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.
Cave Art May Have Been Handiwork Of Neanderthals
Christopher Joyce discusses the discovery of cave art that may have originated from Neanderthals.
Excerpt from “The Overcoat”
In this excerpt from “The Overcoat,” a man attempts to work while his coworkers harass him.
Shakespeare had fewer words, but doper rhymes, than rappers
Hugh Craig discusses how William Shakespeare’s vocabulary compares to other playwrights and popular rappers.
The Truman Doctrine Speech
President Harry S. Truman
President Truman asks the Congress for the resources to aid Greece and Turkey during the Cold War.
Aral Sea Demise Harms People Of Mujnak
All Things Considered, NPR
NPR discusses how the Aral Sea dried up and the impact it had on a nearby town.
Excerpt from Heart of Darkness
A seaman imagines what it must have been like for the Romans who first came to England.
Excerpt from The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man
James Weldon Johnson
A man describes his journey to Paris and his thoughts on the city.
Excerpt from Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus
An explorer describes his voyage before bringing Victor Frankenstein on his ship.
Excerpt from Tess of the d’Urbervilles
A man encounters someone who reveals a surprising fact about his family ancestry.
Smartphones Put Your Privacy At Risk
Maria Temming discusses how smartphones can present a threat to your privacy.
Why Do We Judge Parents For Putting Kids At Perceived — But Unreal — Risk?
Tania Lombrozo for NPR
Three researchers discuss their experiment exploring people’s judgements of the perceived risks parents expose their children to.
The Solitude of Self
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
In this speech, Elizabeth Cady Stanton discusses why women should have equal rights.
Excerpt from “Nature”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson discusses his appreciation for nature.
Carrots with Character
Erin K. Peabody
Erin K. Peabody discusses the benefits of genetically modified carrots.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
United Nations General Assembly
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by United Nations and describes an individual’s rights.
Excerpt from Walden: “The Ponds”
Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau describes Walden Pond.
Her Code Got Humans On The Moon — And Invented Software Itself
Robert McMillan discusses Margaret Hamilton, a software engineer who helped man land on the moon.
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.
Excerpt from “Civil Disobedience”
Henry David Thoreau
This excerpt from Thoreau's famous essay meditates on the necessity of following one’s own conscience, even if it conflicts with the law.