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 Civil Rights Act of 1964
National Park Service
This informational text discusses the events that led up to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
This informational text explores the various tiers of ancient Greek society, and how class and gender affected people’s daily lives in this classical civilization.
Fear Is Simple and Profound
Julia Butterfly Hill
Julia Butterfly Hill uses an extended metaphor to explain how fear hinders people from “trusting the great mystery within.”
Olivia E. Coolidge
A talented weaver’s skills are put to the test when she is challenged by Athena.
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: Excerpt from Chapter 1
In this excerpt from his autobiography, Douglass describes the horrifying abuse of Aunt Hester by the slave master.
In this classic Frost poem, a speaker questions the necessity of a dilapidated stone wall between his land and his neighbor's.
Address to Congress on Women's Suffrage
Carrie Chapman Catt
Carrie Chapman Catt argues in favor of granting women the right to vote.
Why I Love a Country That Once Betrayed Me
George Takei discusses his experiences being interned during WWII and his feelings about America today.
Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation
In this informational text, Mike Kubic discusses Abraham Lincoln’s decision to pass the Emancipation Proclamation and its effects on the nation.
The Destinies of Two Men Who Share One Name
Melissa Block and Michele Norris
Wes Moore, an extremely successful individual, discusses his discovery of a man who shares his name and a similar past, but has a very different future ahead of him: life in prison.
The Elements of Success
An exploration of three cultural traits that illustrate the success of different groups in America.
Introduction to the Vietnam War
An introduction to the Vietnam War, including a review of the United States’ involvement, the decline in public support for the war, and the impact of the war on the Vietnamese people.
We Shall Overcome Speech
President Lyndon B. Johnson
This rousing speech, delivered just after "Bloody Sunday," led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Excerpt from 'On Drought Conditions'
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
FDR addresses the “Dust Bowl” problem of the 1930s — during which severe drought and erosion conditions led to a prolonged agricultural crisis.
Forever Young: America's Obsession with Never Growing Old
In this article, psychiatrist Dale Archer argues that the value which American culture places on youth and age shifted over time.
Can You Still Have Hope When Life Seems Hopeless?
Ashley Westerman discusses the hopes of the Rohingya refugees who have been forced to flee to Bangladesh to avoid persecution.
Dulce et Decorum Est
The horrors of chemical warfare during World War I are described in this gripping poem.
The Faith Cure Man
Paul Laurence Dunbar
A poor mother refuses to give up on her ailing daughter, and turns to a spiritual healer when a doctor tells her there is nothing left to do.
Anti-Jewish Legislation in Prewar Germany
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
This article details the rise of anti-Semitic laws in Nazi Germany throughout the 1930s.