprehension worksheet or exam. Identifying these mistakes and practicing ways to avoid them is a powerful way to improve their reading comprehension skills.
Here are three mistakes students commonly make.
1. Students refer to their memory rather than the text.
This can be a real problem if the reading comprehension worksheet includes an excerpt from a well known story or a different version of it. It is easier and quicker to turn to your memory, but some students may not realize that the memory is not always reliable or that the text may actually be different.
How do you solve this?
a) Underline the part of the text that contains the answer before writing it.
b) Read the questions first so that you are looking for the answers as you read.
c) Practice marking the text with circling, underlining or writing key words in the margin. This makes it easier to go back and find answers.
d) Be aware that one story can have many different versions.
e) Be aware that memory can be an unreliable resource, especially when it comes to fine detail.
2. Students struggle with the meaning of the question.
Common reading comprehension worksheet questions like, How was the central problem resolved? Which statement is not about the narrator?, are not easy for some students to understand. If they don't understand the question, then they have little chance of answering it.
How do you solve this?
a) Revisit the meaning of those seemingly simple words that often start questions (who, what, where,when, how, why)
b) Study the types of questions usually found in reading comprehension exams.
Search through old tests and make a list of questions.
Students can discuss as a class, what type of answers the questions are asking them to produce.
c) Explore how marking is done. If you write this you will get 0, this short answer will yield 1 mark and this detailed answer will get full results. Show your students what you or the examiner is looking for.
3. Students don't check their answers.
They don't because they think it means doing the reading comprehension worksheet or test again. For many students, the thought of this overwhelming. What they don't know is that there are strategies that they can use to simplify and improve the process.
How do you solve this?
a) Only check the questions that were difficult. There is little reason to re-check the questions that have been answered confidently. The student can circle the questions that are problematic and re-check those.
b) Take a break before re-checking. Look up from the reading comprehension exam and stretch a little. Taking your eyes away from the paper, stretching and breathing deeply can all refresh the mind and improve your chances of spotting mistakes.
c) Think of rechecking as a leisurely thing to do. You've done all the hard work. Now put down your pencil or pen, lean back in your chair and have a quick easy read through the questions and your answers.
d) Check the questions for negatives. Questions like, "Who was afraid?", can easily be misread as "Who wasn't afraid?".
e) Read your answers out loud (mouthing them softly will do). When you read quickly in your mind it is easy to 'edit" as you go. What students read is what they think they wrote rather than what they actually wrote. Reading out loud slows the process down and makes it easier to spot mistakes.