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.
TURMOIL IN CHINA; In Shanghai, Protesters Turn Defiant
Richard Bernstein discusses students’ protest of the Communist Party in Shanghai, China, in 1989.
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.
Conflicting News Reports on the Fate of the Sinking Titanic
The two excerpts from two different newspapers were both written about the Titanic the day it sank.
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.
The Keys to Happiness: Partly Genetic, But You Control the Rest
New research explores how genetics and personal choices contribute to a person’s happiness.
Teenage Inventor Alexis Lewis Thinks That Kids Have the Solutions to the World’s Problems
Alexis Lewis is a teenage inventor who thinks more kids should be inventors.
Most Ivory for Sale Comes From Recently Killed Elephants — Suggesting Poaching Is Taking Its Toll
A new technology can help determine the origins of ivory.
Behind Closed Doors: 'Colorism' in the Caribbean
Michel Martin interviews Frances Robles on her report regarding colorism in the Dominican Republic.
Learning How To Code-Switch: Humbling, But Necessary
In this informational text, Eric Deggans discusses how he communicates differently based on the situation and audience.
Loving Decision: 40 Years of Legal Interracial Unions
The outcome of this 1967 court case invalidated laws that prohibited interracial marriage.
First Female Army Rangers Say They Thought of ‘Future Generations of Women’
The first two women to graduate from The U.S. Army Ranger School recount their experience.
How Human Should A Gorilla Be?
Barbara J. King for NPR
This informational text discusses Koko, a gorilla who can communicate with humans using American Sign Language.
Dark History Of Rwanda's Genocide
This interview with Rwanda’s Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo explores how Rwanda is moving on from its history with genocide.
Think Mothering Young Kids Is Hard? Get Ready For Even Tougher Times
Tania Lombrozo for NPR
This informational text explores when motherhood becomes easier for mothers.
Teenage Brains Are Malleable And Vulnerable, Researchers Say
This informational text discusses the teenage brain’s focus on rewards and how this can influence behavior.
Do Juvenile Killers Deserve Life Behind Bars?
This 2012 news article explores how the American criminal justice system handles cases in which adolescents have committed or been party to murder.
UN Explores Native American Rights In U.S.
Michel Martin interviews S. James Anaya about his report on the rights and quality of life of indigenous people in the United States.
American Indian School a Far Cry from the Past
This informational text discusses the off-reservation boarding school for Native Americans, Sherman Indian High School, and how it compares to boarding schools of the past.
How Native Students Can Succeed In College: 'Be As Tough As The Land That Made You'
This informational text discusses the obstacles Native American teenagers face when applying for college and how a program called College Horizons helps.