Back in 2015, I found out about CommonLit from Richard Byrne and pointed people to his post to learn more about this free resource for teachers. Since then, CommonLit has added a Guided Reading feature that can really be helpful for differentiation in your classroom, Book Pairings, and probably a few other tools that I haven’t mentioned – yet it has continued to be free. This is huge in the world of EdTech, where teachers often find ourselves priced out of “free” programs.
Since it is National Poetry Month, I thought I would remind you of CommonLit, which does have quite a few poetry offerings. Once you log in and go to the library page, you can see some of the featured poems selected by the staff for this month. You can also go to the “Browse all Text Sets” page in order to search for particular genres, themes, grade levels (3rd grade and up), and lexiles.
I love looking at the Book Pairings, which offer supplemental short texts to accompany novels. For example, my 5th graders read The Giver, and CommonLit links to 4 poems that nicely fit with the themes of the book (along with some news articles and informational texts as well). The search page helpfully identifies the genre of each link, its lexile level, and grade level. CommonLit even gives you advice on which point in the novel would be a good time to add the paired text.
CommonLit offers a Teacher Dashboard so that you can assign passages within the site. There are also short assessments and suggested discussion questions for each assignment.
Because CommonLit is a nonprofit organization, it promises that its resources will always be free for teachers. Take advantage of this site to encourage deeper reading, discussion, and connections.