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.
Thai cave boys: the psychology of surviving underground
Sarita Robinson describes the 12 boys trapped in a cave in Thailand and what it takes to survive such an ordeal.
Mark Cartwright discusses the purpose of the gymnasium in ancient Greek life.
Shauna Singh Baldwin
A woman describes washing her husband’s turbans.
City of Specters
A woman in North Korea catches the attention of government officials when she uses curtains that aren’t sanctioned by the government to cover her windows.
What do you want (really, really want) out of your college education?
Richard Gunderman discusses what a college education can provide for students.
DNA Tells Tale of How Cats Conquered the World
Tina Hesman Saey
Tina Hesman Saey discusses how scientists are studying cats’ DNA to determine when and where they were tamed.
What the flu does to your body, and why it makes you feel so awful
Laura Haynes discusses the effects that the flu can have on the body.
This is Not Who We Are
Naomi Shihab Nye
Naomi Shihab Nye reflects on her relationship with her Arab-American identity.
Why is it fun to be frightened?
Margee Kerr explores why some people like to be afraid.
Can Forgiveness Play a Role in Criminal Justice?
Paul Tullis discusses the Grosmaires’ journey forgiving and reconciling with the young man who murdered their daughter.
The Hermit Kingdom
Rachel Slivnick describes what we know about North Korea’s mysterious government and life in the country.
Madoff Is Sentenced to 150 Years for Ponzi Scheme
Diana B. Henriques
In 2009, Bernard Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison for defrauding thousands of investors and billions of dollars.
Explainer: What is dopamine?
Bethany Brookshire discusses the importance of dopamine, a chemical in the brain.
Route 1 North, Philadelphia to Highland Park
A speaker describes driving with his father.
The end of big trees?
Bill Laurance discusses the decline of big trees.
The Scientific Method
A speaker describes Thomas Edison’s laboratory and his work.
Serena Williams' catsuit controversy evokes the battle over women wearing shorts
Deirdre Clemente discusses the attention that is paid to what women wear in sports.