CommonLit is a free collection of fiction and nonfiction for 5th-12th grade classrooms. Search and filter our collection by lexile, grade, theme, genre, literary device, or common core standard.
East 149th Street (Symphony for a Black Girl)
Teri Ellen Cross Davis
A young girl shares the experience of having her hair braided by her mother.
The speaker of the poem reflects on the faith placed in science in the modern world.
Burning a Book
This poem offers a reflection on the nature of censorship and the struggle between knowledge and ignorance.
The Taming of the Shrew-Induction 1.12
In this Gary Soto poem, the speaker describes what he would do for his love.
In this poem, the speaker reflects on how she saw her mother at different times in her life.
World Below the Brine
In this poem, the speaker describes the world under the sea.
what love isn't
In this poem, Yrsa Daley-Ward explores characteristics of love not often discussed.
The Death of a Soldier
The life and death of a soldier is compared to autumn.
A Lonely Planet Ponders
John P. Curtin
A planet narrates his role in the universe, governed by the laws of nature.
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.
Mother to Son
This Harlem Renaissance poem uses metaphor to depict a mother's struggles in life.
The War Works Hard
In this satirical poem, a speaker remarks on the impressive diligence of war and its effects, from "provid[ing] food for flies" to "invigorat[ing] the coffin makers."
Excerpts from 'Song of Myself': 1, 2, 6, 52
This epic poem celebrating American identity has been credited as "representing the core of Whitman’s poetic vision."
Fifth Grade Autobiography
Inspired by an old photo, a child revisits early memories.
Heart to Heart
In this poem, Rita Dove reinvents a common symbol - the heart - and in doing so, shows us what it means to be human.