CommonLit is a great resource for teachers and parents. It is an online library of free texts from a range of genres. These texts can be located according to reading difficulty, genre, topics, themes, and literary devices (e.g., alliteration, imagery, and hyperbole).

The texts are of high quality and are derived from a variety of sources:

  • Classic works that are now in the public domain.
  • Professional writing contributed from other publications.
  • Short works donated by writers

Each text includes:

  • Readability features (including a choice of font size and numbered paragraphs for easy navigation).
  • Footnotes and glossary (including pop-up links providing the definition of key vocabulary and relevant background information).
  • A brief summary providing information about the author, text and areas on which to focus.
  • Text-dependent questions and discussion questions.
  • Suggested paired texts (e.g., other texts with a common theme or using a similar literary device).
  • Related media (e.g., video or audio clips) to enrich students’ understanding of the ideas in the text.

Take CommonLit to the next level:

  1. Find multiple texts on the same topic. The research indicates that the texts don’t need to be all at the same level. This will increase students’ understanding of the topic.
  2. Identify vocabulary that is outside your students’ current knowledge. Include a range of activities to develop students’ understanding of that vocabulary. See the following blogs for more information:

Word Webs

Graffiti Word Wall

Subject Specific Vocabulary

Teaching Vocabulary

  1. Choose texts that link to a large body of work you would like students to read (e.g., novel, non-fiction book, etc.).
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