Figurative Language Reading Passages

Figurative language is the use of language to give words meaning beyond their literal definitions. For example, a simile is a comparison of two things using the words “like” or “as.” “Her heart is as soft as a cloud.” is a simile. Other figurative language includes metaphor, personification, hyperbole, and alliteration. 

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Across the Plains

In 1879, author Robert Louis Stevenson traveled from Great Britain to New York. From there, he took a train across the United States to San Francisco. His reflections on the trip were later published as a series of memoirs. In this reading set are excerpts from sections of the first chapter of the book.

Reading Set: 5 Passages

Mother Goose

Many children are already familiar with the Mother Goose nursery rhymes, which makes them easier to read for beginning readers. While the origins of Mother Goose may be shrouded in history, the poems attributed to her still delight children centuries later. This reading set includes some of the most famous of these beloved rhymes from a 1916 compilation.

Reading Set: 6 Passages

A Child’s Garden of Verses

It’s hard to believe that the same person who wrote “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” could write charming children’s poetry, but Robert Louis Stevenson did just that. His poems for children show a deep insight into childhood, from being sick in bed to swinging high on a swing. This reading set includes some of his most beloved poems.

Reading Set: 7 Passages

Women's History

Women’s History Month is traditionally held in March, but the study of women’s history is valuable all twelve months of the year. Women have overcome daunting odds to succeed and excel in all areas of human endeavor, including science, manufacturing, athletics, business, and exploration. These passages about outstanding women cover the broad spectrum of the accomplishments of notable women. Their stories are sure to inspire your students. 

Reading Set: 18 Passages

Classic Fairy Tales

Is there any more magical phrase than “Once upon a time”? This beginning of so many classic fairy tales sends the reader into a world full of unlimited possibilities and imagination. This collection of passages includes some of the most beloved fairy tales of all time from such authors as Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm. Some are the complete original story; others are selected passages from the tale. 

Reading Set: 10 Passages

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

The French Revolution

The French Revolution began in 1789 and took the idea of modern democracy from the fledgling United States to Europe. A period of social, political, and economic upheaval, it has been the setting for many seminal works by major authors, including Charles Dickens and Victor Hugo. This Reading Set includes both fiction and nonfiction passages along with related reading comprehension questions.

Reading Set: 6 Passages

Edgar Allan Poe

Macabre, dark, foreboding; these adjectives are often used to describe the works of Edgar Allan Poe. While this is true of many of his more notable works, like "The Raven" and "The Fall of the House of Usher," Poe wrote other less ominous poems and stories as well. This Reading Set includes passages for many of Poe's most famous works, as well as some lesser-known treasures.

Reading Set: 5 Passages

Romeo and Juliet

"For never was there a tale of more woe/Than this of Juliet and her Romeo." The last lines of William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" perfectly sum up the story of the star-crossed young lovers. Perhaps the most approachable of the Bard's plays, "Romeo and Juliet" is a masterpiece of hope, love, and sorrow. Included in this Reading Set are some of the most notable scenes of the play.

Reading Set: 4 Passages