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 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.
Noticing Mistakes Boosts Learning
Alison Pearce Stevens
Alison Pearce Stevens discusses how noticing mistakes can help us learn.
Home Sweet Home
Sarah J. Bell
Sarah J. Bell discusses the houses that Native Americans built hundreds of years ago.
New math: Fail + try again = real learning
Susan Moran discusses the benefits of risking failure as a person works toward a goal.
Welcome to the Underworld
Michael A. Signal
Hermes, messenger of the gods, gives a tour of the Underworld.
How Pixar Tells a Story
Rachel Slivnick discusses the stories of Pixar movies.
Lessons from failure: Why we try, try again
Bethany Brookshire discusses a study that explores what prompts people to try again after a failure.
The Golden Age of MTV — And Yes, There Was One by NPR Staff
The television channel, MTV, has undergone serious changes since its beginnings of showing music videos.
Excerpt from Heart of Darkness
A seaman imagines what it must have been like for the Romans who first came to England.
Excerpt from “Inuit”
Carol White describes how a group of people, known as the Inuit, live in the Arctic.
The Elephant and the Crocodile
H. Berkeley Score
A Crocodile and an Elephant attempt to find out which is the better animal.
Meet Hannah Wynne: Teen Storyteller
Kathiann M. Kowalski
Kathiann M. Kowalski discusses a teen storyteller.
Johnny Chuck Finds the Best Thing in the World
Thornton W. Burgess
A group of animals search for the best thing in the world.
Excerpt from The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man
James Weldon Johnson
A man describes his journey to Paris and his thoughts on the city.
Excerpt from Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus
An explorer describes his voyage before bringing Victor Frankenstein on his ship.
Excerpt from Tess of the d’Urbervilles
A man encounters someone who reveals a surprising fact about his family ancestry.