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.
Last Diary Entry of John Wilkes Booth
John Wilkes Booth
In his final diary entry, John Wilkes Booth justifies his assassination of President Abraham Lincoln and wonders at his fate.
Excerpts from Thomas Jefferson’s Writings on American Indians
These excerpts from Thomas Jefferson’s writings reveal his complicated views of American Indians and their future in America.
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.
General Eisenhower’s Order of the Day
General Dwight D. Eisenhower
In this note from World War II, General Eisenhower encourages his troops to defeat the enemy on the eve of the Invasion of Normandy.
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
General Assembly of the United Nations
In this historic document, the crime of genocide is defined, as is the punishment and prevention of it.
The Gettysburg Address
President Abraham Lincoln
In his eminently famous Gettysburg Address, President Abraham Lincoln reflects on the nature of the United States and represents the Civil War as a solemn struggle for freedom and equality.
Diary of a Teenage Refugee
A 16-year-old Syrian girl living as a refugee in Lebanon tells about her experiences fleeing her home and living in a camp.
Letter from Mary Mallon: On Being ‘Typhoid Mary’
In the early 1900s, an Irish immigrant cook was accused of infecting dozens of her clients with typhoid fever - although she herself had no symptoms - and quarantined against her will until her death.
America and I
A new immigrant tells of her struggles trying to achieve the American dream.
Letter to the Treasurer of Spain
Upon arriving to the island "Juana" - or present-day Cuba - Italian explorer Christopher Columbus writes to the benefactor of his voyage about the rich landscape and curious people he encounters in this promising new territory.
Act for Establishing Religious Freedom
Jefferson makes the argument for religious freedom in the United States.
A Letter to Thomas Jefferson
This letter features the famous debate between Jefferson and Adams about core democratic principles.
Letters from Wilbur Wright
It took an extraordinary amount of persistence, commitment, and attention to detail for Orville and Wilbur Wright to design and launch the first successful airplane.
Thomas Jefferson on Shays' Rebellion
In this letter, Jefferson argues that rebellion is necessary for the preservation of democratic societies.
Excerpt from Trail of Tears Diary
Jobe Alexander & Mary Hill
Interviews with decendents of Native Americans who were on the Trail of Tears