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.
Excerpt from Heart of Darkness
A seaman imagines what it must have been like for the Romans who first came to England.
Excerpt from The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man
James Weldon Johnson
A man describes his journey to Paris and his thoughts on the city.
Excerpt from Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus
An explorer describes his voyage before bringing Victor Frankenstein on his ship.
Excerpt from Tess of the d’Urbervilles
A man encounters someone who reveals a surprising fact about his family ancestry.
Smartphones Put Your Privacy At Risk
Maria Temming discusses how smartphones can present a threat to your privacy.
Why Do We Judge Parents For Putting Kids At Perceived — But Unreal — Risk?
Tania Lombrozo for NPR
Three researchers discuss their experiment exploring people’s judgements of the perceived risks parents expose their children to.
The Solitude of Self
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
In this speech, Elizabeth Cady Stanton discusses why women should have equal rights.
Excerpt from “Nature”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson discusses his appreciation for nature.
Carrots with Character
Erin K. Peabody
Erin K. Peabody discusses the benefits of genetically modified carrots.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
United Nations General Assembly
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by United Nations and describes an individual’s rights.
Excerpt from Walden: “The Ponds”
Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau describes Walden Pond.
Her Code Got Humans On The Moon — And Invented Software Itself
Robert McMillan discusses Margaret Hamilton, a software engineer who helped man land on the moon.
Dam Revives Aral Sea and Nearby Communities in Kazakhstan
Morning Edition, NPR
NPR discusses the positive impacts a dam has had on the shrinking Aral Sea and its surrounding communities.
Excerpt from “Civil Disobedience”
Henry David Thoreau
This excerpt from Thoreau's famous essay meditates on the necessity of following one’s own conscience, even if it conflicts with the law.
2 Khmer Rouge Leaders Are Convicted in Cambodia
Thomas Fuller and Julia Wallace
Thomas Fuller and Julia Wallace discuss the conviction of two leaders of the Khmer Rouge organization in Cambodia that committed crimes against its people.
Russia Tightens the Iron Curtain on Ideas
Harrison Salisbury discusses the Soviet Union’s practice of censorship during the Cold War.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
The speaker describes a traveler’s tale about ancient ruins encountered in a desert.
Can Machines Learn Morality?
This informational text discusses how equipping machines with a sense of right and wrong could impact the world.
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.