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.
If We Must Die
A Harlem Renaissance poet discusses facing death and other obstacles with courage and dignity.
A spin-off of "Extracts from Adam's Diary," in this piece Twain gives us the perspective of Eve--contrastingly self-assured and full of childlike wonder.
Learning to Read
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
An African American child in 1872 describes what it was like to be discouraged from learning how to read.
'To Be Or Not To Be' Soliloquy
In this famous soliloquy, Hamlet contemplates suicide and discusses why men are moved to inaction.
Death Be Not Proud
In this famous poem, Donne uses a defiant tone to confront Death.
This sonnet, written during WWI, describes an English soldier's dying wish.
Where the Sidewalk Ends
In this playful poem, Silverstein uses an extended metaphor to capture the beauty of a child's imagination.
A Satirical Elegy on the Death of a Late Famous General
Swift uses humor to show that even decorated generals cannot fight off death.
William Butler Yeats
Yeats reveals his torn emotions about the Easter Rising, an armed rebellion against British rule in Ireland.
The War Prayer
A country gone to war is visited by a mysterious messenger who explains the price of victory.
Because I could not stop for death
The speaker takes a leisurely carriage drive with the figure of Death.
There Will Come Soft Rains
Nature is indifferent to the conflicts and suffering of mankind.
Fear of Change
The inventor of the Model T exalts the working class and argues that progressive change is natural.
Little Things Are Big
Jesús Colón recalls a time when he chose not to assist a white woman who needed help on the subway.
The Song of The Shirt
This poem depicts the inhuman working conditions for England's poor.
Two bitter enemies are trapped in the woods together, and the lines between friendship and enmity are tested.
Sandburg laments the fleeting nature of language in the context of human history.
A young boy's obsession with the girl next door leads him on a journey that ends in a harsh realization.
We Wear the Mask
Paul Laurence Dunbar
This famous poem is about the tendency of oppressed black Americans to conceal their pain and suffering in post-Civil War America.