8th Grade Reading Comprehension Passages

Reading Passages, Questions & Answers - Eigth Grade

Below you’ll find 8th grade reading comprehension passages along with questions and answers and related vocabulary activities. Great for reading skills development  for middle and rising high school students.

To the High Mountains

John Muir was one of the foremost American conservationists. In 1869 he went with a group of shepherds who were taking a flock of sheep to summer pasture in the Sierra Nevada mountains. In this passage, the shepherds try to get the sheep to cross a river. The man named…

The Husband and Father

This passage is about Eliza, an enslaved woman owned by the Shelby family. Her husband George is owned by a neighboring family. Eliza and George have one child, a small boy named Harry. Harry is charming, smart, and handsome. Earlier Eliza had overheard a slave trader speaking with her owner…

The Rush

The Klondike Gold Rush began in 1896 with the discovery of gold in Alaska and Canada. Over 100,000 people hurried to the area in order to find their own fortune of gold. One of these people was May Kellogg Sullivan, who along with her brother and father, went to get…

Primary Source: Washington Monument Is Almost Finished

The Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. took many years to build. The cornerstone was laid in 1848, the obelisk was completed in 1884, and the entire building was finished in 1888. Below is an article from the Wisconsin State Journal in January 1885 regarding the completion of the obelisk. As…

Where I Lived, and What I Lived For

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) was a noted American writer, philosopher, and essayist. His 1854 book, Walden, explores his experiment in living a simplified life in the woods as a way to explore his inner self. He lived in the woods for two years. This passage reflects upon his selection of…

Machines Like Us

Robots-machines capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically- have gone from a science fiction concept to a part of everyday life. These machines show up everywhere from children’s toys to exploration vehicles on Mars. Robots are important in many fields, including the manufacturing, automotive, and medical industries. …

Primary Source: Spanish Flu Pandemic

The Oregonian is a daily newspaper in Portland, Oregon. It has been published daily since 1861. This is a newspaper article from The Oregonian published October 12, 1918. The flu epidemic is believed to have begun in late 1917 or early 1918. The U.S. had entered World War I on…

The Yosemite

Famed naturalist John Muir went with a group of shepherds into the Sierra Nevada mountains in 1869. The shepherds were taking their flock to summer pasture. It was Muir’s first trip into these mountains, and he would return many more times. This passage is from his diary of the trip.…

The Gift of the Magi

O. Henry, whose real name was William Sydney Porter, wrote the short story “The Gift of the Magi.” It was published in 1910. Below are the opening paragraphs of the story. ———————- One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved…

The First of the Three Spirits

A Christmas Carol tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a successful but tight-fisted English businessman who hates Christmas. Scrooge has been told by the ghost of his dead business partner that three spirits will visit him. These spirits are the last chance Scrooge has to avoid the fate of his…