8 Ways to Use Commonlit in Middle and High School

We ❤️using this free digital tool across the curriculum.

Commonlit in the Classroom

Commonlit.org is a FREE digital tool that helps students in grades 5-12 in the areas of reading and writing. Commonlit has a free library that includes thousands of high interest, standards-aligned lessons. Teachers can easily track students’ progress towards mastery on literacy skills using the analytics tools that are available. The best part…other than it being FREE, of course, is that it can be used for all subject areas! Here are 8 ways that Commonlit can be used in the classroom!

1. Try Articles of the Week.

Invite students to pick their own article to read based on a specific topic you’re studying in class. Since Commonlit can be filtered by over 20 themes, the theme could also be one of the requirements students could choose from. 

2. Introduce STEM topics.

Use Commonlit to introduce rigorous STEM topics that ask students to think critically. Even if students struggle to read grade-level texts, Commonlit can be a huge help.

3. Assign lessons based on your students’ needs.

For example, struggling readers can be assigned a text using the Guided Reading mode where they have to answer questions correctly before they can proceed with the text. More advanced learners can skip ahead to the discussion and assessment questions.

4. Try Commonlit to introduce a social studies topic.

For example, let’s say you’re teaching African-American heroes. There are a variety of texts that are available for each grade level. Some examples are, “The Story of Ida B. Jones,” ”How Jackie Robinson Changed Baseball,” and “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” 

5. Use Commonlit as a supplement to a novel you’re reading in class.

There is even a tab called “Book Pairings” where articles are already paired up with additional texts that relate to the novel. However, if you don’t see a pairing for your specific novel, you can easily find a relatable text by searching for a specific theme or main idea. 

6. Use the video option in “Related Media” to introduce a unit of study or text.

Using video clips is a great way to hook students so that they are more engaged in the material. It also helps to build background knowledge on the topic of study. This is also a great way to build text-to-media connections and promote a stronger understanding of the content.

7. Assist your English Language Learners. 

Not only can you choose between English or Spanish for the entire text, but you can also select a word or phrase and have it translated between 13 different languages. 

8. Search by standard.

All Commonlit texts are standards-aligned. If you are teaching a specific standard(s), you can modify your search by selecting the standard in which you want to focus. 

We’d love to hear—how are you using Commonlit in the classroom? Come and share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

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8 Ways to Use Commonlit in Middle and High School

Posted by Lyndsey Gresehover

I am the owner of the blog, Lit with Lyns, and have been teaching middle school ELA for over 15 years! I love discovering student-centered, innovative ways to help promote 21st-century learners.

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