CommonLit The Library
CommonLit is a free collection of fiction and nonfiction for 3rd-12th grade classrooms. Search and filter our collection by lexile, grade, theme, genre, literary device, or common core standard.
At the Zoo
William Makepeace Thackeray
The speaker describes the animals they see during a visit to the zoo.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
The speaker describes a traveler’s tale about ancient ruins encountered in a desert.
East 149th Street (Symphony for a Black Girl)
Teri Ellen Cross Davis
A young girl shares the experience of having her hair braided by her mother.
“Jabberwocky” tells the story of a boy who must follow his father’s advice as he encounters a creature called the Jabberwock.
In this poem inspired by “We Wear the Mask” by Paul Lawrence Dunbar, the speaker describes concealing their identity.
Inspired by Jean Toomer’s poem “Storm Ending,” this poem compares a new day to a storm.
Malala Yousafzai's Nobel Peace Prize Lecture
Malala Yousafzai receives the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy for education.
In this poem, the speaker describes his life at sea and why he desires to return to it.
In Flanders Fields
This famous short poem describes the painful losses on World War I battlefields.
A Lonely Planet Ponders
John P. Curtin
A planet narrates his role in the universe, governed by the laws of nature.
Tristan and Isolde
Lady Jane Wilde
A knight and a princess fall in love, but at the cost of betraying their king.
A rousing poem celebrating Columbus’s perseverance even when success was far from certain.
Anthem for Doomed Youth
A soldier laments the loss of his fellow young combatants during the First World War.
I like to see it lap the Miles
A speaker depicts the arrival of the "iron horse," or railroad engine and its train.
The War Works Hard
In this satirical poem, a speaker remarks on the impressive diligence of war and its effects, from "provid[ing] food for flies" to "invigorat[ing] the coffin makers."
Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard
A man speculates on the lives of the dead — and what may be said of him, after death — as he walks through a country churchyard.
If We Must Die
A Harlem Renaissance poet discusses facing death and other obstacles with courage and dignity.