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.
PLESSY NEARS ITS END
The New York Times
Sixty years after the Plessy v. Ferguson decision, an author evaluates the state of racial segregation in the United States.
The Armed Forces Find Woman Has a Place
Nona Brown discusses the allowance of women to serve as permanent members of the armed forces.
A Thief Dines Out, Hoping Later to Eat In
This New York Times article reports on a man who commits crimes, hoping to be sent to jail.
37 Who Saw Murder Didn’t Call the Police
Martin Gansberg discusses the murder of Kitty Genovese, whose attack was witnessed by 37 people.
Excerpt from The Harvest Gypsies
John Steinbeck discusses the role of migrant workers in California’s agriculture industry.
Hurricane Katrina: The Overview; New Orleans Is Inundated As 2 Levees Fail; Much of Gulf Coast Is Crippled; Toll Rises
Joseph B. Treaster and N.R. Kleinfield
Joseph B. Treaster and N.R. Kleinfield discuss the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the flooding in New Orleans.
The Selective Laziness of Human Reasoning
Tania Lombrozo for NPR
Tania Lombrozo explores why humans tend to prefer their own opinions over the opinions of others.
Going to School as a Refugee
Facing numerous challenges, refugee students in Dallas schools look to one another for support.
5 Surprising Facts About The Refugee Crisis
Jason Beaubien discusses the refugee crisis, which has resulted in millions fleeing their home countries.
Where the World's Refugees Are
Malaka Gharib discusses where refugees have sought safety in the world.
U.S. Attacked; Hijacked Jets Destroy Twin Towers and Hit Pentagon in Day of Terror
N.R. Kleinfield reports on the 9/11 terrorist attacks the day after the events occurred.
Key Black Leader Turns 60 On South Africa Prison Isle
John F. Burns
John F. Burns discusses Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment on Robben Island for his actions against South Africa’s government.
Why This Controversial German Woman Turned Her Back on Money For 16 Years
Mandi Woodruff discusses Heidemarie Schwermer’s decisions to live without money.
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.