CommonLit is another resource for English teachers. CommonLit is a collection of free texts that runs the gambit with everything from classics to contemporary pieces. Texts are organized by Lexile level and theme. Each theme is accompanied by essential questions to guide student reading. Searching for texts about a central idea is made easy (and it’s all free). Even though it says it is meant for middle schoolers, I am certain some of the texts would work for older students. More content is added regularly and CommonLit works with the publishers so you don’t have to worry about copyright issues. Some of the new questions are missing a text for one of the levels of readers, but from what I’ve read that’s only a short term issue. It’s well the wait required for new questions and texts to be posted. There is a decent selection available now. Let the reading commence.

Their design and approach is based on research-based practices (you can download their full report from the about section). According to their site, the research says grouping texts by theme helps students relate their readings to their lives, students learn best from texts differentiated by reading level and middle school reading proficiency is the best early predictor of college readiness.


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