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 Monkey's Paw
A man makes a wish on a charm that is given to him by an old friend and suffers the consequences.
The Coming on of Night
This short poem describes the speaker’s peace with the inevitability of death.
Was It a Dream?
Guy de Maupassant
A grieving man visits the grave of his deceased lover, where he discovers an awful truth.
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
In this poem, the speaker describes seeing a field of daffodils.
A boy takes a trip into the forest with his friends.
I Ask My Mother to Sing
In this poem, the narrator’s mother and grandmother sing about China.
In this poem, a speaker describes the happiness he finds in eating a summer peach.
The Most Dangerous Game
A big game hunter falls off his yacht and is rescued by a mysterious general who claims to hunt only the most dangerous game.
Assassination of the President
On April 14, 1965, John Wilkes Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln at the Ford Theatre. Lincoln would die the following day.
Dulce et Decorum Est
The horrors of chemical warfare during World War I are described in this gripping poem.
The Battle of Bull Run: The End of Illusions
Ernest B. Furgurson
This passage recounts the events of the First Battle of Bull Run, as well as its role in the disillusionment of the American people in the early stages of the American Civil War.
Local Children's Reactions to 9-11 Tragedy
In this article, we hear from older educators and young students on the impact the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 had on them individually and as a community.
Red Cloud's Speech after Wounded Knee
Chief Red Cloud
Oglala Lakota leader Red Cloud’s remarks following the Wounded Knee Massacre recall the years of false promises made and mistreatment shown to the American Indian people by the U.S. federal government.
The Life of a U.S. Industrial Worker
This informational text asks students to imagine what it would be like to live as a worker during the U.S. Industrial Revolution.
A husband and wife grieve differently about their deceased child.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
One of the earliest examples of American fiction with enduring popularity (especially during the Halloween season), this short story about Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman deals with themes of love, fear, gluttony, and truth.
The Last Class: The Story of a Little Alsatian
In this story set on the border of France and Germany after the Franco-Prussian war, a young Alsatian boy is met with a surprising announcement when he arrives at his French class.
The Pit and the Pendulum
Edgar Allan Poe
In this story, an unnamed narrator describes the torments endured as a prisoner of the Spanish Inquisition.