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.
Jimmy Carter’s Nobel Lecture
Jimmy Carter accepts the Nobel Peace Prize for his contributions to international peace.
President Reagan's Speech at the Brandenburg Gate
President Ronald Reagan
President Ronald Reagan delivers this famous speech imploring General Secretary Gorbachev to take down the Berlin Wall and reunite Germany.
To Those Who Keep Slaves, and Approve the Practice
Famous minister and abolitionist Richard Allen implores slave-owners and pro-slavery advocates to reconsider their stances.
Ancient Greek thinkers have influenced Western culture and philosophy for centuries.
Letter from Birmingham Jail
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr., outlines his nonviolence approach to addressing injustice while responding to criticism.
Malala Yousafzai's Nobel Peace Prize Lecture
Malala Yousafzai receives the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy for education.
'Enemies from Within' Speech
Senator Joseph McCarthy
In Senator Joseph McCarthy’s most famous speech, he condemns the threat of communism and accuses the state department of communist infiltration.
Nelson Mandela's Nobel Peace Prize Lecture
Nelson Mandela receives the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and discusses his work ending South Africa’s system of segregation.
Excerpt from 'Susan B. Anthony, The Woman'
Journalist Susan Dare interviews Susan B. Anthony and describes the life of this famous women’s rights activist.
How Autism Freed Me to be Myself
In this speech, 16-year-old Rosie King shares her experiences with autism and how it has allowed her to be true to herself.
Malala Yousafzai’s Address to the United Nations, July 2013
In this speech to the United Nations, Malala Yousafzai describes her experience after being shot by members of the Taliban and her commitment to education and rights for women.
Elie Wiesel’s “The Perils of Indifference” Speech
A Holocaust survivor discusses the consequences of acting indifferently towards human suffering.
Allegory of the Cave
Plato’s Allegory of the Cave is a piece of philosophy explaining the importance of knowledge in society and for the human soul.
Elie Wiesel’s Remarks at the Dedication of Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum
Acclaimed author and Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel, speaks at the opening of Yad Vashem’s new Holocaust History Museum.
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.
President Kennedy's Inaugural Address
President John F. Kennedy
In his inaugural address, President Kennedy discusses his vision for leading the United States and its allies through the Cold War.
President Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address
President Abraham Lincoln
President Lincoln discusses the Civil War and the future of the nation in his second inaugural address.
Senator Nixon's “Checkers” Speech
Senator Richard M. Nixon
In this speech, Vice Presidential candidate Richard Nixon masters rhetoric to defend charges of corruption in his campaign and to defend Dwight Eisenhower’s bid for the presidency.
Richard Nixon’s Resignation Speech
President Richard M. Nixon
In this speech, President Nixon explains that he is resigning from the office of president for the good of the American people.