CommonLit is a free collection of fiction and nonfiction for 3rd-12th grade classrooms. Search and filter our collection by lexile, grade, theme, genre, literary device, or common core standard.
Serena Williams' catsuit controversy evokes the battle over women wearing shorts
Deirdre Clemente discusses the attention that is paid to what women wear in sports.
Making college more affordable – What needs discussing is the total cost of a degree
The president of Pennsylvania State University discusses how we can make college more affordable.
Remember the Victims of Juvenile Offenders
Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins, who lost her sister to a juvenile offender, discusses how young offenders should be sentenced.
Prison Is a Poor Deterrent, and a Dangerous Punishment
Daniel Okonkwo discusses how juvenile offenders should be treated differently than adult offenders.
The Race Factor in Trying Juveniles as Adults
Jennifer L. Eberhardt & Aneeta Rattan
Jennifer L. Eberhardt and Aneeta Rattan discuss the impact that race has on sentencing juvenile offenders.
Making college more affordable: more than one funder has to step up
Jill Tiefenthaler, President of Colorado College, discusses how different funders could help make college more affordable.
The Cost of Prison in Dollars and Lives
Michael Jacobsen discusses the punishment and rehabilitation of juvenile offenders.
What Adolescents Miss When We Let Them Grow Up in Cyberspace
Brent Staples discusses the impact that the Internet has on teenagers’ development.
The Limits of Empathy
David Brooks discusses what it means to be empathetic and whether or not empathy influences our actions.
Want to Get Into College? Learn to Fail
Angel B. Pérez
A dean of admissions dispels the myth that students should showcase perfection on a college application, and explores the relationship between past failures and college success.
Sir Francis Bacon
In this essay, Sir Francis Bacon discusses the importance of pursuing knowledge.
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.
The Leaders Who Ruined Africa and the Generation Who Can Fix It
In this TED Talk, Fred Swaniker discusses leadership in Africa and his hopes for future leaders.
The Curse Of The Inability To Imagine
Tania Lombrozo for NPR
This article questions whether it is possible to accurately understand the past or imagine the future due to present-day technology.
The Danger of a Single Story
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie discusses the impact stories can have in constructing our understanding of the world and people.
A Quick Note on Getting Better at Difficult Things
Ta-Nehisi Coates discusses how to get better at a new or difficult skill and shares his own experiences.
Excerpt from The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
In this excerpt from his autobiography, Benjamin Franklin discusses his efforts to better himself by training different virtues.
Excerpt from Honky
Sociologist Dalton Conley reflects in this excerpt from his book on his status as a white middle-class man having grown up in a lower-income community of color.
On the Reverence Due Father- and Mother-in-Law
China’s first female historian Zhao Ban advises women on the proper way to treat their in-laws.