“The Canterbury Tales,” by Geoffrey Chaucer

“The Great Gatsby,” by F. Scott Fitzgerald

“As I Lay Dying,” by William Faulkner

Informational Texts

“Common Sense,” by Thomas Paine

The Declaration of Independence, by Thomas Jefferson

“Declaration of Sentiments,” by the Seneca Falls Conference

“What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” by Frederick Douglass

“Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences,” by John Allen Paulos

“Working Knowledge: Electronic Stability Control,” by Mark Fischetti

“Politics and the English Language,” by George Orwell

New English standards that have been adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia require that public schools gradually boost the amount of nonfiction taught in K-12, until 70 percent of reading by 12th grade is “informational text.” While the standards do not dictate curriculum, they suggest the kinds of reading that would be appropriate for various grades. Here are some examples of literature and informational text appropriate for 11th- and 12th-graders, according to the new standards: