A Highly Unique Career
A Reading Comprehension Passage by Common Core Texts

My career is highly unique. I use a specialized skill set that took me an entire lifetime to learn. I can earn thousands of dollars in a single day, and the tools of my trade can fit into a single briefcase. Am I a lawyer? A surgeon? A banker? None of the above. There are thousands of lawyers, surgeons, and …

My Odd Upbringing
A Reading Comprehension Passage by Common Core Texts

To call my upbringing odd would be the understatement of the century. My family made oddballs look normal. I grew up on what you might call a houseboat. I suppose it technically was both house and boat, since we lived aboard the contraption and it floated (usually). But it looked more like a floating shack than a houseboat. My father …

Summer in Managua
A Reading Comprehension Passage by Common Core Texts

My parents came to the United States in August of 1992, just months before I entered the world. They settled in Buffalo, New York, where a job awaited my father. My uncles had warned that the winters could be bracingly cold. Still, my parents were caught by surprise in September when the weather began to turn. By the time December …

Extraordinary People
A Reading Comprehension Passage by Common Core Texts

It’s often said that humans use only ten percent of their brainpower at any given time. This is meant to suggest that if we could only harness the true power of our brains, we could think ten times more quickly, brilliantly, or creatively. The truth, however, is that humans use much more than ten percent of our brains. Our brains …

Tough Love
A Reading Comprehension Passage by Common Core Texts

As a boy, I used to wait in the kitchen for my father to come home from work. When he came through the door, he would pick me up and kiss me on the top of my head. “How was work?” I’d always ask. I knew that a story was sure to follow. It seemed like something funny was always …

The Human Camera
A Reading Comprehension Passage by Common Core Texts

Could you draw a picture of the street you live on from memory? How many details would you remember? Most of us do not have the ability to remember the tiny details of things we have seen. However, there are people who have this skill. They have photographic memories, which means that their memories are as accurate as a photograph. …

Jadav’s Forest
A Reading Comprehension Passage by Common Core Texts

In a small forest hut outside a tiny village in eastern India lives a man named Jadav Payeng. Jadav has lived in this rural region of India for his entire life. He raises cattle, and his only source of income is the milk they produce. But despite his humble life, Jadav is admired across the world. When Jadav was 16, …

Kwame Nkrumah
A Reading Comprehension Passage by Common Core Texts

In January of 1950, Kwame Nkrumah sat in a dark and dirty jail cell in Accra, Ghana. His cell was inside Fort James prison, a place where only one hundred years before, slaves were held before being sent to the Americas. It was a place filled with untold sorrow, where the walls seemed to echo with voices from its dark …

America’s Polymath
A Reading Comprehension Passage by Common Core Texts

Benjamin Franklin may have been America’s most famous polymath. Despite how it appears, the word “polymath” has little to do with math. Rather, it means someone who is skilled in many areas. Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father, scientist, writer, and inventor, fit that description perfectly. Franklin was born in 1706 in Boston. His father did not have enough money to send …

Sojourner Truth
A Reading Comprehension Passage by Common Core Texts

On an afternoon in 1828, an African American woman named Sojourner Truth walked out of a New York courtroom with her head held high. She had just won a court case that would reunite her with her son. Like all children of slaves, Truth’s son was considered to be the property of the slave owner. But with the laws in …