A series of reading comprehension passages and questions to work on 8th grade level reading skills.

8th grade is traditionally the last year of middle school for students. Before these students set sail for high school there is one last push at the reading skills and teachers work to get them prepared for the next level. As with most curriculums, the 8th grade reading curriculum spirals around previous skills and builds new avenues in other directions. By this stage students should be able to determine the main idea of a work with relative ease, we do start to encourage students to compare and contrast between a series of works much more. Students begin to work more on citing evidence in a body of text to support their arguments and explore dialogue or the impact of events in a story. This is also the level where we expect students to begin to validate the sources that they are depending on. At this point we expect students to have a good handle on figurative language and expect them to read between the lines. This comes in handy when students move on to the traditional literature that is explored in high school.

If you scroll down the page, you will find reading passages and question sets that test you at an 8th grade reading level. Students at this point, should have very good reference and research skills. This is why you will find a number of nonfiction works in here. Students towards the end of their middle school careers are about to infer thoughts and work off of context clues. We highlight the use of those specific skills in this section. Towards the end of the middle school experience we include the introduction of novel based reading. This series of worksheets below has a few sheets that complement well known novels.

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Printable 8th Grade Reading Comprehension Worksheets

Click the buttons to print each worksheet and answer key.

Pickwick's Proposition Reading Passage

From The Pickwick Papers. This was the first novel written by Charles Dickens.

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Pickwick's Proposition Reading Passage Page 2

Your students may need to read this several times. This involves a great deal about travel.

Pickwick's Proposition Questions

What about Pickwick "inspired involuntary awe and respect" when he stood up on the chair to speak?

Who was Confucius? Reading Passage

Confucius was also a proponent of self-discipline, which were the foundation for his political beliefs.

The Time Machine

Wouldn't that be great?

The Time Machine Page 2

A science to do and an art to pull off.

The Time Machine Page 3

Here is where the dialogue really takes off.

The Time Machine Page 4

A look at the affects of actual travel.

The Time Machine Page 5

None of us quite knew how to take it.

The Time Machine Questions

According to the Time Traveler, what is the only difference between Time and the other three dimensions of space?

The Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights was written by James Madison, and its purpose is to limit governmental power in favor of freedom for individuals.

Amendments IV - X

Reading and note as you read through it.

The Bill of Rights Questions

Describe the author's first attempt at amending the Constitution. Why was it unsuccessful?

The Importance of Maritime Strategy Reading Passage

Excerpted from Some Principles of Maritime Strategy by Julian Stafford Corbet

The Importance of Maritime Strategy Questions

Where is the bulk of most wars usually fought? Why?

The Poetry of Architecture Reading Passage

Man, they write poetry about anything...

The Poetry of Architecture Reading Passage Page 2

This had to be written by someone who was stuck inside a building for too long.

The Poetry of Architecture Questions

What is the author's opinion of the architecture in his contemporary England?

Poetry of Architecture Part 2

Which word best sums up the state of architecture in England during the author's time?

What's a Superpower? Reading Passage

Of all the money invested into building military power around the globe, the U.S. spends 37% of it. The U.S. military is dominant on land, sea, air, and space, which serves as a significant deterrent to other nations who might otherwise consider attacking us.

Superpower Essay

Explain what a superpower is and why America qualifies to be one.

Unconscious Plagiarism Reading Passage

On August 29th, 1879, Mark Twain gave the following speech at a dinner to honor Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Unconscious Plagiarism Questions

Describe Mark Twain's feelings towards Mr. Holmes.

American Culture Reading Passage

The U.S. government does not recognize an official U.S. language.

American Culture Questions Worksheet

The U.S. is considered a world leader in the production of mass media like television and movies, and accounts for about one-third of worldwide media and entertainment industry.

The Art of Public Speaking Reading Passage

This is an enjoyable piece for all readers.

The Art of Public Speaking Questions

What is the first source of power in both a book and a man?

Harriet Tubman Reading Passage

Five years later, after the illness and death of her owner, Harriet Tubman escaped to Philadelphia.

Harriet Tubman Page 2

Harriet bought per own small piece of land in New York in 1859.

Harriet Tubman Questions

What is the relationship between Harriet Tubman and Araminta?

Elvis Presley Reading Passage

He made his first demo record at what eventually became Sun Studio in 1953, and the record label owner, Sam Phillips, gave him support and guidance.

Elvis Presley Questions

What was it about Elvis that appealed so much to his fans?

Drawing Reading

A really deep explanation here for this one.

Drawing Questions

Explain this statement. What does the author consider to be a good drawing?

Manifest Destiny

Explain the relationship between the American character as understood by Thomas Jefferson, westward expansion, and manifest destiny.

Think Before You Speak Reading

Nearly all the faults or mistakes in conversation are caused by not thinking.

Think Before You Speak Reading Page 2

According to the author, what’s the main reason for faults or mistakes in conversation?

Think Before You Speak Questions

What advice does the author offer with regards to repeating oneself?