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.
A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings
Gabriel García Márquez
In this short story, an old man with wings crashes into a family’s yard and is exploited by the family and townspeople.
South African Apartheid
South Africa’s racist policy of “apartheid” was used to separate and discriminate against non-white South Africans.
‘Why Sit Here and Die’ Speech
Maria W. Stewart
Maria W. Stewart speaks to the New England Anti-Slavery Society about the status and rights of African Americans.
How Resilience Works
Diane Coutu discusses the three main characteristics of resilience.
Why Did the Mayan Civilization Collapse?
New evidence shows that environmental factors may have contributed to the collapse of the Maya civilization.
The Man of the Crowd
Edgar Allan Poe
An unnamed narrator spots a man in a crowd, and follows this mysterious man throughout the crowded streets of London.
The Masque of the Red Death
Edgar Allan Poe
Safe inside his home from a disease ravaging the country, Prince Prospero throws an extravagant party for his esteemed friends, only to receive an unexpected guest.
Bullying in Early Adolescence
Dorothy L. Espelage
This research digest explores the roles that peers play in promoting bullying in adolescence, beyond the role of “bully” and “victim.”
'Enemies from Within' Speech
Senator Joseph McCarthy
In Senator Joseph McCarthy’s most famous speech, he condemns the threat of communism and accuses the state department of communist infiltration.
Excerpt from “Susan B. Anthony, The Woman”
Journalist Susan Dare interviews Susan B. Anthony and describes the life of this famous women’s rights activist.
The New Painkiller Epidemic
In this informational text, Shelby Ostergaard explores the spike in painkiller use in the United States.
Margaret Garner: Defying the Fugitive Slave Act
Abolitionist Levi Coffin recounts the story of Margaret Garner, a fugitive slave who killed her children rather than see them returned to slavery.
The Leaders Who Ruined Africa and the Generation Who Can Fix It
In this TED Talk, Fred Swaniker discusses leadership in Africa and his hopes for future leaders.
What Fear Can Teach Us
Karen Thompson Walker
In this speech, Karen Thompson Walker discusses how fear impacts the decisions we make.
A Good Man is Hard to Find
A family’s vacation is interrupted when they meet some dangerous people.
Capitalism Will Eat Democracy — Unless We Speak Up
In this TED Talk, economist Yanis Varoufakis discusses the relationship between politics and economics.
The Curse Of The Inability To Imagine
Tania Lombrozo for NPR
This article questions whether it is possible to accurately understand the past or imagine the future due to present-day technology.
Articles of Confederation
The Continental Congress
The Articles of Confederation was an agreement between the original 13 states of the United States and preceded the Constitution.