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 Forgotten Man
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt discusses the state of America’s economy in 1932.
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
Angela Lee Duckworth
Angela Lee Duckworth discusses the role that grit plays in success.
To the State Senate on Being Elected Its President
Calvin Coolidge addresses the Massachusetts Senate about what makes a successful government and society.
Remarks of Senator John F. Kennedy on Young People and International Service
John F. Kennedy
When he delivered this brief speech at University of Michigan in 1960, Kennedy shared his idea for the Peace Corps.
Jimmy Carter’s Nobel Lecture
Jimmy Carter accepts the Nobel Peace Prize for his contributions to international peace.
President Reagan's Speech at the Brandenburg Gate
President Ronald Reagan
President Ronald Reagan delivers this famous speech imploring General Secretary Gorbachev to take down the Berlin Wall and reunite Germany.
To Those Who Keep Slaves, and Approve the Practice
Famous minister and abolitionist Richard Allen implores slave-owners and pro-slavery advocates to reconsider their stances.
Depression, The Secret We Share
Andrew Solomon describes his experiences with depression and what makes some people more resilient in overcoming it.
Elie Wiesel's Nobel Acceptance Speech
Elie Wiesel accepts the Nobel Peace Prize and discusses how the world can achieve peace in the future.
Malala Yousafzai's Nobel Peace Prize Lecture
Malala Yousafzai receives the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy for education.
'Enemies from Within' Speech
Senator Joseph McCarthy
In Senator Joseph McCarthy’s most famous speech, he condemns the threat of communism and accuses the state department of communist infiltration.
Nelson Mandela's Nobel Peace Prize Lecture
Nelson Mandela receives the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and discusses his work ending South Africa’s system of segregation.
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.
What Fear Can Teach Us
Karen Thompson Walker
In this speech, Karen Thompson Walker discusses how fear impacts the decisions we make.
Capitalism Will Eat Democracy — Unless We Speak Up
In this TED Talk, economist Yanis Varoufakis discusses the relationship between politics and economics.
I Have a Dream
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, King discusses the status of African Americans and what he hopes to see in the future.
How Autism Freed Me to be Myself
In this speech, 16-year-old Rosie King shares her experiences with autism and how it has allowed her to be true to herself.
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.
Malala Yousafzai’s Address to the United Nations, July 2013
In this speech to the United Nations, Malala Yousafzai describes her experience after being shot by members of the Taliban and her commitment to education and rights for women.