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 Many and the Few
J. Patrick Lewis
A speaker describes Rosa Parks’s refusal to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery.
The Rush of Immigrants
This informational text describes the tide of new immigrants to the United States from the mid-1800s to the 1920s.
This excerpt from Aristotle's famous work "Poetics" proposes a definition of the perfect tragedy.
What Are Clouds?
Clouds on our planet have an important impact on the weather and provide valuable information to scientists.
The Gettysburg Address
President Abraham Lincoln
In his eminently famous Gettysburg Address, President Abraham Lincoln reflects on the nature of the United States and represents the Civil War as a solemn struggle for freedom and equality.
Anger as Inspiration
Humanitarian and activist Sami Awad describes how he channels anger to create a commitment to peace.
Into the Rapids
Bradford H. Robie
A boy falls into the river during a rafting trip.
Excerpt from Southern Horrors: Lynch Laws in All Its Phases
Ida B. Wells
This excerpt discusses the injustice and horrors of Southern lynch laws, focusing especially on the violence enacted against African Americans following the Civil War and Reconstruction Era.
Manifest Destiny, I Do Believe
In this letter, missionary and pioneer Cordelia writes of her bold plans to travel west and "civilize" the Indians.
A speaker describes how aging affects their grandfather.
Excerpt from The Odyssey: The Sirens
In this excerpt from the Odyssey, Ulysses encounters the Sirens on his journey.
Arriving at Emerald City
L. Frank Baum
Dorothy and her friends arrive at the Emerald City to meet the Great Oz.
A speaker tells a grown up that he should try “growing down”.
America and I
A new immigrant tells of her struggles trying to achieve the American dream.
The Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island
A woman was able to survive for 18 years after being left on an island by herself.
Memories Of A Former Migrant Worker
Felix Contreras interviews his father about his experiences as a migrant worker.
A Thief Dines Out, Hoping Later to Eat In
This New York Times article reports on a man who commits crimes, hoping to be sent to jail.
The Kitty Genovese Murder: What Really Happened?
Kitty Genovese’s murder, with a reported 37 bystanders present, sparked outcry and several social experiments.
The Little Match Girl
Hans Christian Andersen
A young girl, attempting to sell matches to support her family, dreams of warmth and family on a cold New Year’s Eve.