Ten Free Reading Comprehension Exercises Online
This post has been updated for accuracy and relevance as of December 2017.
When a student has difficulty comprehending what he or she is reading, not only could they have trouble in nearly all subjects in school, but they miss out on the joy of exploring new worlds, traveling back in time, and solving mysteries along with their peers and dedicated teachers like you.
And the stats, unfortunately, show that reading scores could still use a boost. According to The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the 2015 national reading score was not significantly different at grade 4 and was 2 points lower at grade 8 when compared to 2013. Clearly, we’ve got work to do; kudos to you for hunting down resources to assist your students!
Here are 10 free websites we think you’ll find useful for reading comprehension.
This site, which is suitable for grades K-12, 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. They 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.
Materials on this site were created by a team of award-winning teachers, professional writers, and published authors. There are numerous engaging reading comprehension exercises for beginner, intermediate, and advanced readers—exercises that help them learn:
- Logical inference
- Sequential analysis
- Tonal awareness
- Understanding of scope
They also offer critical reading comprehension worksheets that teach students how to think and read critically. Students read a passage and are then tested on what they read, vocabulary words, inferences, and more.
The sister site to EnglishForEveryone.org, ReadTheory features a ton of online quizzes. 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, and help prepare older students for standardized tests, including the SAT and the ACT. According to the site, 7.4 million students have completed 130 million quizzes on ReadTheory to date.
ReadWorks is a nonprofit that aims to improve teacher effectiveness and student achievement. It houses hundreds of curated nonfiction and literary articles, along with reading comprehension quizzes and vocabulary lessons. The best part? It uses the most up-to-date research on literacy to inform its content.
This website pairs passages from classic books, like The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Around the World in 80 Days, with different reading exercises and activities that ask students to answer questions about the text. Not only does this introduce classic literature to all students, but it breaks them down in a way that helps them better understand the material. You’ll find a range of authors, poems, genres, and more, making it an ideal resource for all students.
Designed for K-8 students, this site offers hundreds of stories your students can read online, and many of these include reading comprehension worksheets you can print and use in class.
This website is especially useful for students whose native language is not English. There are hundreds of reading activities—including vocabulary quizzes, reading comprehension activities, and grammar lessons—to help your students master the English language. But although this website is geared toward ESOL students, it’s also helpful for any student who struggles with grammar, sentence structure, and more. You’ll find lesson plans, quizzes, and exam preparation to help shape your curriculum, and if you register, you’re granted even more access to other free materials.
This website is great for early childhood educators looking to find reading comprehension exercises in a variety of genres. Super Teacher Worksheets offers reading comprehension exercises for students from first-grade through middle school, and the content categories include biographies, fiction, nonfiction, poems, and more. It also offers some free reading comprehension exercises, but you’re able to access more by purchasing a membership ($19.95 a year).
Looking for different types of stories and activities? This website has both. It includes reading comprehension exercises for poems, original stories, articles, and essays, and also includes activities tailored to specific skills, like helping students learn antonyms, synonyms, and more. The site is best suited for students in grades 4-8.
Here, you’ll find over 2,000 downloadable reading assets that will absolutely help your students with reading comprehension. Filter search results by type (worksheets, games, activities, lesson plans, stories), by grade, and even by holidays and seasons. And again, no price to pay unless you want to join their premium membership, which gives you access to more features like a DIY worksheet generator and a progress tracker.
Interested in how you can further strengthen and polish your instructional skills for teaching reading to struggling students? We invite you to explore Concordia’s MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: Reading Interventionist program, offered completely online.Adolescent Literacy, Language Arts