Lesson plan

Finding the Right Books

To help develop independent readers, we need to make sure our students are able to identify books they can read independently. Teaching students to pick "just right" books helps them develop reading fluency by reading books at their level.
Need extra help for EL students? Try theLearning New VocabularyPre-lesson.
GradeSubjectView aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try theLearning New VocabularyPre-lesson.

Students will be able to identify books at their reading level.

(5 minutes)
  • Ask students if they've ever read a book that was too hard for them.
  • Tell students that everyone has read books beyond their comfort level! Explain that some books have words that are Tricky, or hard, to figure out.
  • Explain that some books can even be too easy to read! For some readers, too easy books might have just one word on each page.
  • Share that different books are hard and easy for different people. We need to find the books that are just right for each of us!
(10 minutes)
  • Tell students that it's important to figure out which books are just right for us. This helps us to pick books that help us to grow as readers. We want books that aren't too easy (we wouldn't learn anything) or too hard (we wouldn't be able to understand what we read).
  • Explain that one way to find just right books is to see how many tricky words are on a page. If there are more than five tricky words on a page, it might be too hard. If there are five or less, it might be just right.
  • Model how to read one page of a book aloud. Write down any words that are tricky to read. Then count how many words there were in all.
(15 minutes)
  • Project the selected page. Pair students up and have them work together to read the text aloud.
  • Have students count how many tricky words they encounter, then share their results with the class. Have students come up to the front of the class and point to or circle the tricky words they found.
  • Count how many tricky words were found. Determine if this would be a page from a just right book for the class. (Note: Make sure you are talking about the level for the class, not individual students or pairs).
(20 minutes)
  • Pass out the Picking "Just Right" Books worksheet to each student.
  • Read aloud the directions and model how to use books to complete the worksheet.
  • Instruct students to go to the classroom library and find books to use when completing the worksheet.
  • Have students keep at least one of the books they identify as "just right" on their desks to read. As time permits, have students read the books.


  • Pair students while searching in the library for certain type of books.
  • Give students specific books to look through.


  • Have students read the books they found and share what they read.
  • Have students make a vocabulary guide using the tricky words they found.
(5 minutes)
  • Assess how students pick books that are at their reading levels.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask students to pair-share about one of the books they found in the library and ask students to explain if they are interested in reading the book or not.

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