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.
Thresholds of Violence
In this informational text, Malcolm Gladwell discusses why people act violently when they normally wouldn’t.
The Danger of a Single Story
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie discusses the impact stories can have in constructing our understanding of the world and people.
The Tipping Point
In this informational text, Malcolm Gladwell describes how social phenomena are similar to diseases.
The Spanish Civil War
In 1936, tensions between the Republican loyalists and the Falangist nationalists in Spain erupted into a deadly civil war.
Reliving the Attack on Pearl Harbor
Veterans History Project
An interview with a war veteran explores the events of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
UN Explores Native American Rights In U.S.
Michel Martin interviews S. James Anaya about his report on the rights and quality of life of indigenous people in the United States.
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, American settlers believed it was their destiny to conquer new regions of the continent—whatever the cost.
America's Shifting Views on Immigration
In this text, the United States’ history of immigration is discussed, from immigrants’ original admittance through Ellis Island to the state of immigration in the United States today.
President Roosevelt’s First Fireside Chat
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
President Roosevelt addresses the nation regarding the banking crisis.
President Clinton’s Remarks in Kigali on the Rwandan Genocide
President Bill Clinton
President Clinton reflects on the 1994 Rwandan genocide and what must be done to repair Rwanda and prevent future genocides.
Allegory of the Cave
Plato’s Allegory of the Cave is a piece of philosophy explaining the importance of knowledge in society and for the human soul.
Excerpt from Southern Horrors: Lynch Laws in All Its Phases
Ida B. Wells
This excerpt discusses the injustice and horrors of Southern lynch laws, focusing especially on the violence enacted against African Americans following the Civil War and Reconstruction Era.
“A Mad Dash to Disaster”: The First World War
This informational text provides a comprehensive overview of the WWI: its causes, its major battles, and the outcomes of the Great War.
The PATRIOT Act: Protection over Privacy
Mike Kubic explores people’s conflicting opinions on the PATRIOT Act, a law that goes to extreme means to prevent terrorism.
A Refugee Looks Back
Mike J. Kubic, a former Newsweek magazine correspondent and post-WWII refugee, discusses the chaos that ensued after WWII and how it connects to today.
To the Front Lines: America in World War I
When World War I broke out in Europe, the United States attempted to remain neutral for the entirety of the conflict—and it almost succeeded.
By examining the Luddite rebellion, this article analyzes the history of technology disrupting society.
A Quest for Change in the Middle East
This article discusses the history and context of modern social unrest and activism in the Middle East, particularly in the period known as the Arab Spring.
The Lost Generation
This informational piece about prominent literary figures of the “Lost Generation” offers insight into the cultural and political factors that motivated their behavior.