Getting Started with CommonLit Español

A group of students sitting at a table with their laptops open to a CommonLit lesson, writing on paper.

Over 650 authentic Spanish texts and digital tools — all for free!

Looking for free Spanish literacy resources? The CommonLit Español library has grown significantly in the last couple of years and now has over 650 Spanish texts. Our library is unique because it features a variety of literary texts, poetry, and informational texts, written by renowned authors and poets such as Alma Flor Ada, Horacio Quiroga, and Antonio Machado.

In this blog post, you’ll learn a few key tips for getting started with CommonLit Español. In particular, you’ll learn how to:

  • Access the Spanish library
  • Filter the Spanish library and assign texts
  • Use CommonLit tools to support students
  • Create a class and invite your students
  • Grade CommonLit lessons and monitor student progress

Accessing the Spanish library

There are two ways to access the Spanish library on CommonLit. The first can be done by navigating to the English library, selecting Spanish under the Languages tab in the filters bar, and then selecting Spanish Texts.

A short video showing how to get to the Spanish library.
Go to commonlit.org/en/library and select “Spanish” to view Spanish texts.

The second can be done by navigating directly to the Spanish platform: www.commonlit.org/es, selecting Explorar la biblioteca, and then Textos.

The main page of the Spanish library, with filters on the left and high-interest topic carousels of texts.
Visit the Spanish library at www.commonlit.org/es.

If you already have an account on our English platform, there’s no need to create another — with one CommonLit account, you’ll have access to both the English and Spanish libraries.

Filtering the Spanish Library and Assigning Texts

Finding the perfect lesson for your students on CommonLit is easy! From the library page, you can filter by grade, genre, and literary device, or search by title, author, or keyword.

The Spanish library, with the search bar and the filters boxed in red.
Use the filters on the left hand side of the page or the search bar to find the perfect text.

You can also sort texts by most popular, recently added, and lowest or highest Lexile level.

The Spanish library, with the text ordering drop down menu boxed in red.
Sort texts by most popular, recently added, and lowest or highest Lexile level on the top right hand corner of the page.

Using CommonLit Tools to Support Students

CommonLit has a few main tools that support all readers. These tools are available in our English library and in our Spanish library:

Annotation Tool

CommonLit’s annotation tool gives students the ability to highlight and take notes on any assignment or reading passage in the CommonLit library. Students can highlight a text in six different colors and annotate throughout (see below). As students are annotating their assignments, teachers can also monitor and comment on student annotations in real time.

The CommonLit Español lesson "La abeja haragana."
This is an example of how the CommonLit’s Annotation tool works. The text is “la abeja haragana” by Horacio Quiroga and you can find it here.

To view student annotations, teachers should go to their Assignment Dashboard and select “Student Annotations” or “Anotaciones de los estudiantes” in the left-hand navigation bar. The drop-down menu allows teachers to easily select which student’s annotations they want to view.

Guided Reading Mode

This feature supports student comprehension and gives students real-time feedback on their understanding. When enabled, students are prompted to stop as they are reading to answer basic multiple-choice comprehension questions. These questions are meant to be “checks for understanding” that help struggling students track the main ideas as they read.

A short video showing how to use Guided Reading Mode in the CommonLit Español lesson "El color de las emociones"
This is an example of how to answer a Guided Reading Mode question on CommonLit. The text is “el color de las emociones” by Zazil Be Palma Lòpez. You can find it here.

You can read more about how to use Guided Reading Mode with your students.

Read Aloud

Students can now hear the audio for all Spanish texts by clicking on the “Read Aloud” or “Leer en voz alta” button in the top-right corner of the text page. This can be a helpful way to support students who struggle with fluency or decoding. The best part is that students can pause and restart the audio whenever they need — or repeat a section as needed. They can also change the speed of the audio to hear it slower. Make sure you log in to CommonLit to use this feature.

The CommonLit Español lesson "Tolerancia" with the "Leer en voz alta" button boxed in red.
Click on “LEER EN VOZ ALTA” to access read aloud. Be sure to log in to your CommonLit account so you can use this feature. This text is “Tolerancia” by Museo de Memoria y Tolerancia. You can find it here.

Creating a class

Now that you know all about our texts and digital features — it’s time to create classes on CommonLit. There are three easy ways to create a class and invite your students on CommonLit:

Google Classroom

If you use Google Classroom with your students, go to your Manage Classes page and click the “Create a New Class” button to import your classes and students from Google Classroom to CommonLit. Once you’ve done so, send your students this (link in English or link in Spanish) and tell them to click “Log in with Google” to easily access their accounts.

Clever

If your school or district users Clever, talk to your school’s technology director about connecting to CommonLit on Clever, and instruct them to email partnerships@commonlit.org.

Class Code

If you don’t use Google Classroom or Clever, no need to fret! First, go to your Manage Classes page, click “Create a New Class,” and select “Create a New Class Manually.” Once you’ve created your class, you’ll have a six digit class code that students will need to enter (here in English or here in Spanish).

Grading and Monitoring Student Progress

All Spanish texts include a handful of multiple choice questions and at least one open-ended response question. The multiple choice questions are graded automatically and teachers can view exemplar responses for the open-ended questions, making it easy to score students on their writing and provide personalized feedback.

Using the Student Performance Dashboard, whole class and individual student performance can be tracked by standard to detect trends and areas of improvement and plan for future instruction. Here is a helpful video (in English) about grading and our Student Performance Dashboard.

Next Steps / Webinars

  • If you’re an educator who wants to learn more about how to use CommonLit Español, sign up for our free CommonLit webinars in Spanish or in English
  • If you’re a school or district leader who wants to get more advice or training support for your team, please email agustina@commonlit.org
  • If you’re a teacher or parent who has questions about utilizing CommonLit with your students, please email ayuda@commonlit.org
  • To sign up for our monthly Spanish newsletter, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page!