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.
Walking Down Park
A speaker reimagines the modern world as an idyllic wildlife landscape.
The Little Match Girl
Hans Christian Anderson
A young girl, attempting to sell matches to support her family, dreams of warmth and family on a cold New Year’s Eve.
The Man of the Crowd
Edgar Allan Poe
An unnamed narrator spots a man in a crowd, and follows this mysterious man throughout the crowded streets of London.
The Masque of the Red Death
Edgar Allan Poe
Safe inside his home from the disease ravaging the country, Prince Prospero throws an extravagant party for his esteemed friends, only to receive an unexpected guest: Death himself.
It Is Raining on the House of Anne Frank
Tourists in Amsterdam wait to explore the house of Anne Frank.
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.
The Ants and the Grasshopper
After playing music all summer long, a grasshopper asks some ants for help.
Clash of Cultures: Indigenous America and the Conquistadores
This informational text recounts the fateful meeting between the Aztecs and the Spanish conquistadors that led to the fall of the former’s civilization.
This informational text explores the various tiers of ancient Greek society, and how class and gender affected people’s daily lives in this classical civilization.
The Wounded Knee Massacre
This informational text discusses the events leading up to, during, and after the violent encounter between the Sioux and the U.S. Army at the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
Excerpt from Honky
Sociologist Dalton Conley reflects in this excerpt from his book on his status as a white middle-class man having grown up in a lower-income community of color.
The Ambitious Guest
Based on a true event - the Wiley tragedy of Crawford Notch, New Hampshire - this story follows a young traveler with big dreams, who stops by a family cottage in a snowy mountain pass.
The Treasure in the Forest
Two men search for Spanish treasure, letting greed get the better of their awareness.
The Story of David and Goliath
The Book of Samuel
In this classic story about the triumph of an underdog, a young shepherd defeats a giant warrior with courage and faith.