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.
Mother to Son
This Harlem Renaissance poem uses metaphor to depict a mother's struggles in life.
The Gift of The Magi
A man and a woman sacrifice their most prized possessions to buy one another a Christmas gift.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Changing America
This informational text outlines Dr. King’s accomplishments and leadership in America.
How Jackie Robinson Changed Baseball
This informational text discusses the first African-American Major League Baseball player, Jackie Robinson.
This text provides an overview of when and how individuals give in to herd behavior.
Introduction to the Holocaust
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
This informational text explains what the Holocaust was, who it affected, who carried it out, and how it ended.
A Chinese-American girl feels embarrassed by her family during dinner.
Malala Yousafzai: A Normal Yet Powerful Girl
Malala Yousafzai still advocates for women's education after being shot in the head by the Taliban.
“The Worst Birthday” from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Tensions rise at home as a boy must suppress his magical abilities around his non-magical family, who has forgotten his birthday.
The Rose That Grew from Concrete
A speaker describes a flower that grew in an unlikely place.
The Scottsboro Boys
This text discusses the trial in which nine black boys were wrongfully accused and convicted for a crime they didn’t commit.
Sonnet 18 is also known as, "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?"
Want to Get Into College? Learn to Fail
Angel B. Pérez
A dean of admissions dispels the myth that students should showcase perfection on a college application, and explores the relationship between past failures and college success.
Watching Whale Sharks
Heidi Poelman discusses scientists’ work studying the biggest fish in the ocean, the whale shark.
A young man seeking lodging is taken in by a landlady who is not what she seems.
A town takes part in an annual ritual called “the lottery.”
The Tell-Tale Heart
Edgar Allan Poe
A first-person account of a murderer slowly driven mad by the sound of a beating heart under his floorboards.
Lamb to the Slaughter
A woman betrayed by her husband retaliates in an extreme way.
Thank You, M'am
A young boy unsuccessfully tries to steal a woman’s purse.