#15: Goldilocks Strategy

Helping students select valuable literature.


The purpose of this strategy is to help students select books that are appropriate for their reading level.
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How it works

1. Teach the strategy to the class. Explain that the Goldilocks Strategy is a method the students can use to choose books that are just right for them. Tell students that the strategy helps them distinguish between "too easy" books, "too hard" books, and "just right books.

2. Give the students examples of each type of book. (This process will differ depending on the grade level and the individual learners.) An example for a second grade class could be as follows:

"Too easy" books: These books have pictures only. The books are very short and you may remember reading them when you were little. You can predict very easily what is going to happen in the book.

"Too hard" books: These books seem too long to tackle, or have too many words that they are overwhelming. The book does not contain any pictures and you aren't sure what the book is about.

"Just right" books: The book looks interesting and is about a topic you are familiar with or have heard of. There is a mix of pictures and words in the book, but the size of text looks readable.

3. Have students practice deciding on which books fall into which categories so that they can choose books effectively on their own.

When to use this strategy

The Goldilocks Strategy can be used at all grade levels, though it would be especially beneficial to introduce to students in the primary grade levels as they begin to encounter books.
The strategy should be taught at the beginning of the year, so that students can use it to approach projects throughout the year. Additionally, it should be reviewed as students approach projects, book reports, or library visits.