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 Gospel of Doubt
Casey Gerald discusses how moments of disappointment have helped him learn how to embrace doubt.
Can Television Be Considered Literature and Taught in English Classes?
Shelby Ostergaard discusses the potential benefits and disadvantages of using television for teaching.
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.
Orpheus and Eurydice
Ovid, translated by Brookes More
This classic myth tells the story of Orpheus’s trip to the underworld in an attempt to retrieve his deceased wife, Eurydice.
Excerpt from The Harvest Gypsies
John Steinbeck discusses the role of migrant workers in California’s agriculture industry.
Ode on a Grecian Urn
In this poem, John Keats describes a series of images on a Grecian urn.
Propaganda: Battling for the Mind
Shelby Ostergaard discusses the purpose and history of propaganda and how it influences people.
A speaker describes taking his nephew for a walk in the forest.
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.
George W. Harkins to the American People
George W. Harkins
In an open letter to the American people, Choctaw chief George W. Harkins expresses his opinion about the Indian removals.
Grace Hopper was one of the first female programmers and helped develop the first modern computer.
Can You Still Have Hope When Life Seems Hopeless?
Ashley Westerman discusses the hopes of the Rohingya refugees who have been forced to flee to Bangladesh to avoid persecution.
Where the World's Refugees Are
Malaka Gharib discusses where refugees have sought safety in the world.
The New Era of Positive Psychology
Martin Seligman discusses the development of “positive psychology” and how people can lead happier lives.
Why I Love a Country That Once Betrayed Me
George Takei discusses his experiences being interned during WWII and his feelings about America today.