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 “Our America”
José Martí discusses leadership in Latin American nations.
The Selective Laziness of Human Reasoning
Tania Lombrozo for NPR
Tania Lombrozo explores why humans tend to prefer their own opinions over the opinions of others.
The Science of Solitary Confinement
Solitary confinement can have a strong impact on a prisoner’s mental state.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Nobel Acceptance Speech
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. accepts the Nobel Peace Prize for his contributions to the Civil Rights Movement.
A woman is expected to join a sisterhood following the death of her mother.
Sir Francis Bacon
In this essay, Sir Francis Bacon discusses the importance of pursuing knowledge.
United and Divided: How Religion Drove Politics in Pre-Modern Europe
Shelby Ostergaard discusses the religious transformation of Europe during the Middle Ages.
Barrett Smith discusses the life and accomplishments of the influential female scientist, Marie Curie.
Excerpt From “The Grasshopper”
A couple leads a happy life, despite their contrasting interests.
On the Education of Youth in America
Noah Webster discusses the importance of educating young citizens for the success of America.
Excerpt from “Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-Street”
A narrator hires a scribe who doesn’t do as he is asked.
Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania
Benjamin Franklin outlines his ideas for an academy in Pennsylvania.
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.
Excerpt from Sister Carrie
A country girl sets out with nothing but a train ticket, four dollars, a Chicago address on a slip of paper, and a heart full of illusions.
Zora Neale Hurston
A man has an affair with another man's wife and suffers the consequences.
Jimmy Carter’s Nobel Lecture
Jimmy Carter accepts the Nobel Peace Prize for his contributions to international peace.
That Evening Sun
Young Quentin wonders why Nancy, the black washerwoman, is afraid of her husband in this Southern Gothic story.