Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary Worksheets
The following list contains links to the pages that have the worksheets. Each worksheet, suitable for high school and college level students, includes a short reading, five vocabulary words to define, sentence completion exercises, and two questions to answer. One question tests literal comprehension, and one question asks the student to think critically.
List of Worksheets, Including Printables for Classroom Use
- Aesop. "The Boy Who Cried Wolf"
- Guy de Maupassant. "The Necklace"
- Louisa May Alcott. Little Women. From Chapter One, "Playing Pilgrims"
- James Joyce. From "The Dead"
- Jules Verne. Around the World in 80 Days. From Chapter 9
- Kate Chopin. The Awakening. From Chapter 3
- Nathaniel Hawthorne. From "Young Goodman Brown"
- Adam Smith. Wealth of Nations, From Chapter 5
- Charlotte Bronte. Jane Eyre, From Chapter 2
- Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice, From Chapter 3
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock Holmes, From "The Five Orange Pips"
- Charles Dickens. A Tale of Two Cities, From Book, The First
- The Brothers Grimm. Fairy Tales. "The Fox and the Cat"
- Angela Brazil. The Girls of St. Cyprian's. From Chapter 1
- H. G. Wells. The Invisible Man. From Chapter 1
- Alexandre Dumas. The Count of Monte Cristo. From Chapter 102, "Valentine"
- O. Henry. (William Sydney Porter). From "The Gift of the Magi"
- Frederick Douglass. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. From Chapter 1
- Nicolo Machiavelli. The Prince. From Chapter 17, "Concerning Cruelty and Clemency"
- Mrs. Goddard Orpen. Stories About Famous Precious Stones. From Chapter 3, "La Peregrina"
- Herman Hesse. Siddhartha. From "With the Samanas"
- Willa Cather. O Pioneers! From Part 1, Chapter 1, "The Wild Land"
- Aesop. Fables. "The Fox and the Goat"
- Benjamin Franklin. From his Autobiography.
- Bram Stoker. Dracula From Chapter 1, "Jonathan Harker's Journal"
- A.M. Allison. From San Francisco in Ruins: A Pictorial History
- Abraham Lincoln. The Gettysburg Address
- William J. Long. English Literature
- William Sumner. Social Darwinism
- W. E. B. Du Bois. Souls of Black Folk
- Argentine Ornithology: A Descriptive Catalog
- Harold Bindloss. Long Odds -- From Chapter 10, "Ormsgill Asks a Favor"
- Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens). The Adventures of Tom Sawyer -- From Chapter 3
- Edgar Allan Poe. From "The Cask of Amontillado"
- Edgar Rice Burroughs. Tarzan of the Apes -- From Chapter 5, The White Ape
- Lewis Carroll. Alice in Wonderland -- From Chapter 8. "The Queen's Croquet-Ground"
- Herman Melville. Moby Dick -- From Chapter 1. "Loomings"
- Elisabeth Woodbridge Morris. "The Tyranny of Things"
- Ida B. Wells. Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases
- Eudora Welty. From "A Worn Path"
- David and Marian Fairchild. The King Grasshopper, from Book of Monsters
- Henry David Thoreau. Walden, From Chapter 1, Economy
A student's reading comprehension and vocabulary help to increase her or his ability to write effectively. A technique I use in my classes, in addition to having students complete the worksheets, is to have them copy the reading before completing the worksheet. It seems that many students in my classes have lost (or never really mastered) the mechanical ability and endurance necessary to write an in-class essay. Try the exercise. Have students copy a passage from, say Adam Smith, and ask the student to read what he or she wrote. Both you and the student may be surprised.
I believe in the power of reading. The ability to read well has given me confidence; it has challenged me; it has entertained me; it has afforded me a decent living doing something I love. I hope to convey this passion to teachers and students who may use this site.
Free to Use
The worksheets are free for any teacher, student, tutor, school, or school system to download, copy, distribute, and use in any manner. The reading comprehension worksheets are in PDF files, and can be accessed through the pages dealing with the author whose work has been reproduced. Please notify me if you link to this site or find this site useful.
Teachers of developmental reading or writing in college can use these worksheets as supplements to their primary text. Thw worksheets can also be used as emergency substitute plans. Each worksheet provides material that an average college student should complete in about 20 minutes.
Reading Labs or Developmental Centers
Reading labs may copy the worksheets so that tutors work one on one with students on their reading and vocabulary. Alternatively, the computers in the writing center may link to this site and students can download and print the sheets as they are needed.
Private Tutors and Homeschoolers
Private tutors and homeschoolers can link to this site or download the worksheets to work with individual students. They may also be assigned as homework.