Reading Comprehension Strategies with Free Resources

Last Updated on January 1, 2024 by TrayKay

Looking to improve your child’s reading skills? Try implementing these reading comprehension strategies with some free resources.

reading comprehension strategies: worksheets and workbooks

Comprehension Questions – Worksheets & Workbooks

Answering questions after reading a text can help readers:

  • improve understanding of what they read by identifying key information
  • develop critical thinking skills by analyzing what they read
  • help remember what they learned and build vocabulary

There are a number of free sites where you can print out or access online short reading passages with comprehension questions for a variety of grade levels, subjects, topics, genres, and reading skills, (like picking out the main idea, or analyzing story elements).

K5 Learning provides worksheets for grades K – 5 with comprehension questions that target particular reading skills, such as cause & effect, fact vs. opinion, figurative language, and others. Answer keys are provided.

ReadingVine lets you choose reading passages by grade (K – 8), by topic (fiction and non-fiction selections), by genre (biographies, informational texts, poetry, etc.), and by skill (main idea, story elements, compare/contrast, etc.). In addition, there are Reading Sets that group together related texts. You can get a text passage with questions on one printable PDF. Answer keys are provided.

K12 Reader has printable reading comprehension worksheets with answer keys for grades 1 – 10. You can also access worksheets by specific reading skills, such as making inferences, drawing conclusions, etc.

ReadWorks has a library of fiction and nonfiction passages with vocabulary exercises and comprehension questions for grades K – 12. You can filter content by grade level, type of passage, and topic. An audio feature allows each passage to be read aloud. You can print everything, or If you prefer going paperless, you can sign up for a free account, and then create assignments and have your kids do everything online. 

ReadTheory provides access to worksheets for grades K – 12 that can be printed or done online. As with the other sites, the comprehension questions target important reading skills like identifying the main topic and sequencing. Sign up for a free account, and if you use the site online, the program monitors and adapts to the reader’s level.

In addition to free worksheet sites, here are some free workbooks that contain short reading passages with comprehension questions that target particular reading skills, followed by answer keys.

Scholastic Comprehension Skills Grade 1: (Printable online flip book)

Scholastic Comprehension Skills Grade 2: (PDF)

Evan-Moor Non-Fiction Reading Practice Grade 2: (PDF)

Journeys Cold Reads Grade 3: (Printable online e-book reader)

Journeys Cold Reads Grade 4: (Printable online e-book reader)

Journeys Cold Reads Grade 5: (Printable online e-book reader)

Scholastic Hi-Lo Passages Grades 5 – 6: (PDF)

Teacher Created Resources Reading Daily Warm-ups Grade 6 (Printable online flip book)

Comprehending Functional Text Grades 6 – 8: (PDF) Functional texts have a specific purpose and audience, such as instructions, recipes, resumes, or emails. This workbook features comprehension and writing activities for different types of functional texts.

Story Maps and Other Graphic Organizers

Visual tools are among the best reading comprehension strategies. They help readers visually organize elements of a text to understand its structure and content. Story maps typically consist of a diagram that displays the different elements of a story, such as the setting, characters, plot, and theme. Filling in the different sections of a story map can help readers better understand sequencing, relationships between characters, and the overall message of the text.

Graphic organizers are similar to story maps, but they can be used to organize any type of information, not just stories. They can be used to help readers compare and contrast different ideas, classify information into categories, and identify main idea and details.

Two sites that offer story maps you can download and print for free are Reading Rockets and TemplateLab. Many graphic organizers are offered at this Reading Specialist’s site. Here are some more free PDF workbooks with graphic organizers:

Scholastic Short Reading Passages with Graphic Organizers (grades 2 – 3)

Scholastic Reading Response Activity Sheets

Graphic Organizers for Reading (grades 2 – 6)

30 Reproducible Graphic Organizers (grades K – 2)

Reading Graphic Organizers (grade 5)

The next two free resources are variations on graphic organizers and involve making little booklets:

Treasures Foldables: Instructions for each foldable include how to make them and how they can be used for reading comprehension (and other skills).

Scholastic Reading Response Booklets: Includes 15 printable booklets with writing prompts to help readers use comprehension skills.

Leveled Readers

Leveled readers are convenient because they are written to include reading comprehension strategies. These books cover a variety of topics (fiction and nonfiction), have questions and graphic organizers that target particular reading comprehension skills, and incorporate vocabulary.

Here are free Journeys leveled readers for grades K – 6. They are online and printable:

Grade K Leveled Readers

Grade 1 Leveled Readers

Grade 2 Leveled Readers

Grade 3 Leveled Readers

Grade 4 Leveled Readers

Grade 5 Leveled Readers

Grade 6 Leveled Readers

More free Journeys reading resources can be found in this post.

Find Grade 3 Journeys leveled readers with worksheets and comprehension activities in this post.

This teacher site has a number of links to Science Readers with accompanying worksheets.

Focus On Specific Skills

Identifying Cause & Effect: Set of 24 task cards, each with a brief paragraph describing a situation, and questions to determine cause and effect

Main Idea & Details Pack: Graphic organizers and reading exercises for breaking information down into topics and details

Studying Types of Texts: This grade 6 – 8 workbook features exercises, graphic organizers, writing prompts, and other activities for examining different fiction genres and non-fiction writing.

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