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.
Summer with Papaji
Jyoti Singh Visvanath
Jyoti Singh Visvanath discusses visiting her grandfather in the summer as a young girl.
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.
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 Gospel of Doubt
Casey Gerald discusses how moments of disappointment have helped him learn how to embrace doubt.
The Armed Forces Find Woman Has a Place
Nona Brown discusses the allowance of women to serve as permanent members of the armed forces.
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.
Mahani Zubaidy Gunnell
Mahani Zubaidy Gunnell describes watching a kite fight as a girl.
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.
What Adolescents Miss When We Let Them Grow Up in Cyberspace
Brent Staples discusses the impact that the Internet has on teenagers’ development.
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.
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.
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.
The Limits of Empathy
David Brooks discusses what it means to be empathetic and whether or not empathy influences our actions.