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.
The Man Who Coined 'Genocide' Spent His Life Trying To Stop It
This informational text discusses Raphael Lemkin’s work to ensure that genocide was a recognized and punishable crime.
Behind The Native American Achievement Gap
Celeste Headlee interviews Anton Treuer on the education of Native Americans.
Liberating the First Nazi Camp
Veterans History Project
A WWII war veteran, Jim Martin, describes his experience finding the first concentration camp that was liberated by U.S. troops.
One Woman’s War Efforts During World War II
Veterans History Project
Lotte W. Goldschmidt Magnus, a World War II veteran, is interviewed about her experiences as a Jewish woman aiding the U.S. in WWII.
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.
Nazi Summer Camp
Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, from RadioLab
This interview discusses the largest, but little known, prisoner of war camp that existed during World War II in the Southeastern United States.
The Destinies of Two Men Who Share One Name
Melissa Block and Michele Norris
Wes Moore, an extremely successful individual, discusses his discovery of a man who shares his name and a similar past, but has a very different future ahead of him: life in prison.
Why Afghanistan’s ‘Underground Girls’ Skirt Tradition to Live as Boys
In order to escape unjust treatment due to their gender, girls in Afghanistan dress as boys in a cultural practice known as “bacha posh.”
Young Innovators: Detecting Land Mines
A 17-year-old girl discusses her invention of a device that uses sound to detect land mines.
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.
High Court Reviews Insanity-Defense Case
This news report discusses whether the court will accept the “insanity defense” when a schizophrenic man shoots an officer.
Anger as Inspiration
Humanitarian and activist Sami Awad describes how he channels anger to create a commitment to peace.
Students’ Work Ethic Affected by Peer Groups, Desire to Be Popular
New research suggests that among teens, peer pressure and popularity can have significant effects on education.
Does It Matter If Schools Are Racially Integrated?
This NPR interview, broadcast 60 years after Brown vs. Board of Education, discusses the necessity of integration in our modern society, and what remains to be done to improve the state of American education.
Teaching Shakespeare in a Maximum Security Prison
In this interview, Professor Laura Bates discusses her decision to teach Shakespeare in a maximum security prison as a way of educating inmates—and discovering new insights into the Bard’s drama.
For Many Returning Vets, 'Moral Injury' Just As Difficult
Rachel Martin (Host)
In an interview, the former Marine captain, Timothy Kudo, explains the emotional trauma of killing people in a war zone.
What The New Ms. Marvel Means For Muslims in Comics
The new Ms. Marvel, a Muslim girl, is a complete deviation from the old one.
Many Younger Facebook Users 'Unfriend' The Network
Some younger Facebook users report disillusionment with the social network.
Chernobyl: Interviews From Inside a Nuclear Disaster Area
Interviews That Matter
Chernobyl was the worst nuclear disaster in history.