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.
Giant Volcanoes Lurk Beneath Antarctic Ice
Beth Geiger discusses 91 volcanoes discovered below the Antarctic ice sheet.
From “The Wild Horses of Assateague Island”
National Park Service, US Department of the Interior
Wild horses continue to roam on Assateague Island, in the United States.
Excerpt from Bleak House
In this excerpt from Bleak House, a man asks the narrator to pay his debt.
Excerpt from Song of the Lark
A young girl helps her aunt prepare for her roles in plays.
The Egyptian Tomb
A mother and daughter go on their weekly lunch outing.
Taste over waste: ugly food movement winning friends
This text explores the "ugly food" movement in supermarkets across the world.
What happens to North Koreans who flee their country — and what can they tell us?
Alexander Dukalskis discusses the repressive North Korean government and the people who decide to escape it.
Why Do Human Beings Do Good Things? The Puzzle of Altruism
Steve Taylor explores why humans act altruistically towards others.
Noticing Mistakes Boosts Learning
Alison Pearce Stevens
Alison Pearce Stevens discusses how noticing mistakes can help us learn.
Home Sweet Home
Sarah J. Bell
Sarah J. Bell discusses the houses that Native Americans built hundreds of years ago.
New math: Fail + try again = real learning
Susan Moran discusses the benefits of risking failure as a person works toward a goal.
Welcome to the Underworld
Michael A. Signal
Hermes, messenger of the gods, gives a tour of the Underworld.
How Pixar Tells a Story
Rachel Slivnick discusses the stories of Pixar movies.
Lessons from failure: Why we try, try again
Bethany Brookshire discusses a study that explores what prompts people to try again after a failure.
Food security: we throw away a third of the food we grow – here’s what to do about waste
This text outlines several approaches to the problem of food waste
The Golden Age of MTV — And Yes, There Was One by NPR Staff
The television channel, MTV, has undergone serious changes since its beginnings of showing music videos.
Excerpt from Heart of Darkness
A seaman imagines what it must have been like for the Romans who first came to England.
Excerpt from “Inuit”
Carol White describes how a group of people, known as the Inuit, live in the Arctic.
The Elephant and the Crocodile
H. Berkeley Score
A Crocodile and an Elephant attempt to find out which is the better animal.