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.
The Blue-Eyed, Brown-Eyed Exercise
After the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., third grade teacher Jane Elliot conducted a social experiment.
Fastest Woman in the World
Pat Parker writes about Wilma Rudolph, the first woman to win three gold medals at one Olympics.
Someone Might Be Watching — An Introduction to Dystopian Fiction
Shelby Ostergaard discusses traits of dystopian fiction and how the genre comments on society.
Letter from Birmingham Jail
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr., outlines his nonviolence approach to addressing injustice while responding to criticism.
Woman Who Helped Anne Frank Dies at 100
Teri Schultz, National Public Radio
A radio show reflects on an interview with the amazing woman who helped hide Anne Frank’s family and eventually discovered her diary.
Lewis and Clark: American Explorers
This informational text describes explorers Lewis and Clark’s 1804 journey around the western United States.
The Lion and the Mouse
A classic fable in which a tiny mouse proves to a powerful lion that she is greater than she seems.
Using a paternal tone, the speaker makes a list of rules to live by.
A Lonely Planet Ponders
John P. Curtin
A planet narrates his role in the universe, governed by the laws of nature.
The Salem (and Other) Witch Hunts
Mike Kubic discusses the Salem witch trials and how they relate to other prejudiced hunts throughout history.
Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott
This informational text explores how Rosa Parks’ decision not to give up her seat on a bus helped start a revolution.
The Women of Hidden Figures
Jessica McBirney describes the life and accomplishments of three African American women who worked for NASA during the Space Race.
More Facebook Friends, Fewer Real Ones, Says Cornell Study
A Cornell sociologist conducted a study that suggested social networks may not be fulfilling our deeper social needs.
Total Control in North Korea
This article describes life in North Korea under totalitarian government rule.
A Child Of Slavery Who Taught A Generation
Karen Grigsby Bates
The life and success of Anna Julia Haywood Cooper, an American author, educator, prominent scholar, and one of the first black women to earn a doctoral degree in United States history.
How an 11-Year-Old Boy Invented the Popsicle
Shelby Pope for NPR
An 11-year-old boy makes a tasty mistake that results in the invention of the Popsicle.
Tiny Plastic, Big Problem
Alison Pearce Stevens
Much of the plastic trash that humans throw away ends up in the ocean, where it causes major problems for underwater ecosystems.
Teenage Brains Are Malleable And Vulnerable, Researchers Say
This informational text discusses the teenage brain’s focus on rewards and how this can influence behavior.
You Can Buy Happiness, If It's An Experience
According to a study published in Psychological Science, when we spend money on experiences rather than materials, it can indeed bring people joy.