Biography / Autobiography Reading Passages

Biography is the fact-based story of a person's life written by a third party. An autobiography is the fact-based story of a person’s life which is written by that person. 

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Helen Keller

Helen Keller (1880-1968) was an inspiration to many. Although she was born with normal sight and hearing, she lost both at a very young age after a serious illness. Through hard work and devotion, along with the help of her parents and teachers, Helen Keller would learn to communicate and read. She attended college and became a well-known author, lecturer, and activist. This reading set includes passages from her autobiography “The Story of My Life,” as well as a biography of Laura Bridgeman. Born fifty years before Keller, Bridgeman was the first American deaf and blind child to learn reading and writing. She is mentioned in several of the Keller passages.

Reading Set: 7 Passages

U.S. Presidents

Forty-four men have served as President of the United States. They have lead the country through wars, economic depressions, and monumental achievements. Some were assassinated, some died in office, two were impeached, and one resigned from office. The stories of their lives reflects 200 years of American history. This reading set on the presidents includes multiple grade levels and both fiction and nonfiction.

Reading Set: 10 Passages

Black History Month

The United States and Canada observe Black History month in February; the United Kingdom observes it in October. While the commemorative month is a good time to celebrate the achievements and culture of the black community, this focus should not be limited to only one month. Students will benefit learning of the accomplishments and struggles of people of color at any time of the year. This reading set includes all grade levels and multiple topics.

Reading Set: 12 Passages

African American Inventors

There are many unsung African American heros and heroines in science and technology. Their contributions are often unknown to most people, although their inventions are of great importance. Many of these inventions were fundamental in engineering, agricultural, and medicine. This Reading Set introduces some of these inventors and their inventions to students.

Reading Set: 6 Passages

Up From Slavery: Boyhood Days

by Booker T. Washington from Up From Slavery

Chapter 2 passage: Educator, author, leader, preside...

470 Words, 6th-8th Grades, Main / Central Idea

Young Frederick Douglass

by Frederick Douglass from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave

Chapter VIII passage: Frederick Douglass, born about...

588 Words, 7th-9th Grades, Summary and Theme

Her Story: Sojourner Truth

by Sojourner Truth and Olive Gilbert from Narrative of Sojourner Truth, a Northern Slave

Sojourner Truth was a abolitionist, feminist, and po...

447 Words, 7th-9th Grades, Summary

Abigail Smith Gets to Know John Adams

Abigail Smith liked John Adams. The feeling was mutual. But Abigail’s mother didn’t think the young country lawyer was good eno...

463 Words, 2nd-4th Grades, Character Traits, Figurative Language, and Summary

Bessie Blount Griffin: Inventor and Forensic Scientist

Bessie Blount Griffin was an inventor, nurse, physical therapist, and forensic scientist. She was the first African American wo...

443 Words, 2nd-4th Grades, Main / Central Idea and Summary

Michael, Tsar of Russia

Mikhail Fyodorovich Romanov was the founder of the Romanov dynasty in Russia. The dynasty was in power from 1613 to 1917. This ...

380 Words, 2nd-4th Grades, Character Traits, Context Clues, and Summary