Schools & Districts CommonLit’s Digital Library Flexibly Supports Any Curriculum

Student work together on a CommonLit lesson.

3,000+ literary and informational reading passages, lesson planning resources, comprehension quizzes, and more to support teachers.

CommonLit has carefully curated a digital library that offers over 3,000 high-quality reading passages and digital lessons for students in grades 3–12.

We offer seminal works from many of the best contemporary authors including Shirley Jackson, Ray Bradbury, Martin Luther King Jr., Gary Soto, Langston Hughes, Malcolm Gladwell, Sandra Cisneros, and Julia Alvarez. We also have partnerships with prestigious news organizations such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Smithsonian Magazine. With this balance of informational and literary texts, CommonLit can be seamlessly integrated into any English, Social Studies, or Science class.

CommonLit’s library is extremely flexible, and it can be used to support any curriculum or instructional purpose. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the specific ways that CommonLit’s library can be leveraged to support your team’s needs.

Text Sets

CommonLit offers dozens of text sets that focus on specific topics including Black History, The Holocaust, The American Revolution, and Space. Each text set includes reading passages across a range of reading levels. These sets are ideal for English teachers who are looking to provide their students with essential background knowledge on a topic and for Social Studies or Science teachers who are curating resources for an entire unit.

CommonLit's library filtered for text sets.

Click here to learn more about the innovative ways that you can utilize CommonLit’s text sets.

Themes

CommonLit also organizes its digital library into over 25 literary themes including “Power & Greed,” “Growing Up,” and “Social Pressure.” These themes are designed to be engaging and thought provoking for students.

When teachers choose to filter the CommonLit library by a specific theme, they are given dozens of different recommended texts from a variety of different genres. This is a great way for teachers to get new ideas and incorporate new resources into their ELA curriculum.

For example, when teachers look for texts about “Resilience and Success,” they are recommended poetry by Langston Hughes and Tupac Shakur, a short story by Walter Dean Myers, and engaging biographies about Malala Yousafzai and Jackie Robinson.

CommonLit's library filtered for texts about the theme "Resilience and Success."

Units

Our team has also created over 30 supplemental units for grades 3–12 that come complete with an essential question, focus skills, a handful of carefully curated reading passages, aligned writing prompts, and graphic organizers. These units are guaranteed to engage your students and are perfect for one to two weeks of instruction.

CommonLit's library filtered for supplemental units.

Click here to learn more about the design of our mini units.

Bonus: CommonLit’s 360 Curriculum includes comprehensive 5–7 week units that include fully developed reading, writing, vocabulary, and discussion lessons. We offer units that focus on literary analysis, research, novel-based instruction, argumentative writing, and more! Check out this blog post to learn more about the curriculum!

Book Pairings

CommonLit’s curriculum team has also developed over 110 Book Pairing Sets that support the teaching of commonly taught novels including To Kill a Mockingbird, Lord of the Flies, and Night. Each set includes informational and literary texts from a variety of genres that are designed to help students build critical background knowledge and make connections as they move through the anchor text.

Each Book Pairing Set includes recommended texts, tips for introducing the text, and questions to help teachers connect the supplemental text to the anchor novel.

CommonLit's book pairings for the novel Number the Stars.

Click here to learn more about the design of CommonLit’s Book Pairings Sets and strategies for including these resources in your curriculum.

Target Lessons

Target Lessons are short, easy-to-use, highly engaging lessons that support reading, writing, and classroom discussion for grades 3-12. Each of these 40+ lessons teaches students a standards-aligned skill — like identifying the main idea or analyzing the author's point of view — that they’ll use to deeply understand the text.

Target Lessons also include scaffolded Pre-Reading, During Reading, and Post-Reading activities that are designed to build students' engagement and knowledge as they move through the lesson!

Screenshot of CommonLit Target Lesson page

Click here to learn more about how to best use Target Lessons.

Standards Practice

While CommonLit can be used to help educators create or supplement a full curriculum, it can also be used to help students practice a particular skill or standard. When educators browse CommonLit’s library, they have the opportunity to filter by standard, grade level, Lexile, or Literary Device. With these filters, teachers can hone in on the perfect text to give students the reading instruction they need.

CommonLit's library filtered for middle school vocabulary and language standards.

Spanish Library

CommonLit also offers a full library of Spanish lessons that teachers can use to meet the needs of their English Language Learners and Dual Language students. This library includes hundreds of authentic poems, short stories, and informational texts from world-class authors like Gabriel García Márquez, Sandra Cisneros, and Gary Soto. Each lesson also includes carefully curated lesson resources for teachers to use.

The main page of the CommonLit Español library.

Click here to learn more about how to get started with CommonLit Español.

Next Steps

Our team at CommonLit is eager to help your school or district fully leverage CommonLit’s online reading resources.

If you’d like to talk to our team about how you can integrate CommonLit into your district’s program, email us at partnerships@commonlit.org today.

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