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.
Sandburg laments the fleeting nature of language in the context of human history.
Sir Francis Bacon
In this essay, Sir Francis Bacon discusses the importance of pursuing knowledge.
Confirming the Termination of Japanese Internment
President Gerald R. Ford
The president confirms the termination of Japanese internment, years after the end of WWII.
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.
What is an Orbit?
Orbits help us understand many of the regular and repeated movements of objects in space.
Of the Dignity or Meanness of Human Nature
In his essay, the Scottish philosopher discusses how one should approach the question of whether man is inherently good or evil.
Madoff Is Sentenced to 150 Years for Ponzi Scheme
Diana B. Henriques
In 2009, Bernard Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison for defrauding thousands of investors and billions of dollars.
A Letter to Thomas Jefferson
This letter features the famous debate between Jefferson and Adams about core democratic principles.
Excerpts from Jane Eyre
The plain governess named Jane falls in love with her employer, the master of the house.
George W. Harkins to the American People
George W. Harkins
In an open letter to the American people, Choctaw chief George W. Harkins expresses his opinion about the Indian removals.
Excerpt from “Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-Street”
A narrator hires a scribe who doesn’t do as he is asked.
Japan's Quest for Empire
This article provides a brief history of Japan’s age of imperialism throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Plea for Eight Hours
Labor union leader Terence Powderly makes a reasoned argument in favor of reducing the work day for laborers.
The US has become a nation of suburbs
Christopher Boone discusses the trend of suburban living in America.
The Tempest 4.1.156-8
Soto begins this poem with a line from Shakespeare’s The Tempest to delve into the harsh reality of death and how it is dealt with.
Barrett Smith discusses the life and accomplishments of the influential female scientist, Marie Curie.
Watergate: Undoing a President
This informational text explains how the Watergate scandal snowballed from a minor burglary of the DNC headquarters to the first resignation of an American president.
The Rape of Nanking and a Forgotten Genocide
The historically tumultuous relationship between Japan and China is discussed and explained in this informational article.