Allow the child to read a random section of the book and use the five-finger rule to determine if the book is at the right reading level. The five-finger rule checks to see how many words the child does not recognize on the page. More than five words means that the book is above the child's reading level.
Searching for books that are challenging to children without being too difficult to read is a process. The best way to find books at an appropriate reading level is to get the children involved in the search. The five-finger rule is a helpful tool for making selections.
- Read a page
- Count difficult words
- Count to five
- Less than five
Open the book to a random page and have the child read the page.
Have the child hold up a finger for each word that he or she does not know the definition of or recognize.
When the child gets to five fingers that means the book is above his or her reading level.
If the child reaches the bottom of the page with less than five fingers held up then the book is within the appropriate reading level. Four fingers would probably be challenging, three or less fingers is a comfortable to easy read for children.