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.
President Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points
President Woodrow Wilson
President Woodrow Wilson’s famous “Fourteen Points” were a statement of Wilson’s beliefs about how to bring an end to World War I and to prevent war in the future.
The Rise and Fall of Karl Marx
Mike Kubic discusses Karl Marx’s life and his development of the political theory: communism.
The Battle of Bull Run: The End of Illusions
Ernest B. Furgurson
This passage recounts the events of the First Battle of Bull Run, as well as its role in the disillusionment of the American people in the early stages of the American Civil War.
The Salem (and Other) Witch Hunts
Mike Kubic discusses the Salem witch trials and how they relate to other prejudiced hunts throughout history.
The Russian Revolution
The complex path leading to the Russian Revolution of 1917 is retraced, exploring the central conflict between social unrest and autocratic rule.
Stalin: A Brutal Legacy Uncovered
This informational text provides insight into the historical rise of Joseph Stalin, one of the most brutal tyrants in Soviet and world history.
Excerpt from Spirit of Laws
Charles-Louis de Secondat Montesquieu
In these satiric excerpts from Montesquieu’s political theory, the philosopher reflects on the origins of slavery and inequality.
Causes of the American Civil War
This informational text explores the causes of the American Civil War and the growing hostility between the Northern abolitionists and Southern slaveholders.
This informational text describes how the Kansas-Nebraska Act led to an outbreak of violence over slavery preceding the Civil War.
Agreement Between the U.S. and the Spokane Indians
Digital Public Library of America
This document outlines the agreement between the U.S. government and the Spokane Indians to relocate them to a reservation in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
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.
The 1897 Petition Against the Annexation of Hawaii
This informational text discusses the United States’ annexation of the Hawaiian Islands and those who resisted it.
President Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address
President Abraham Lincoln
President Lincoln discusses the Civil War and the future of the nation in his second inaugural address.
Senator Nixon's “Checkers” Speech
Senator Richard M. Nixon
In this speech, Vice Presidential candidate Richard Nixon masters rhetoric to defend charges of corruption in his campaign and to defend Dwight Eisenhower’s bid for the presidency.
Richard Nixon’s Resignation Speech
President Richard M. Nixon
In this speech, President Nixon explains that he is resigning from the office of president for the good of the American people.
Tristan and Isolde
Lady Jane Wilde
A knight and a princess fall in love, but at the cost of betraying their king.
Excerpt from The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
In this excerpt from his autobiography, Benjamin Franklin discusses his efforts to better himself by training different virtues.
Russia's Last Czar, Nicholas II
This informational text details the tragic rise and fall of the last czar, or emperor, of imperial Russia: Nicholas II.