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.
Causes of the American Civil War
This informational text explores the causes of the American Civil War and the growing hostility between the Northern abolitionists and Southern slaveholders.
Red Cloud's Speech after Wounded Knee
Chief Red Cloud
Oglala Lakota leader Red Cloud’s remarks following the Wounded Knee Massacre recall the years of false promises made and mistreatment shown to the American Indian people by the U.S. federal government.
The Wounded Knee Massacre
This informational text discusses the events leading up to, during, and after the violent encounter between the Sioux and the U.S. Army at the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
The 1897 Petition Against the Annexation of Hawaii
This informational text discusses the United States’ annexation of the Hawaiian Islands and those who resisted it.
French and Indian War
The French and Indian War (1754-1763) was a decisive conflict for the futures of the British and French empires, and it would prove to be an even greater force in shaping the destinies of North America and its native inhabitants.
This informational text uses the story of a rice farmer and his son to explain Japan’s feudal past.
Winston Churchill’s ‘Never Give In’ Speech
Prime Minister Winston Churchill
In the midst of World War II, Winston Churchill rallies his audience by describing the United Kingdom’s resilient nature.
The Life of a U.S. Industrial Worker
This informational text asks students to imagine what it would be like to live as a worker during the U.S. Industrial Revolution.
President Obama’s National Address to America’s Schoolchildren
President Barack Obama
President Obama speaks to students at Wakefield High School about the importance of education.
Richard Nixon’s Resignation Speech
President Richard M. Nixon
In this speech, President Nixon explains that he is resigning from the office of president for the good of the American people.
Manifest Destiny, I Do Believe
In this letter, missionary and pioneer Cordelia writes of her bold plans to travel west and "civilize" the Indians.
Stepping back in time, this informational text invites the reader to imagine life with the northeast natives of pre-colonial America.
The Lady of Shalott
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
In this popular Lord Tennyson poem, the Lady of Shalott leaves her magic tower to pursue Sir Lancelot, but is followed by a tragic curse.
My Last Duchess
A powerful Victorian-era Duke marvels peculiarly over a painting of his late wife, whose fate seems mysteriously related to his intolerance of her friendliness.
The Scholarship Jacket
Marta is a straight-A student who has earned a scholarship jacket, but her financial situation – and an unjust school leader – may prevent her from receiving her reward.
A rousing poem celebrating Columbus’s perseverance even when success was far from certain.
A husband and wife grieve differently about their deceased child.
The author laments his inability to understand his paramour while eloquently reveling in the feelings that her nature evokes in him.
In this classic Frost poem, a speaker questions the necessity of a dilapidated stone wall between his land and his neighbor's.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
One of the earliest examples of American fiction with enduring popularity (especially during the Halloween season), this short story about Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman deals with themes of love, fear, gluttony, and truth.