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.
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.
Our Deportment, or the Manners, Conduct, and Dress of Refined Society
John H. Young
The author describes the proper roles that men and women must occupy.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman
A woman meets Prejudice, personified as a man, while walking on a mountain path.
Morning in the Burned House
A speaker imagines her childhood as a burned house.
Nothing Gold Can Stay
A classic poem packed with metaphors in which Frost depicts the fleeting nature of youth.
Making a Fist
Naomi Shihab Nye
A child has a realization about her own mortality.
I'm Nobody! Who Are You?
Dickinson calls public life "dreary" and takes pride in maintaining a private identity.
Thomas Jefferson on Shays' Rebellion
In this letter, Jefferson argues that rebellion is necessary for the preservation of democratic societies.
Love and Friendship
Brontë uses figurative language to argue that friendship - not love - is everlasting.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
The famous poem that begins, "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways."
Steve Jobs' Stanford University Commencement Speech
The late Steve Jobs discusses the challenges that ultimately shaped him into a successful entrepreneur.
The White Man's Burden
Rudyard Kipling argues that is America's moral imperative to colonize and rule non-white nations.
Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death Speech
The famous revolutionary speech that incited Virginia to organize a militia against British tyranny
I am the people, the mob
In this poem, humanity's ability to organize and incite social change is personified.
Excerpt from Trail of Tears Diary
Jobe Alexander & Mary Hill
Interviews with decendents of Native Americans who were on the Trail of Tears
“Hope” is the thing with feathers - (254)
Dickinson metaphorically represents “hope” as a bird that “perches on the soul.”
The Last Leaf
A young woman catches pneumonia and loses her will to live.
Excerpt from Frankenstein: Chapter 16
In his monologue, the monster scolds the scientist for letting power cloud his judgment.