Ten Free Reading Comprehension Exercises Online

Classroom Resources Updated July 10, 2015

When a student has difficulty comprehending what he or she is reading, nearly all subjects in a school career are affected.

There is a link between poor reading comprehension skills and crime, as well as poverty:

  • Sadly, 85 percent of the juveniles in prison are functionally illiterate.
  • More than 40 percent of the adults living at the poverty level or lower have extremely low reading skills.
  • More than 60 percent of U.S. prison inmates have reading skills that are at the fourth grade reading level or lower.
  • Almost two-thirds of the students who start fourth-grade without possessing proficient reading skills end up in prison or on welfare.

To help students develop their reading comprehension skills, here are some free reading comprehension exercises.

Online M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Reading

EnglishMaven

This site offers numerous reading comprehension exercises that are unique, colorful and interactive. Exercises include:

  • Informational passages. These passages provide engaging information to students with a wide range of topics. These passages help students learn about intriguing subjects while expanding their vocabulary and improving their comprehension skills.
  • Short stories. Students read a short story and answer questions about the story’s details. Each of the available exercises contains vocabulary and reading comprehension questions.

EnglishMaven is suitable for grades K-12. Visit this site.

EnglishForEveryone.org

The materials available on this site have been created by a team of award-winning teachers, professional writers and published authors. This site offers engaging content applicable to every ability level.

There are numerous reading comprehension exercises for beginner, intermediate and advanced readers. The majority of the questions in the exercises on this site require the student to use the following skills:

  • Logical inference
  • Conclusion-making
  • Sequential analysis
  • Deductive-reasoning
  • Tonal awareness
  • Understanding of scope

The critical reading comprehension worksheets teach students how to think and read critically. Students read a passage and are then tested on their ability to understand scope, draw inferences, deduce the meaning of practical vocabulary words and find or recall details from the story. EnglishForEveryone.org serves students grades K-12. Visit this site.

ReadTheory.org

This site is the sister site to EnglishForEveryone.org, and features online quiz forms. The game-like format of these interactive quizzes is designed to motivate students to work hard to win specific reading accomplishments.  Exercises are tailored for students who are reading at the high school-level or beyond. The exercises are especially helpful for students interested in taking standardized tests (SAT, ACT), as they mimic the way these tests format and present their questions. ReadTheory.org is suitable for all age levels, grades K-12. Visit this site.

Scribd.com

Students must be able to read comprehensively, and read a multitude of genres to become well-rounded learners. Without a variety of literature, a student’s school career can be hindered. He or she will have problems learning in school, taking standardized tests, applying for jobs and more. Scribd.com offers a large digital library to assist students in mastering their reading comprehension of various genres. Scribd.com serves all ages and reading levels, however it is more focused toward young adults. Visit this site.

Lit2Go

Numerous reading comprehension exercises are available on this site. Lit2Go references classic book titles heavily used in the classroom, as well as more contemporary pieces. Search options make finding the exercises you are looking for simple. These options include collections, books, authors, genres and readability. Lit2Go is for grades K-12. Visit this site.

East of the Web

This site offers hundreds of stories for students to read online. Some of these stories are accompanied by reading comprehension worksheets that can be printed and used in the classroom. East of the Web also includes the top stories for each month for visitors. This site is aimed at students in grades K-8. Visit this site.

UsingEnglish.com

This site allows teachers to browse stories using a detailed list of categories. Following each story is a reading comprehension exercise. Users who register can access even more free materials. UsingEnglish.com is for teachers in all grade levels, K-12. Visit this site.

Super Teacher Worksheets

Super Teacher Worksheets offers reading comprehension exercises for students from first-grade through middle school. The content categories include biographies, fiction, nonfiction, poems and more. This site offers some free reading comprehension exercises, but teachers will be able to access more by purchasing a membership. For an individual yearly membership, the cost is $19.95. Super Teacher Worksheets provides material for teachers in grades K-5. Visit this site.

RHL School Reading Comprehension

This website includes reading comprehension exercises in the form of poems, original stories, articles and essays. The site also offers short reading comprehension exercises tailored to specific skills. For instance, there are exercises that target a student’s skill at mastering word meanings from context, antonyms, synonyms and understanding inferences. The site is best suited for students in grades 4-8. Visit this site.

Education.com

Teachers can become members on this site for free. Members receive a certain number of reading comprehension exercises each month. Grade levels range from preschool to high school. However, for less than $50 a year, teachers can receive unlimited access to workbooks and worksheets for nearly every subject. Education.com is suitable for grades K-12. Visit this site.

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