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.
Welcome to the Underworld
Michael A. Signal
Hermes, messenger of the gods, gives a tour of the Underworld.
Excerpt from Heart of Darkness
A seaman imagines what it must have been like for the Romans who first came to England.
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.
Excerpt from Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus
An explorer describes his voyage before bringing Victor Frankenstein on his ship.
A boy and his baby-sitter play games during a thunderstorm.
Shooting an Elephant
A British officer must decide whether or not to shoot an elephant that has become aggressive.
Teri Ellen Cross Davis
A speaker describes her feelings about her natural hair over the years.
A speaker is questioned about the darkness of their skin when they inquire about leasing an apartment.
The Great Woolly Bear Hunt
Craig W. Steele
A speaker searches for a creature called a woolly bear.
Immigrants in Our Own Land
Jimmy Santiago Baca
An immigrant dreams of a better life but encounters a disappointing reality instead.
A boy wants to be named the most valuable player during his basketball team’s championship game.
On Winning the Coloring Contest in Second Grade
A speaker describes winning a coloring contest.
A boy agrees to meet one of his classmates at a castle, not knowing what to expect.
What My Father Said
A boy wants to play football with his friends, but is put to work by his dad.