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.
Let’s Teach for Mastery — Not Test Scores
Sal Khan, the founder of Khan Academy, discusses the importance of mastery-based learning.
An Uncomfortable Bed
Guy de Maupassant
A wealthy man stays the night in a lavish mansion. All night, he suspects his friends are playing tricks on him.
How the News Media Works
Jessica McBirney explores what news media is and what information it provides the public.
Excerpt from Peter Pan: "When Wendy Grew Up"
In this final chapter of the classic novel Peter Pan, Wendy and the boys finally grow up, leaving Peter behind in Neverland.
The Phoenix Bird
Hans Christian Andersen
A narrator describes the origins and power of a mystical bird, the Phoenix.
Duck & Cover: School Drills During the Cold War
During the Cold War years, American schools held “Duck and Cover” drills to prepare for the chance of nuclear attack.
A Modest Proposal
In this humorous satirical essay, Swift makes a ridiculous suggestion: that the nation of Ireland eat children in order to solve the poverty problem.
Soccer games have long been associated with violence and delinquent behavior.
Jessica McBirney defines the basics of personal finances through the decisions a person might make regarding money.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965
Cultural and political context is given for the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most thorough and effective pieces of civil rights legislation in American history.
Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
Dylan Thomas' most famous poem, written for his dying father, in which he urges him to "rage, rage against the dying of the light."
Excerpt from Walden: “Where I Lived and What I Lived For”
Henry David Thoreau
In this excerpt from Walden, Thoreau explains why he went to live alone in the wilderness.
‘You Have the Right to Remain Silent’: A History of the Miranda Rights
Discover the meaning, history, and purpose behind this famous American phrase.
'To Be Or Not To Be' Soliloquy
In this famous soliloquy, Hamlet contemplates suicide and discusses why men are moved to inaction.
I am the people, the mob
In this poem, humanity's ability to organize and incite social change is personified.
The idea that a person can have "another self" is a relatively new concept.
The ancient Egyptians built grand monuments that have lasted to the present, notably their pyramids, for religious reasons and for glorification of their pharaohs.
Excerpt from The Tragedy of Julius Caesar: Act III, Scenes I & II
In these excerpts, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar reaches its climax as the conspiracy to remove him from power succeeds.