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.
Excerpt from 'Roughing It': Lost in the Snow
A man and his companions struggle to reach their destination in the snow.
The Lighthouse Lamp
Margaret E. Sangster
A family’s lighthouse is the only thing keeping sailors from crashing during a storm.
A town takes part in an annual ritual called “the lottery.”
All Summer in a Day
Margot’s beliefs are very different from those of her classmates on the planet Venus.
Queens of the Spy World Whose Intrigues Sway the Fate of Nations
This article discusses the legendary women of the spy world and their contributions to the countries they served in wartime.
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.
Excerpt from Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist asks for more food in this excerpt from Charles Dickens’ classic.
Reports from the Ruins of the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906
Two newspaper articles discuss the despair and hope following the San Francisco earthquake of 1906.
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.
Excerpts from Roughing It
Twain recounts his time looking for work in the West in this semi-autobiographical, comic travelogue.
The Coming on of Night
This short poem describes the speaker’s peace with the inevitability of death.
J. Patrick Lewis
The poet assumes the voice of journalist and civil rights activist Helen Zia and explains how she uses words to share her perspective with others.
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.
Inspired by Jean Toomer’s poem “Storm Ending,” this poem compares a new day to a storm.
'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.
A family considers what will happen if they lose their house.
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
In this poem, the speaker describes seeing a field of daffodils.