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.
Dam Revives Aral Sea and Nearby Communities in Kazakhstan
Morning Edition, NPR
NPR discusses the positive impacts a dam has had on the shrinking Aral Sea and its surrounding communities.
F.B.I. Watched Activist Groups, New Files Show
Eric Lichtblau discusses the F.B.I.’s surveillance of certain activist groups in his 2005 New York Times article.
2 Khmer Rouge Leaders Are Convicted in Cambodia
Thomas Fuller and Julia Wallace
Thomas Fuller and Julia Wallace discuss the conviction of two leaders of the Khmer Rouge organization in Cambodia that committed crimes against its people.
U.S. Preparing Charges Against Leaker of Data
Michael S. Schmidt, Eric Schmitt, and Keith Bradsher
This The New York Times article discusses Edward Snowden’s leak of secret government information.
Russia Tightens the Iron Curtain on Ideas
Harrison Salisbury discusses the Soviet Union’s practice of censorship during the Cold War.
After 40 Years, The Complete Pentagon Papers
Michael Cooper and Sam Roberts
In this 2011 The New York Times article, Michael Cooper and Sam Roberts discuss the declassification of documents that were leaked 40 years ago to the press.
PLESSY NEARS ITS END
The New York Times
Sixty years after the Plessy v. Ferguson decision, an author evaluates the state of racial segregation in the United States.
The Armed Forces Find Woman Has a Place
Nona Brown discusses the allowance of women to serve as permanent members of the armed forces.
A Thief Dines Out, Hoping Later to Eat In
This New York Times article reports on a man who commits crimes, hoping to be sent to jail.
Excerpt from The Harvest Gypsies
John Steinbeck discusses the role of migrant workers in California’s agriculture industry.
Hurricane Katrina: The Overview; New Orleans Is Inundated As 2 Levees Fail; Much of Gulf Coast Is Crippled; Toll Rises
Joseph B. Treaster and N.R. Kleinfield
Joseph B. Treaster and N.R. Kleinfield discuss the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the flooding in New Orleans.
The Selective Laziness of Human Reasoning
Tania Lombrozo for NPR
Tania Lombrozo explores why humans tend to prefer their own opinions over the opinions of others.
Going to School as a Refugee
Facing numerous challenges, refugee students in Dallas schools look to one another for support.
5 Surprising Facts About The Refugee Crisis
Jason Beaubien discusses the refugee crisis, which has resulted in millions fleeing their home countries.
Where the World's Refugees Are
Malaka Gharib discusses where refugees have sought safety in the world.
U.S. Attacked; Hijacked Jets Destroy Twin Towers and Hit Pentagon in Day of Terror
N.R. Kleinfield reports on the 9/11 terrorist attacks the day after the events occurred.
Key Black Leader Turns 60 On South Africa Prison Isle
John F. Burns
John F. Burns discusses Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment on Robben Island for his actions against South Africa’s government.
Why This Controversial German Woman Turned Her Back on Money For 16 Years
Mandi Woodruff discusses Heidemarie Schwermer’s decisions to live without money.
TURMOIL IN CHINA; In Shanghai, Protesters Turn Defiant
Richard Bernstein discusses students’ protest of the Communist Party in Shanghai, China, in 1989.