Ideas about books to read come from many sources: friends, teachers, library media specialists, and the library catalog. All are good ways to get ideas for books. No matter how you get suggestions for reading, the key is for each of you to learn to choose the right book for you.
Preparation: Provide students with a copy of the "Just Right" book bookmark. You may wish to consider having a poster printed with the steps in the process for posting in library and classrooms.
There are two categories of decisions to make when you are choosing a book:
1. Does the book interest you? You can tell by examining the external features of the book such as the cover, blurb, illustrations, and number of pages.
2. Can you read the book? You can tell this by reading a bit of the book, performing the five-finger test and asking a series of questions about the language and the story.
Preparation: The library media specialist should select several books that demonstrate the various features from the Identifying a "Just Right" book transparency, e.g., print features, interesting cover, good dialogue, and blurb. Take students through entire process of deciding about a book by thinking out loud through the process while they observe. Model the five-finger process. use two or three books as time allows. Reinforce the "Five-Finger" Rule each time.
Identifying a "Just Right" book. Students should understand that it is OK to turn down a suggestion of a book. You might say, "I don't really like mysteries," or "I prefer books with lots of conversation," or "I like more illustrations."
Check for Understanding
Ask the following True or False Questions regarding the process (signal thumbs up/thumbs down).
During book checkout times, students choose books using this process and explain to teacher or library media specialist why the books were chosen (listen for and reinforce the process in their explanation and continue to emphasize the "Five Finger Rule").
There will be continuing practice as students choose books in the future.
The library media specialist will observe students choosing books on several occasions and record observations based upon the Assessment Rubric for Selecting "Just Right" books. This is an ongoing process, so a student may be a novice early in the year, but should proceed to proficient with ongoing guidance.
This page was last updated on October 05, 2009.