Easy 1st Grade Reading Comprehension Worksheets Kids Love!

Use these for either Kindergarten or First Grade Reading Worksheets

In our 1st grade reading comprehension worksheets below I have included many

  • kids nursery rhymes, 
  • the Pledge of Allegiance, and 
  • the words to the Star Spangled Banner.

There are two or more worksheets per download for different reading levels. I have newly added larger images under section 5-1 on this page, yet both images link to the same 2-6 page downloads that include:

  1. Listen and draw for kindergarten and 1st grade.
  2. Manuscript copywork worksheets for 1st through 4th grade.

I also have a wonderful printable download of A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson below that has copywork of his sweet poems, including both a manuscript print and cursive writing version.

1. Good Reading Instruction

1.A. Early Reading Flash Cards Can Be A Big No-No

In the past I had posted whole word reading flash cards here because they can be really great for reading practice, yet they often have the effect of making children think they need to memorize a photo of each word.

An article convinced me to remove these flash cards, "Whatever Happened to Phonics", by Bruce Deitrick Price. He mentioned Rudolf Flesch's book, Why Johnny Can't Read, that shows that phonics is the easiest way for children to learn to read well. See my reference below in section 3.

I really believe that teaching phonics, the individual sounds of the letters, and their combinations, is the keystone to future reading comprehension success for beginners or for rescuing an older student that has had difficulty reading.

One of my seventh grade students once said, "Oh, now I get it! I just thought you looked at the word and you knew it." She missed several years of being able to read easily due to a look-say method.

Phonics makes reading click. Even slower students who know the phonics sounds and the phonics rules begin to advance quickly once reading begins to click.

  • Smart students learn to read quickly using phonics skills. 
  • Faster children benefit quickly.
  • Slower children have fewer difficulties. 

Once any student has the basic reading comprehension skills in phonics he is free to read, and thereby, to learn almost anything! 

Once children can read the phonics sounds and can divide words into syllables, they can read longer words without needing to be taught the new words. 

As children begin to understand the prefixes and suffixes added to base words they can understand perhaps a dozen words by learning one new base or root word and their prefixes and suffixes or beginnings and endings. Learning the phonics rules helps them here, too, especially for being able to write.

Most students still need phonics lessons and review throughout the elementary education years so as to practice the phonics rules for bigger words with prefixes and suffixes.

The prefixes and suffixes are what expand reading comprehension at any age. Then? Practice makes perfect!

Simply read and write.

Again. And again.

Be encouraged to stay in touch! Join my free newsletter....

Join To Receive My Free PrintNPractice Newsletters!

Free Online Worksheets For School, Homework, And Homeschool Practice

Free Online Teacher Resources - Free Homeschool Curriculum

For teachers and parents: PrintNPractice free printable worksheets are all copyright-free, digital activities for students. Use in homeschool, interactive notebooks for online classrooms, Google classroom, distance learning, tutoring and learning pods, and hybrid school. 

  • No prep.
  • No tracking.
  • Self learning.
  • Copyright free.
  • Lifetime license.
  • Diverse learners.
  • Easy drill-and-kill.
  • Interactive worksheets.
  • Printable morning work.
  • Paperless morning work.
  • Go printable or paperless.
  • Stay on track. Summer review.
  • Easy elementary school curriculum.
  • Remote learning packets or homework.
  • Most need no answer key or key is included.
  • Videos for audio and visual learners. God bless headphones!

See free teacherhomeschool, digital interactive school-at-home learning exercises with no login, no sign-up, no voucher, no account, and no credit card. Loads of digital activities for device-based learning. As seen at TeachersPayTeachers.

1.B. The Best Way to Learn To Read Is To Read

* Beginning Readers

Personally I find that one of the best reading activities is, of course, to read.

This involves more effort on the part of the teacher or the parent in the beginning to make sure that the child understands what he is reading, but it is so worth any extra effort now for future success later.

It can be a big help to teach your students to write the material, or copy it. This ensures that your student has reviewed it, especially if you coach them to say it while they write it.

Most children will then be able to read the selection better. Why? Writing makes them slow down to the individual letter or sounds so they can absorb what they're seeing. Let them practice till the writing and reading is easier.

I find with the children that I have taught that, if a child reviews a passage several times in several ways, he can more easily comprehend its meaning.

It's called studying. It takes this sort of work for any of us who are learning something new. Think of when we were in high school and college. We took notes.

* Older Students Reading

For older students reading comprehension can be improved by reading a good selection alone in a quiet place.

When they read difficult phrases, teach them to read out loud as needed for comprehension. Even adults sometimes have to re-read selections that give them pause.

I believe that once a student has worked through several complicated books well, that he is able then to read anything after that.

The effort to get through that one hard book is well worth it.

Early Americans learned to read with not much more than a Bible in the home.

Think. Once a child can read the Bible, he can read anything!

2. Writing Improves Reading Skills

It is one thing to hand a child a worksheet that amounts to a quiz, yet it is an entirely different thing to hand him our practice reading worksheets that have the correct spelling to copy.

Copy work is a reading activity by which a student can actively improve his skills by his own efforts. Not all children need writing for reading's sake. In this case let them practice penmanship.

Even handwriting practice can help reading comprehension since the student must pay attention to every character in the words he is reading in order to write it, and must work in the direction that we read.

Reading and writing the English language happens left to right. Writing reinforces this truth and improves this directional habit for reading.

Copy work can be very helpful. In the old days Laura Ingalls Wilder copied from a book to a slate and, even today, college students take notes all day long to remember their work better.

Writing does aid reading and memory.

After a student can read at a third or fourth grade level the main difference in books between the elementary grades is the length of the book and maturity of content.

  • Longer books take longer to read and can be discouraging for early learners.
  • Mature content can decrease a child's understanding for lack of experience.

Generally you shoulc choose books that meet your students' reading ability and general ability to sit through a long study, but do not chose books with limited vocabulary - at least not for very long.

What's the difference?

  • Elementary reading books have shorter stories, more pictures, and use the plain meaning of words.
  • High school books are longer, have fewer pictures, and cover more complicated material.

Weigh this for yourself, especially if you're homeschooling as working through a hard book can be liberating; but don't try it if it is overwhelming.

3. 1st Grade Writing And Reading Worksheets

Our 1st grade reading comprehension worksheets are handmade for real children.

I've used these reading worksheets with my own children and I hope that my own grandchildren will also learn the material they teach! 

I recommend and have used:

  • Romalda Spalding's The Writing Road To Reading,
  • Spell to Write and Read by Wanda Sanseri (best exercises for my family) , 
  • The Phonics Road by Barbara Beers, and 
  • Sound Beginnings by Julia Fogassy - if you can find a copy.

These have reading lesson plans that aim at teaching the Orton phonics sounds and the phonics rules taught by Dr. Orton.

These companies all have a flavor of teaching phonics explicitly, not making the child guess or hope to take a photographic memory of a zillion words as pointed out by Rudolf Flesch in his work!

This is crazy:

  • We have decided to…learn to read English as if it were Chinese. One word after another after another after another. If we want to read materials with a vocabulary of 10,000 words, then we have to memorize 10,000 words....

English does not work this way.

4. A Child's Garden of Verses Downloads

4.A. 1st Grade Reading Comprehension Worksheets

Use these 1st grade reading worksheets for several levels of practice from tracing letters and words, to phonics and reading comprehension. There are kids nursery rhymes and A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson (see free samples near the bottom of this page).

We offer these free or you can purchase the downloads in one bundle. 

Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses - Buy this printable reading worksheets bundle with:

  • Hundreds of Manuscript worksheets.
  • Cursive writing worksheets. 
  • Classic treasury of poems for children.
  • Copybook method.

4.B. Robert Louis Stevenson Printable Worksheets

Robert Louis Stevenson wrote some of the most beloved poems for children of all time. His A Child's Garden of Verses captures some of the sweetest elements of childhood.

This printable reading worksheets download has his collection in several formats. Your younger students will enjoy hearing you read the story for them to draw what they imagined hearing.

Older students can copy the poems on ruled lines or unruled lines. The whole set is included in a cursive writing format as well, so that you have great resources for handwriting practice worksheets.

4.C. A Child's Garden Of Verses Printable Worksheets

One of the most important features of good reading instruction is to find interesting reading material at a level that your readers can enjoy or appreciate which is why I've made this giant bundle of reading worksheets that have different variations on the worksheets theme.

A Child's Garden of Verses is a wonderful start for teaching your students reading, poetry, and beautiful handwriting. A Child's Garden of Verses written by Robert Louis Stevenson is a beautiful collection of children's poems. I think that part of the magic is that he wrote many of them when he was still just a boy!

We have taken these poems and put them to four levels for you to choose which is best for your child:

  • Level One: has the poem written out with a place for the student to draw a picture. See these at the bottom of this page.
  • Level Two: has the poem written out on lined paper in manuscript with a blank line for the child to copy.
  • Level Three: is similar to Level Two yet in beautiful cursive writing.
  • Level Four: has the poem written on one side and plain lines to copy the poem on the other side.

5. Sample Digital Reading Comprehension Worksheets

This download has scores of Kindergarten and 1st grade reading comprehension worksheets for reading skills. Here are a few samples for free.

1. Two Pledge Of Allegiance Printable Patriotic Worksheets

1.A. Pledge Of Allegiance Read Aloud And Color

1.B. Pledge Of Allegiance Manuscript Copywork Worksheet

2. Free Star Spangled Banner Printable Worksheets

2.A. Star Spangled Banner Lyrics Coloring Worksheet

2.B. Star Spangled Banner Lyrics Reading Worksheet - 7 Pages

3. Nursery Rhymes For Kids

Nursery rhymes make reading, writing, and singing happy easy activities.

Our Child's Garden also has other files for reading, writing, and handwriting practice. See these free kids' nursery rhymes samples.

Or buy the full collection below. 

Buy Fun Reading Worksheets In One Bundle!

"If I had to teach ... A Child's Garden of Verses would be my best friend!

It's so good for children and is universally recognized as good literature.

It's something you can use to teach morals without scandalizing. It teaches a wonderful perspective, too."

~ K. F., Elementary School Teacher

Buy A Child's Garden of Verses Worksheets

Digital Interactive Printables

Printable Reading Worksheets Download $9.98


Buy Our Phonics Worksheets In Bundles: Phonics, Spelling, And Reading

Buy the bundle of our online phonics worksheets in one digital download for ad-free access to phonics practice for your elementary school students at school or at home.

BONUS: It includes our cursive writing worksheets.

Homeschool worksheets for spelling practice and Robert Louis Stevenson's poetry handwriting worksheets make great ESL printable worksheets. Enjoy!

More Phonics Worksheets, Videos, and Books

6. Learning Disabilities Reading Tutor

If you're looking for a tutor or reading coach, I'd like to recommend a dear lady who loves to help students! She's so bright and inviting that everything she does is fun!

Rene is a Learning Disabilities Reading Tutor who offers a site that is not just for parents teaching their LD child, but for ANYONE who has a child struggling with reading and will benefit from a 20+ year reading specialist. She uses the Orton based phonics methods.

What is so rare is that she offers LIVE one-on-one Virtual Tutoring also and really teaches the basics like phonics as she starts if your student has not mastered that aspect of reading.

See Rene's heartwarming reading success stories especially if you're from the Topeka, Kansas area as she is an excellent reading tutor and I think you'll really like her ideas about the difference between online school and online tutoring. Sadly, she has taken down her site; yet I keep this information. Here is her two minute intro Orton Gillingham Youtube video.

Author and Webmaster, Mary Fifer
Mary Fifer (Webmaster, PrintNPractice.com)

Mary Fifer, BSBA is webmaster, author, and researcher at PrintNPractice.com. She has created elementary school practice exercises using digital interactive worksheets. Printable and perfect for today's teachers, tutors, homeschoolers, and students!

Thank you for visiting and for sharing. :-)

Be encouraged to stay in touch! Join my free newsletter....

Join To Receive My Free PrintNPractice Newsletters!