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.
The Black Death
Margaret Gushue discusses how a devastating plague changed Europe in the 14th century.
Emily Sohn discusses an experiment that tests the unselfish nature of young children and chimps.
Students Identify With 50-Year-Old Supreme Court Case
Nina Totenberg discusses a re-enactment of the famous Supreme Court case, Tinker v. the Des Moines Independent Community School District.
Why there's no place like home for the holidays
Frank T. McAndrew
Frank T. McAndrew discusses why people come home for the holidays.
God Sees the Truth, But Waits
Leo Tolstoy translated by Aylmer Maude
A man is sent to prison after he is convicted for a crime he didn’t commit.
Inside North Korea's literary fiction factory
Meredith Shaw discusses the literary fiction produced by North Korea’s regime.
Excerpt from Bleak House
In this excerpt from Bleak House, a man asks the narrator to pay his debt.
Excerpt from Song of the Lark
A young girl helps her aunt prepare for her roles in plays.
The Signers of the Declaration: Historical Background
National Park Service, US Department of the Interior
Before the War for Independence, American colonists voiced their disagreement with the Crown through protests and assembly.
Speech to the Association of Los Alamos Scientists
In this speech, a lead scientist in the development of the atomic bomb speaks a few months after the bombing of two Japanese cities.
What happens to North Koreans who flee their country — and what can they tell us?
Alexander Dukalskis discusses the repressive North Korean government and the people who decide to escape it.
Why Do Human Beings Do Good Things? The Puzzle of Altruism
Steve Taylor explores why humans act altruistically towards others.
New math: Fail + try again = real learning
Susan Moran discusses the benefits of risking failure as a person works toward a goal.
Excerpt from “The Lotos-Eaters”
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
A group of sailors experiences strange effects after eating a special flower.
Supreme Court Landmark Series: Tinker v. Des Moines
In the Supreme Court Landmark Series, a host discusses the Supreme Court’s decision in Tinker v. Des Moines.
Poem Resisting Arrest
A speaker describes a poem that questions its arrest.
The Decision to Drop the Bomb
On August 6, 1945, the United States became the first, and only, nation to use nuclear weapons when it bombed a Japanese city.
Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District: The Dissenting Opinion
Justice Hugo Black
Justice Hugo Black discusses his dissenting opinion regarding the Supreme Court case Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District.
The Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan Scandal
Before a figure skating competition in 1994, Nancy Kerrigan was attacked, and Tonya Harding, a fellow competitor, came under suspicion.