I have used quite a few articles from places like:
Both of them have various levels of complexity so that you can tailor selections both to interest areas and levels of reading ability. When kids are really advanced and I want to challenge them I have used articles from the journal of foreign affairs or some of the tougher ones from the economist.
I really depends on what you are looking for, but I normally begin with a topic and go to a search engine and type in a search phrase. For example, let’s say I am teaching To Kill A Mockingbird and I want to give my students an overview of the legal system. I try several search phrases and see what comes up. Then, I will mine those sites to see what information they might have on other topics I need or many need. I like to use news articles that are from my local paper if possible. You can go to your local paper’s web page and search the archives. Another helpful place to go is the web sites for The History Channel and The Discovery Channel. These sites often have videos and other articles. I also regularly use YouTube in my classroom. Often information that I wanted to convey through an expository text, such as background for a book, can be accessed quickly and in a more engaging way through video.
I'm not sure precisely what you are looking for regarding resources, but I love to use films based on true events to pique students' interest, and then launch into various readings. For example, I may show clips from Stand and Deliver and have students read related articles before we discuss a concept like the role of education or the impact one person can have on your life:
Jaime Escalante/Stand and Deliver:
Scholastic has some ideas for teaching nonfiction (I'm not sure what grade level you teach):
This is a link to a PowerPoint that was used for a teacher in-service day:
There are great ways to break down expository texts (and visuals), including using SOAPS (or SOAPStone) and modifying PAMDISS to be focused on the author's writing (vs their own writings). This teacher has the templates typed out for those acronyms, and others, on the web:
There's a link on enotes for a previous discussion that looks related to your interests:
I have used brief essays by Peter Elbow (about writing) before having students compose various types of essays. Many people use selections from war correspondents or veterans to discuss difficult issues regarding war. There are many novels out that are popular and could work, depending on your age group and maturity levels: Eat, Pray, Love; Three Cups of Tea; Reading Lolita in Tehran; etc., and most of those have reader group questions available on the web. The novels listed would be interesting to use as focus points for shared cultural characteristics and values.
I also like to use How to Read Literature Like a Professor as it is humorous and instructional, and students then can analyze the ways in which the author effectively conveys the teachings (and it can be taken one chapter at a time).
Other pieces, such as "Letter From Birmingham Jail" can be found in numerous places and used for analyzing rhetorical strategies:
Americanrhetoric.com has an archive of speeches available for teachers to use in the classroom, as well as many on audio for students to listen to as they read the text. Plus, there are many resources at the site for teaching individual terms within the contexts of readings.
Have you tried searching? Most of the time when I'm looking for free poetry, fiction, or nonfiction, I just search "free online ___________ (fill in the blank)". A quick search just now turned up these links:
If you have something in particular in mind (memoirs, editorials, etc.) you could try searching for that genre, or search online newspapers and magazines. You could always check with your local public library for good resources as well. Good Luck!
Please list links or resources and a short summary of what they have to offer. Thanks:D