The Importance of Paired Readings (Free Download)


This Differentiated Comprehension Journal for the Year includes 86 paired texts and response sheets. The passages and response sheets are differentiated (there are three versions!). The passages will get increasingly more challenging as the year progresses. The Comprehension Journal can be used in MANY different ways. To start, I suggest modeling how to use these passages as a whole group. Once your students become familiar with the structure and procedures, the sheets could be completed in a small group setting, with a partner, or independently. I provide colored and grayscale/black and white versions for your convenience.

There are five steps that students will be required to complete for each passage.

Step 1: I Can Read the Text – This step requires students to simply read the text one time to “get their feet wet.”

Step 2: I Can Understand the Text -. This step requires students to re-read the text and focus on the three highlighted vocabulary words. Students will have to match each word to its correct picture and meaning.

Step 3: I Can Picture the Text – This step requires students to visualize the text and then draw a detailed picture of what they visualized.

Step 4: I Can Write About the Text – This step requires students to answer a text-dependent question. Students will be required to go back to the text to find evidence that supports their answer.

Step 5: Comprehension Check-Up – This is the last step. This step requires students to answer “true” or “false” to sentences (for the nonfiction passages) OR write short answer responses (for the fiction passages)


Like I mentioned above, each of the passages is paired (a fiction version and a nonfiction version). If you have followed my blog for awhile, you know just how passionate I am about getting nonfiction reading material in the hands of young ones.

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These paired passages benefit your students in the following ways:

– Help create more meaningful connections

– Highly motivating and engaging

– Improve reading comprehension

– Develop  students’ background knowledge 

– Increase student vocabulary

– Improve critical thinking/higher order thinking skills

– Prepare students for the increased amount of informational texts in upper grades

Students should not only be learning to read, but also reading to learn. Nonfiction texts offer so many opportunities for students to LEARN while reading! Reading Research study conducted by Michigan State revealed in a study back in 2000, on average, primary children engaged with nonfiction texts for ONLY 3.6 minutes a day! That number is ALARMING! Since then, there has been a HUGE shift in the amount of nonfiction reading material that students are interacting with on a daily basis. But, we still have a ways to go! I hope this paired AND differentiated comprehension journal helps make lesson planning and the implementation of nonfiction instruction a little less stressful. Below you’ll find some more information about the bundle.

comprehension collage


10 Nonfiction Passages:

Busy Little Squirrels!
The Many Uses of Corn
Who Was Johnny Appleseed?
A Great, Big Pumpkin! (Largest pumpkin in the world!)
All About Fire Dogs! (All About Dalmatians)
Changes In Fall (What Do People and Animals Do In Fall?)
Spooky or Not? (All About Skeletons)
Light In the Night! (Jack-o-Lanterns)
Caught In a Web! (All About Spider Webs)
The Big Parade! (Thanksgiving Day Parade)

10 Fiction Passages:

Sal the Squirrel
Lost In the Corn Maze
The Stolen Sack! (Fictional Story about Johnny Appleseed)
Pumpkin Patch Time
Dixie the Dalmatian
The Fall Festival!
Costume Party!
Lost In the Corn Maze
Pumpkin Carving Day
Sharing a Web
Time for the Parade


10 Nonfiction Passages:

A Look at Reindeer (Facts about Reindeer)
A Trip to the Toy Shop (About the Oldest Toy Shop)
Life in an Igloo (About the Inuit People and Igloos)
Kindness Counts (What It Means to Volunteer and Donate)
Climb to the Top (All About Mt. Everest)
Under the Arctic Ice (All About Beluga Whales)
Winter is Here (What Happens in Winter?)
Mother and Cub (All About Polar Bear Mothers and Cubs)
Harp Seal Adventures (All About Harp Seals)
You Better Brush Up! (What did people use before toothpaste?)

10 Fiction Passages:

Rudy’s Cookies
The Perfect Toy!
Do You Want to Build an Igloo?
Warm Their Hearts
Let’s Pretend and Play!
The Big Snowfall
The Messy Den!
Bella and Pepper
It’s Diving Day!
A Trip to the Dentist!


13 Nonfiction Passages (3 BONUS Passages!)

Spring Is Here
Legend of Leprechauns
Thank you, Earth!
Exploring Rocks
Terrifying Tornadoes
Fascinating Frogs!
Baby Ducklings
Who’s That Hopping? (Rabbits)
Insects Up Close
Wiggly Worms
Tall, Tall Trees
What are Magnets?
Big and Small Plants

13 Fiction Passages (3 BONUS Passages!)

The Leprechaun Trap!
Earth Day Kids
Spring Nature Walk
Will It Stick?
Gerry the Geologist
A Trip to Remember
Tornado Safety Plan
Lonely Lenny
Crossing the Creek
Ralph Saves the Day!
Grandma’s Gardening Girl
Caitlin’s Worm Surprise
Bug Catching Day!


10 Nonfiction Topics:

Summer Has Arrived!
Under the Sea (Oceans)
It’s Camping Time!
All About Mosquitoes
Incredible Crabs
Independence Day
Flipping for Dolphins!
Ice Cream: Then and Now
Wild Water Parks

10 Fiction Topics:

School’s Out for Summer!
Toes In the Water!
Honey Flapjacks
Itchy All Over
The Search for Treasure
A 4th of July to Remember
The Lucky Fishing Trip
The Annual Camping Trip
Sundae Fun Day!
The Colossal Waterslide

For your convenience, I have listed the title of the passage, a letter to indicate the level (A = Approaching, O = On Grade Level and B = Beyond Grade Level), and whether or not the passage is fiction or nonfiction.

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I have also included a black and white version as well as a colored version. This gives you options! I will say that printing in both look GREAT!






















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Example of a nonfiction text and how I have differentiated them:

diff 1


Example of the paired fiction text and how I have differentiated them:

diff 2


There are many different ways to organize the Differentiated Comprehension Journals. Below you’ll see some different ways that teacher are using the journals (thank you for everyone who has shared photos with me). In addition to the options below, you could also just print them out one at a time. Another fun idea that a teacher-friend just shared with me today is to laminate and re-use the first sheet. Then, all you have to print is the second sheet. Genius!

organization options 1

If you have any questions about this bundle, please feel free to ask below! Grab it now at $85 before it goes back up to $116. This is the LOWEST price the Differentiated Comprehension Journal will EVER be (even lower than a TPT sale).  Snag it here.

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Leave a Comment

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Sara Baker June 30, 2016, 11:46 am

    I love this!! I am looking for a way to incorporate more non fiction text into the curriculum and I think this is a great way to do it! I also appreciate how each topic is themed so I can use it during the appropriate time throughout the year. Thank you for sharing!

  • Brenda July 2, 2016, 3:53 pm

    This would be a great addition to my classroom! Great job : )

  • Sandie Arnel April 15, 2018, 10:27 pm

    Hi there!
    I’m a teacher in Australia, looking to purchase this item from you. At the bottom of this link it tells me it’s $50. However, when I go to purchase it, it’s $85. Can you please clarify the price and also, can you confirm that it’s in USD?