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.
The Peace Corps Journey
Jennifer Borgen explains what the Peace Corps is and what volunteers can expect when they choose to work abroad.
Should We Terraform Mars?
Paul Scott Anderson
Paul Scott Anderson discusses whether or not humans should attempt to alter Mars to be habitable for humans.
What is an Eclipse?
The movement of celestial bodies are responsible for the lunar and solar eclipses we witness.
The Forgotten Man
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt discusses the state of America’s economy in 1932.
Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania
Benjamin Franklin outlines his ideas for an academy in Pennsylvania.
Was Einstein a Space Alien?
NASA Science News
Einstein’s impressive intelligence and numerous scientific discoveries continue to shock people. Analyses of his process, personality, and brain provide some insight into his genius.
The History of the Cylinder Phonograph
The Library of Congress
Thomas Edison’s invention of the phonograph allowed people to record and replay sound for the first time.
Lin-Manuel Miranda rose to fame by capturing the public’s attention using hip hop and his fresh approach to theatre.
TURMOIL IN CHINA; In Shanghai, Protesters Turn Defiant
Richard Bernstein discusses students’ protest of the Communist Party in Shanghai, China, in 1989.
Will We ‘Fix’ The Weather? Yes. Should We Fix The Weather? Hmmm
A prominent journalist discusses the opinions of climate scientists about using technology to control the earth’s climate.
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
Angela Lee Duckworth
Angela Lee Duckworth discusses the role that grit plays in success.
The Chicano Movement
This text describes the history, development, and lasting impact of the Chicano Movement in the United States
To the State Senate on Being Elected Its President
Calvin Coolidge addresses the Massachusetts Senate about what makes a successful government and society.
How Small Fibs Lead to Big Lies
Researchers test to see if telling small lies leads to telling bigger lies.
Can We Cultivate Our Own Happiness?
Martin Seligman researches how people can be happier and has developed the field of “positive psychology.”
Father of All Forecasters
Charles Brusso discusses the man who developed the foundation of weather forecasting, Cleveland Abbe.
Maureen Ash discusses the discovery of a fish that was believed to be extinct.
Plate Tectonics: Moving and Shaking
The movement of Earth’s plates has resulted in the planet’s natural wonders and disasters.
Of Feathers, Fat, and Freezing
Donna DeVoe DiFolco
Donna DeVoe DiFolco explains why chickadees are able to survive in extremely cold conditions.