CommonLit is a nonprofit that operates a high-quality free online library of over 1,500 standards-aligned English Language Arts texts and lessons. Currently, over 10 million teachers and students use the free resources at commonlit.org.
As CommonLit has grown, we have learned that there is a real need in the market for a research-backed curriculum that meets the needs of all students and is easy-to-use for teachers at varied levels of development. To meet this need, we have begun piloting an innovative, open-source free curriculum for grades 6–10.
Supporting Struggling Readers with Content-Rich Instruction
As a nonprofit dedicated to closing the literacy gap, we specialize in instruction for struggling readers. With these readers in mind, we have developed content-rich units for grades 6–10 that can be flexibly used in general education classrooms, tutoring groups, and intervention blocks.
CommonLit’s unit sequence is designed to help teachers routinize best practices in adolescent literacy instruction. Each lesson within the unit includes:
- An authentic grade level text that is connected thematically and/or topically to other texts in the lesson set/unit (Note: some lesson sets include book-length or novella-length works);
- A pre-reading exercise designed to build essential background knowledge and connect the reading to a larger essential question or goal;
- A guided reading protocol to help students build a foundational understanding of the text through focused annotation, and evidence-based discussion and writing;
- Vocabulary and word knowledge routines designed to help students learn and use academic vocabulary in both writing and speech. Students learn 10 high-impact academic words per lesson set and authentically encounter them repeatedly during the lesson set;
- Scaffolded skill instruction using the text that helps students build a deeper analytical understanding of the text using a specific skill;
- Daily assessment to assess students formatively on the quality of their analysis and help teachers and administrators track progress across standards-aligned skills. Multiple choice questions will be instantaneously assessed through the CommonLit platform.
Additionally, our resources are designed to help teachers use best practices to instruct struggling readers. The units are designed to be instructive for more novice teachers.
Below is an example from a unit on People & The Environment. In this lesson, teachers use the prepared questions to facilitate a deep analytical reading.
Learn More Today
Like what you see? There’s a lot more!
We are excited to connect with your team and tell you more about our curriculum and to share resources that you can use with your team.
For more information, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.