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.
How Earthquakes Take Place
This text describes the causes and effects of earthquakes.
Toddlers Like Winners, But How They Win Matters
In a study, scientists find that toddlers prefer winners — but only when they win fairly.
Babies can learn the value of persistence by watching grownups stick with a challenge
Scientists discover that babies learn whether to give up or keep trying when faced with a challenge, all by watching their parents.
Germs power new paper batteries
Scientists have designed a paper battery, that generates electricity from bacteria.
Vinegar Dissolves New Electronics When They’re No Longer Needed
Engineers have developed new technology that allows electronic devices to dissolve after use.
Quake provides test for tsunami prediction
An earthquake in Chile provided scientists an opportunity to test a new method for predicting tsunamis using GPS devices.
Will chicken cologne guard you from malaria?
Researchers discover that the scent of chickens can help keep mosquitoes away.
Making college more affordable – What needs discussing is the total cost of a degree
The president of Pennsylvania State University discusses how we can make college more affordable.
Justices Bar Mandatory Life Terms for Juveniles
Adam Liptak and Ethan Bronner
In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional for juvenile offenders to be sentenced to mandatory life in prison without any chance of being free.
Do mosquitoes love you? Blame your parents
A study shows that mosquitoes are more attracted to some people than others because of their genes.
Coming of Age in North Korea
Fyodor Tertitskiy discusses the experiences of North Koreans in their adult lives.
Rethinking One of Psychology's Most Infamous Experiments
Cari Romm reexamines Milgram’s shocking experiments regarding human obedience.
Making college more affordable: more than one funder has to step up
Jill Tiefenthaler, President of Colorado College, discusses how different funders could help make college more affordable.
The Cost of Prison in Dollars and Lives
Michael Jacobsen discusses the punishment and rehabilitation of juvenile offenders.
Animal emotions stare us in the face — are our pets happy?
Mirjam Guesgen discusses how one day we might be able to understand our pets’ facial expressions with an app.
Life of a North Korean
Fyodor Tertitskiy describes the life of North Koreans from birth to legal adulthood.
Judge sentences youth offenders to chess, with promising results
Monique Sedgwick, Jeffrey MacCormack, and Lance Grigg
Researchers discuss the potential benefits of youth offenders participating in a chess program.
“Help Him Up!”: A Witness’s Account of Panic on a Subway Platform
A reporter describes witnesses’ reactions to a man falling onto New York City subway tracks.
I Got Myself Arrested So I Could Look Inside the Justice System
Bobby Constantino got himself arrested to see how the justice system operated from the inside.