Student Texts

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Our searchable library of short texts offers a diverse mix of stories and perspectives. This multigenre, multimedia collection aligns with the Common Core's recommendations for text complexity and the Learning for Justice Social Justice Standards.

Choose from informational and literary nonfiction texts, literature, photographs, political cartoons, interviews, infographics and more. You can also filter by text type, grade level, subject and topic.

“The leveled texts have really helped me engage students and introduce them to complex topics in a way they can understand.”

Text Type
Grade Level
Social Justice Domain
Subject
Topic

626 Texts

Informational

Will of Robert Johnston

This is a will of an enslaver from 1776. It shows how enslaved persons were treated as property to be passed down through generations.
by
Robert Johnston
Grade Level
Topic
Subject
History
Economics
December 15, 2017
Literature

Southern Marseillaise

Likely written during or shortly after the Civil War, these song lyrics depict Southern patriotism and duty to maintaining a certain way of life. Using melodic rhymes and repetition, the author emphasizes Southern manhood, justified violence and supposedly benign slavery.
by
Allan D. Francis
Grade Level
Topic
Subject
Civics
History
Social Justice Domain
December 15, 2017
Informational

Alice, The Negro

Recounting a selective portion of an enslaved woman’s life, this brief biography also serves as a reflection of what mainstream society deemed “worthy” during the early to mid-19th century. Precisely because Alice supposedly embodied characteristics that were both exceptional and ordinary, her story offers a useful lens to consider how slavery was understood in its time.
by
Abigail Mott
Grade Level
Topic
Subject
History
Social Justice Domain
December 15, 2017
Informational

Reminiscences

In reflecting on both a pivotal moment in her life during the Civil War and the longer-term effects of such an event, Mrs. Albright excludes her family from the violent system of slavery while adhering to stereotypically Southern values. The necessity of interracial intimacy is noticeable in Mrs. Albright’s descriptions.
by
Mrs. James W. Albright
Grade Level
Topic
Subject
History
Social Justice Domain
December 15, 2017
Informational

Notice

This brief newspaper article represents the commonplace practice of selling land, animals and goods while including enslaved people in the same listing in the United States before emancipation. Serving as primary source evidence of a pending sale, the article simplifies the transactions as purely economic.
by
John A. Chaffin
Grade Level
Topic
Subject
History
Social Justice Domain
December 15, 2017
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Group of adults listening to one person speaking.

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