How To Teach Paired Texts in Five Days With a Free Reading Unit

How to Teach Paired Texts in 5 Days With a Free Reading Unit Pin

 Teaching paired texts is quite a feat. There’s so much to cover! This task can also be overwhelming for students because they’re required to integrate knowledge that they’ve learned throughout upper elementary and use it to analyze two different texts. Talk about a rigorous challenge! 

This post will cover how you can teach an entire paired text unit in 5 days with my FREE Paired Text Set! 

Free Paired Texts for 4th - 6th Grades

To grab this FREE Paired Texts Unit, click the image above, and it will be sent straight to your inbox! As a major bonus, you’ll also receive exclusive access to The Teacher Next Door’s Free Resource Library!

This particular set of paired texts contains a fiction text and a nonfiction text. However, some paired texts may have a fiction-to-fiction pairing, nonfiction-to-nonfiction pairing, or even a fiction/nonfiction text-to-digital media (video, photograph, soundbite, etc.) pairing. 

While students analyze these texts, they’ll need to be looking for similarities and differences between the two. 

To do this, students will need to combine many of the reading strategies and skills they’ve been working on since third grade.   

I highly encourage students to practice analyzing multiple paired texts throughout the year. This post is to help get you started and suggest some resources that can help you tackle this reading skill and hit the standards! 

DAY ONE – Passage #1 and Paired Questions – “Skywriting” – Nonfiction Technical Text

Begin the first day of this unit with the nonfiction technical text in this set. This text will be challenging, which is why I suggest starting here.  

“Skywriting” is rich with vocabulary and contains tons of details about the occupation. I suggest completing this passage and its questions together as a class.

You can see here that we color-coded our text and used purple to underline new vocabulary.

Free Paired Texts Unit - Day 1

It’s quite possible that reading and analyzing this text and answering the paired comprehension questions will take the majority of your reading block. You may want to create an anchor chart with new vocabulary learned from the text and another that holds facts about skywriting found in the text.  

Consider providing students with a fun activity following this text analysis, like allowing students to find skywriting images or watch a video of skywriting in action as a class. 

DAY TWO – Passage #2 and Paired Questions – “My Dad, the Skywriter” – Realistic Fiction

“My Dad, the Skywriter” is a realistic fiction text which allows students to explore skywriting in a deeper sense. 

Students will be able to make connections with the narrator in this text and gain valuable insight into the topic from a first-person point of view.

If you’re looking to build independence, have students complete the paired questions independently or with a group.

DAY THREE – Vocabulary Activities

Both texts are rich with technical and academic vocabulary. Working on this skill builds comprehension and teaches students to use context clues from the text when working independently.

Day 3 is the perfect day to pull small groups to review each text and monitor student progress.

DAY FOUR – Paired Text Questions

On the fourth day, students will work through paired text questions and integrate the knowledge they gained from each text to answer questions and cite evidence.

Remember, the goal during the fourth day of this unit is for students to integrate knowledge from both texts. You will really want to highlight the commonalities between the two texts, how each text presented the topic in a different light, and how reading both texts added to students’ understanding of the topic. 

DAY 5 – Writing Activity Day

On the last day of this unit, there are three writing activities to choose from, a narrative, expository, or persuasive prompt are all provided in this freebie.

I find that student writing provides excellent insight into how well each student grasped and integrated the two texts.

I suggest using Day 4 and Day 5 as a means to assess students formatively. These two tasks will let you know which students will need additional support the next time you complete a paired texts unit. 


Every activity pictured above also comes with a digital version! Don’t worry; the digital activities are free too! You’ll find links to them in the PDF. 🖥️

Free Paired Texts for 4th - 6th Grades


This freebie is a part of a larger set. You can find additional passages and activities to ensure your students master this skill in the Paired Texts Fiction to Nonfiction Print & Digital Unit!

Paired Texts - Fiction to Nonfiction

Want to learn more about teaching important reading skills? Check out these posts!

Important Steps to Teach Paired Passages

Using the RACE Strategy for Text Evidence

Nonfiction Made Easy! 5 Tips for Hitting the Standards

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