Schools & Districts New Library Feature: Teacher Overviews

A teacher works with a student.

As a teacher, finding the right text is time consuming. Reading text after text in its entirety to figure out if it fits the unit or highlights the right teaching point takes a lot of time and brainpower. There has to be a better way!


At CommonLit, our instructional experts are always on a mission to make teachers’ lives easier while providing resources for them to plan rigorous and engaging lessons for their students. That’s why our library team has been busy adding our newest digital library feature - a “Teacher Overview” for every single text on our robust literacy platform.

Every text on CommonLit.org features an overview providing a peek at the text’s key themes or topics, a summary, and some “Teaching Tips” from our instructional experts. They have been carefully designed for teachers to provide at-a-glance insight into the text’s big ideas but also highlight what teaching points could really pop in a given text. It’s a great starting place to help make teachers’ planning even more targeted. Here’s what teachers will find in each Teacher Overview:

  • High level themes and topics: Our team has dug into each text to pull out its key themes or topics. These help teachers find content that truly matches their unit or lesson’s big ideas.
  • A full summary: The summary on every teacher tip helps teachers get a sense of what happens in the story. If teachers are assigning a text for independent reading, the summary also gives them a quick snapshot of what happens in the story, so they can check student understanding and hold students accountable as they read.
  • Teaching tips: Each Teacher Overview also provides a teaching tip. These give helpful guidance regarding what kinds of units the text would best align with as well as which reading skills would be great to highlight within the text. The Teacher Overview for “Fish Cheeks,” for example, shares that this is a great text for teaching about identity as well as a great text for a unit on memoirs!

To gain access to these tips, just log into your verified educator account on CommonLit. We hope you find them helpful!

Next Steps

Want to learn more about new and exciting features on CommonLit? Check out our upcoming webinars!

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