History Reading Passages

Works of history explore a person, event, or other meaningful part of the past. These works examine the subject in detail, especially as the subject relates to subsequent events or how the subject had an impact on society. 

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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

Documents of Freedom

For centuries, humans have attempted to codify the rights, privileges, responsibilities, and freedoms each person has in a society. This Reading Set is a collection of some of the most important documents in this ongoing quest to form “a more perfect union.”

Reading Set: 5 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

Abigail Adams: Persuading Her Husband

Abigail Adams’ letters to her husband, John Adams, reveals much of the inner workings of the early Founding Fathers. In this ex...

261 Words, 9th-12th Grades, Compare and Contrast, Context Clues, and Main / Central Idea

The 19th Amendment: Votes for Women

by RV Staff Writer A.A.

One hundred years ago women were not allowed to vote...

444 Words, 4th-6th Grades, Main / Central Idea and Summary

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