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.
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.
Excerpt from “The Trip of Le Horla”
Guy de Maupassant
In this excerpt from a short story, a narrator describes his travels in a flying balloon.
Excerpt from The Tempest
The sorcerer Prosper threatens one of the inhabitants of the island, Caliban, to do his bidding.
The Forgotten Man
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt discusses the state of America’s economy in 1932.
Excerpt from 'Roughing It': Lost in the Snow
A man and his companions struggle to reach their destination in the snow.
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.
Excerpt from Five Weeks in a Balloon
Three Englishmen travel across Africa in a hydrogen filled balloon in this excerpt from Jules Verne’s novel.
Olivia E. Coolidge
A talented weaver’s skills are put to the test when she is challenged by Athena.
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.
Excerpt from Far From the Madding Crowd
A young woman captures attention of men at the market.
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.
In an Amber Dome
A speaker describes a moment they share with someone close to them, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
A man struggles to find anyone willing to help him answer his question in a government office.
The Invisible Influence: How Our Decisions Are Rarely Ever Our Own
Individuals are impacted by the decisions of people around them.
Queens of the Spy World Whose Intrigues Sway the Fate of Nations
This article discusses the legendary women of the spy world and their contributions to the countries they served in wartime.