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.
When You Are Old
William Butler Yeats
In this poem, a speaker asks someone to reflect on their life and on lost love in their old age.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
The speaker describes a traveler’s tale about ancient ruins encountered in a desert.
Sylvia Earle: Deep Ocean Explorer
A speaker describes Sylvia Earle, a famous ocean explorer.
Ode on a Grecian Urn
In this poem, John Keats describes a series of images on a Grecian urn.
In this poem, the speaker proclaims the depth of their love.
This Is Not a Small Voice
A speaker describes the strength and love of a collective set of people.
A speaker describes their outside face and their ‘underface.’
In this poem inspired by “We Wear the Mask” by Paul Lawrence Dunbar, the speaker describes concealing their identity.
John P. Curtin
The speaker reflects on how technology has evolved over time.
Burning a Book
This poem offers a reflection on the nature of censorship and the struggle between knowledge and ignorance.
In this Linda Pastan poem, the speaker uses a wide variety of figurative language to describe a snowstorm.
Allegory of the Cave
Plato’s Allegory of the Cave is a piece of philosophy explaining the importance of knowledge in society and for the human soul.
What Teachers Make
A teacher is criticized for his profession and pushes back in this powerful poem.
The Man in the Arena
President Theodore Roosevelt
In Theodore Roosevelt’s famous 1910 speech, he puts into words that characteristic for which he is perhaps best remembered: his proclivity toward action.
Anthem for Doomed Youth
A soldier laments the loss of his fellow young combatants during the First World War.
On Being Brought from Africa to America
A woman describes being brought to America from Africa as a slave and the impact of the experience on her religious beliefs.
In this classic Frost poem, a speaker questions the necessity of a dilapidated stone wall between his land and his neighbor's.