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.
This informational text explains how teenage male elephants make the transition into adulthood.
Growing Trees for Kenya
Wangari Maathai developed a movement to restore the forests in Kenya by planting trees.
The Mysterious Dark Day
Lois Minder Huey
Lois Minder Huey discusses a day where the northeastern American colonies went dark during the American Revolution.
Life in a Totalitarian Country
This text describes the characteristics of totalitarian nations and provides examples.
Trailblazing surgeon Mary Walker still one of a kind
As the nation’s first female surgeon, Mary Walker contributed both to the Civil War and to women’s rights.
War in Sudan
Jessica McBirney introduces the causes and effects of armed conflicts that go back decades in present-day Sudan and South Sudan.
Jessica McBirney describes the life and accomplishments of Duke Ellington, an influential musician during the Harlem Renaissance.
The Real ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ Soldier Saved 75 Souls Without Ever Carrying A Gun
A soldier who refused to carry a weapon in World War II emerged as a hero after saving 75 fellow soldiers.
Can Television Be Considered Literature and Taught in English Classes?
Shelby Ostergaard discusses the potential benefits and disadvantages of using television for teaching.
What Is Dark Matter?
The invisible matter called “dark matter” continues to be one of the mysteries of the universe.
Barrett Smith discusses the life, career, and persisting mystery of the famous pilot, Amelia Earhart.
Union wins a victory at Port Royal Sound, South Carolina
The Union experiences one of its early victories against the South in the Battle of Port Royal during the Civil War.
What Is A Supernova?
Supernovas, or the explosion of stars, are helping scientists better understand the universe.
What Are Clouds?
Clouds on our planet have an important impact on the weather and provide valuable information to scientists.
Rosa Parks: Beyond the Bus
Barrett Smith explores Rosa Parks’ accomplishments beyond her role in inspiring the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Alaska Accelerates Indoor Agriculture
During cold winters, greenhouses are used in Alaska.
What Is Earth?
Earth’s makeup and movements affect life on the planet.
The Cold War
Jessica McBirney discusses the various conflicts and effects of the Cold War.
Excerpt from The Harvest Gypsies
John Steinbeck discusses the role of migrant workers in California’s agriculture industry.