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.
Duty, Honor, Country Address at West Point
General Douglas MacArthur
The decorated Gen. MacArthur tells cadets they will deal with considerable challenges.
Excerpt from Trail of Tears Diary
Jobe Alexander & Mary Hill
Interviews with decendents of Native Americans who were on the Trail of Tears
Ronald Reagan on the Challenger Disaster
President Ronald Reagan
The Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff.
The New Survivors
Cancer survivors display an extraordinary amount of positivity.
William Ernest Henley
A passionate cry of resilience: "I am the master of my fate, / I am the captain of my soul."
“Hope” is the thing with feathers - (254)
Dickinson metaphorically represents “hope” as a bird that “perches on the soul.”
The Last Leaf
A young woman catches pneumonia and loses her will to live.
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: Excerpts from Chapters 1 & 7
While he was enslaved, Frederick Douglass taught himself to read and write.
The Emancipation Proclamation
President Abraham Lincoln
This famous document made abolishing slavery an explicit goal of the Civil War.
President Obama's Remarks on Trayvon Martin Ruling
President Barack Obama
The President responds to the "not guilty" verdict of the Trayvon Martin murder case.
A Matter of Prejudice
Madame Carambeau, lover of all things French, is first disgusted by her American granddaughter but eventually softens up.
The Black Man's Burden
Reverend H.T. Johnson
A black clergyman wrote this poem in response to Rudyard Kipling's 1899 poem, "The White Man's Burden."
The Fox and the Lion
A fox has never seen a lion before, but he is still terrified.
The Blue-Eyed, Brown-Eyed Exercise
After the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., third grade teacher Jane Elliot conducted a social experiment.
Exodus 1: Israelites Oppressed
An account of the enslavement of the Israelites in ancient Egypt by the Pharoh
Excerpt from Pride and Prejudice
The snobbish Lady Catherine de Bourgh visits Elizabeth to insult her social position and convince her not to marry Darcy.
A man known only as "the boss" tortures a fly because he feels powerless about his son's death.
Excerpt from The Prince
Machiavelli discussed the value of cruelty and how it can be used to retain power.
Excerpt from Frankenstein: Chapter 16
In his monologue, the monster scolds the scientist for letting power cloud his judgment.