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

622 Texts

Literature

Barracoon

This excerpt from Barracoon, which provides a first-person account from the last living man transported from Africa to America as an enslaved person. The excerpt shows Zora Neal Hurston arriving at Cudjo Lewis’ house to speak with him about his past in only the way he can.
by
Zora Neale Hurston
Grade Level
6-8
Subject
History
Social Justice Domain
June 18, 2019
Multimedia

Shifting Gender, Securing Acceptance

“Nineteen-year-old Israel Moncado spent his childhood being shuffled from one foster care setting to the next. After years of untreated gender dysphoria, and the bouts of self-harm and social isolation that often result from stigma, Israel visits his first LGBT center and discovers he’s not alone. When he finds a safe space in a transgender community, Israel begins to embrace his identity.”
by
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Grade Level
3-5
Subject
History
Social Justice Domain
June 18, 2019
Multimedia

Woman Warrior

Brittany Iron competes in the Crow Nation’s Ultimate Warrior Challenge. The Challenge spurs her to master canoeing, running, and riding. The race teaches the Native values of commitment and perseverance. To participate, she has to commit to abstain from drugs and alcohol. The Crow are reimagining what it means to be a warrior. They are now drawing on traditional rituals to combat the effects of centuries of stigma and trauma, and to rebuild the tribe’s sense of pride and purpose.
by
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Grade Level
3-5
Subject
History
Social Justice Domain
June 18, 2019
Multimedia

Veterans discover solace in service

“Marine Corporal Jeremy Dobbins returned to Dayton, Ohio, from duty in Afghanistan with an 80% disability rating and issues with anger. Trained in service to others, veterans often resist the idea that they themselves need help and they have difficulty with sharing their war experiences with family and friends. An oral history project at Wright State University is giving Jeremy and other young veterans a chance to help older veterans recover their stories of war, and to come to terms with their own.”
by
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Grade Level
3-5
Topic
Subject
Social Studies
Social Justice Domain
June 26, 2019
Multimedia

Fun and Fitness in a Library Parking Lot

Line dance leader Kit Cheung teaches her class of Chinese-American women in an unlikely place: the parking lot of a local library. No other public location offers both the outdoor space and sun cover the group requires for their twist on the traditional Chinese exercise of tai chi. The relationship that forms between the initially reluctant library and Kit’s dance group has created some unexpected opportunities.
by
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Grade Level
3-5
Subject
Social Studies
Social Justice Domain
June 26, 2019
Multimedia

Curbing floods and restoring a sense of community

“English Avenue, an historic African-American neighborhood with an illustrious past, sits at the bottom of Atlanta’s water runoff. Blighted by regular flooding, mass vacancies, unemployment, and impoverishment, English Avenue finds hope in a home-grown response from its youth. Longtime resident MacKenzie Bass — along with fellow members of Street Smart — helped construct a park that curbs the excess water, creates a gathering place, and seeks to reclaim English Avenue’s identity.”
by
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Grade Level
6-8
Subject
History
Geography
Social Justice Domain
June 26, 2019