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.
Excerpt from 'Roughing It': Lost in the Snow
A man and his companions struggle to reach their destination in the snow.
Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania
Benjamin Franklin outlines his ideas for an academy in Pennsylvania.
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.
The History of the Cylinder Phonograph
The Library of Congress
Thomas Edison’s invention of the phonograph allowed people to record and replay sound for the first time.
The Lighthouse Lamp
Margaret E. Sangster
A family’s lighthouse is the only thing keeping sailors from crashing during a storm.
Excerpt from “Where Lovers Dream”
A woman runs into someone she used to know at a wedding.
Excerpt from Swann's Way
A narrator describes being on the verge of sleep.
A town takes part in an annual ritual called “the lottery.”
A family comes to realize how much they use and depend on the technology of their futuristic home.
The Star and the Lily
Hamilton Wright Mabie
A chieftain tells the story of how the lily was created.
The Rescue of the Tin Woodman
L. Frank Baum
Dorothy, Toto, and the Scarecrow meet the Tin Woodman.
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.
Arriving at Emerald City
L. Frank Baum
Dorothy and her friends arrive at the Emerald City to meet the Great Oz.
All Summer in a Day
Margot’s beliefs are very different from those of her classmates on the planet Venus.
Lin-Manuel Miranda rose to fame by capturing the public’s attention using hip hop and his fresh approach to theatre.
Rosie the Riveter
Barrett Smith discusses the origins of Rosie the Riveter and the effect she has had on women in the United States.
TURMOIL IN CHINA; In Shanghai, Protesters Turn Defiant
Richard Bernstein discusses students’ protest of the Communist Party in Shanghai, China, in 1989.