Common Lit

Common Lit

2 Stripes

From the Common Lit Website:

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.


CommonLit delivers high-quality, free instructional materials to support literacy development for students. Our resources are:

  • Flexible;
  • Research-Based;
  • Aligned to the Common Core State Standards;
  • Created by teachers, for teachers.

We believe in the transformative power of a great text, and a great question. That’s why we are committed to keeping CommonLit completely free, forever.




Quickstart Guide for Teachers


How can I teach with this tool?

Teachers can use the wealth of literacy resources on this site to plan engaging lessons that target student’s reading needs around a wide variety of themes, with names such as America, Education, Family and Friendship, Prejudice and Discrimination, Resilience, and Growing Up, to name a few. Let’s say you’re learning about the civil rights movement with your class and want to find passages about the topics of freedom and equality but have kids at a variety of reading levels in your class. A quick filtered search can help you find a variety of leveled passages for your students around one common theme or topic. Teachers can provide printed copies for students to use or assign passages for online reading. In addition, teachers can rely on the provided discussion questions to hold critical in-class discussions.


What is it?

CommonLit is a free digital library of leveled texts: news articles, poems, short stories, and historical documents. You can filter collections by grade level, Lexile level, theme, genre, literary device, and even Common Core State Standards. Every passage includes footnotes with vocabulary words and essential background information. An adaptive-technology-type toolbar for online reading includes a dictionary, a highlighter, text-to-speech functionality, and translation features for 13 languages. Below the toolbar, you’ll find a question set included side by side with the text: four discussion questions, five text-dependent multiple-choice questions, and one short-answer question. The text-dependent questions address Common Core standards, and each of those standards is noted right next to the question. Suggestions for paired passages and related media resources are also included, and you’ll find those in the tabs along the top of each page. Multiple-choice responses and short-answer exemplars are included in the Teacher Guide tab. In addition, the Parent Guide tab comes filled with suggestions to extend learning at home.


Students and teachers can sign up for free accounts. Teacher accounts include an easy-to-navigate teacher dashboard that allows you to create multiple classes, assign reading passages to students, score responses to questions, and track progress for an entire class or an individual student. Student data is gathered and displayed in colorful, easy-to-follow visuals that include graphs, tables, and charts. At the bottom of the teacher dashboard, you’ll even find a list of students who need to be challenged more and those who may need further remediation.


Is it good for learning?

CommonLit’s adaptive reading toolbar makes the text accessible for students at a variety of reading levels and language abilities. It’s perfect for English language learners and struggling readers. Every passage — printed in PDF format or accessed online — includes footnotes with vocabulary words and essential background information that is critical for kids to understand when reading a passage. The included discussion questions get students thinking critically about text during independent reading and beyond. Thinking about reading is further encouraged by text-dependent questions that are included with each passage.

Learning can be extended even further through the use of the suggested paired texts, related media, and useful suggestions to engage parents and extend learning at home. These resources really lend themselves well to building students’ background knowledge on a specific topic. They’re also a great choice for homework assignments, remediation, and extension activities around the same topic.

Go to and sign up for a free account.

  1. Click on “I am an Educator” and then answer a few questions to find your school.
  2. Once you have created your free account, you will be able to import your classes from Google Classroom and get started!
  3. Browse the library, find resources, and assign them to your students.

Earn your stripe:

  1. Go to and sign up for a free account.
  2. Import your classes from Google Classroom.
  3. Make your first assignment.
  4. Take a screenshot of your assignments page with your assignment on it.


Stripe Submitted by Melissa Winkler

  • Empowered Learner: Students use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.
  • Empowered Learner:  Students articulate and set personal learning goals, develop strategies leveraging technology to achieve them and reflect on the learning process itself to improve learning outcomes.
  • Knowledge Constructor:  Students curate information from digital resources using a variety of tools and methods to create collections of artifacts that demonstrate meaningful connections or conclusions.
Students use CommonLit to replace the regular reading textbook. Students are given traditional reading textbook stories in a digital format, and are  provided a variety of resources to suit learner needs, which allows them to work at their own pace on their own level  


People who have earned this:

  • Profile photo of Melissa Winkler
  • Profile photo of Amanda Hines