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.
Conservation as a National Duty
President Theodore Roosevelt
Roosevelt argues that we have a moral imperative to conserve our diminishing supply of natural resources.
What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?
The famous ex-slave and abolitionist points out the hypocrisy of "the home of the free" on Independence Day.
Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
This document, signed by 100 people at the first women's rights convention, was controversial in its time.
Testimony Before the Senate Hearings on the Equal Rights Amendment
In her speech advocating in favor of the Equal Rights Amendment, feminist Gloria Steinem seeks to dispel myths about women.
Address to Congress on Women's Suffrage
Carrie Chapman Catt
Carrie Chapman Catt argues in favor of granting women the right to vote.
Every Man a King
Huey P. Long
At the height of the Great Depression, Huey P. Long, a Louisiana senator, delivered this famous speech in which he denounced the rich and argued to "scale down the big fortunes."
'Shut the Door' Speech
Senator Ellison DuRant Smith
During a 1924 congressional debate on immigration, a senator from South Carolina argued that we should "shut the door and breed up a pure, unadulterated American citizen."
Andrew Jackson's Speech to Congress on 'Indian Removal'
President Andrew Jackson
The president announces the "benevolent" initiative to remove Native Americans from their homelands.
Address to the Commonwealth Club of California
Chavez describes the terrible conditions for Mexican farm workers, and calls for change.
Confirming the Termination of Japanese Internment
President Gerald R. Ford
The president confirms the termination of Japanese internment, years after the end of WWII.
Steve Jobs' Stanford University Commencement Speech
The late Steve Jobs discusses the challenges that ultimately shaped him into a successful entrepreneur.
We Shall Overcome Speech
President Lyndon B. Johnson
This rousing speech, delivered just after "Bloody Sunday," led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death Speech
The famous revolutionary speech that incited Virginia to organize a militia against British tyranny
Marshall Plan Speech
George Catlett Marshall
A speech outlining the plan to rebuild Europe after the devastation of WWII
Duty, Honor, Country Address at West Point
General Douglas MacArthur
The decorated Gen. MacArthur tells cadets they will deal with considerable challenges.
Ronald Reagan on the Challenger Disaster
President Ronald Reagan
The Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff.
President Obama's Remarks on Trayvon Martin Ruling
President Barack Obama
The President responds to the "not guilty" verdict of the Trayvon Martin murder case.
FDR's First Inaugural Address
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
With the nation in the grips of the Great Depression, our 32nd President announces "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
JFK's 'Race to Space' Speech
President John F. Kennedy
In 1962, the prospect of being the first nation to land on the moon was central to American exceptionalism.