Words Without Borders Campus

Grow cultural connections through world literature and lesson resources

Learning rating

Community rating

Based on 1 review

Privacy rating

Not yet rated
Expert evaluation by Common Sense



Subjects & Topics

English Language Arts, Social Studies

Price: Free
Platforms: Web

Pros: Each work of literature is accompanied by a large and varied list of extension materials and ideas.

Cons: The site's organization and search options might not align to teachers' needs, and the text-heavy design can be hard to sift through.

Bottom Line: If you can put in the time to find what works for you, these contemporary global voices can help build cultural understanding.

How Can I Teach with This Tool?

Teachers will find contemporary literature from around the world on Words Without Borders Classroom. There are short stories, poems, essays, and even graphic novels. Teachers can choose to print the content, or students can read it on the website without a password. Thoughtfully curated lesson plans, mostly aligned with 11th and 12th grade standards, connect these contemporary writings with popular traditional writings found in American literature books. For example, the website suggests pairing Japanese poet Nomura Kiwao's poem "Riverwilt" with works by American poet e.e. cummings. Every piece is accompanied by lots of supplemental materials, including pronunciation guides, supplemental videos, author biographies, discussion questions, and recommendations for additional reading. Some of the works are offered in their original language in addition to English.

Popular themes include leaving home, war, parents, memories, and transformation. Some of the literature and lesson ideas may be appropriate for middle grades, but most of the learning materials are directed toward grades 10-12. Middle grade teachers should be aware that some works contain mature topics, but it's easy to limit student access by offering printed materials (or PDF versions) instead of directing students to the website. Teachers need to create a free account to access the teaching ideas and lessons. Be prepared to put in some time to find the right pieces and lessons and then sort through the materials in the dense format. A layout with more breathing room and teacher-focused search and sort options would boost its value. That said, it's a great free resource for finding more varied voices.

Learning Rating

Overall Rating

Students will connect to universal themes and experiences while learning about unfamiliar cultures. The graphic fiction and nonfiction works will be popular.


It's a thoughtfully curated collection of writings with incredibly detailed and comprehensive lesson materials.


There are a ton of resource materials and instructional suggestions, but the organization of the site is a bit muddled. Clearer options around lexile level, grade level, or learning outcomes would be helpful.

Common Sense reviewer
Melissa Powers
Melissa Powers School Library and Technology Specialist

Community Rating

Wonderful selection of translated literature

I really enjoyed using this website to enhance my lessons. Also, the people behind the website are super helpful and supportive if you need any help. I highly recommend that every teacher check out this website to see what they can use in their classes.

Continue reading

Privacy Rating

This tool has not yet been rated by our privacy team. Learn more about our privacy ratings