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Home By: Dawn Stiles, Courtney Riddell, Amber Finan

Goldilocks Strategy


Targeted Grade Level: 2nd grade (strategy can be used K-8)


Skill Area: Reading Writing Workshop


Objective: When given several books at different reading levels, students will be able

to determine the level of the book and choose books at their instructional

reading ability by using the Goldilocks strategy.


Rationale: According to Gillet and Temple (2000), in order for students to become

better readers it is important that they read books at their instructional level.

Always reading at the independent level will not enable students to grow.

Also, if a student is reading at the frustration level, reading becomes

discouraging and unpleasant (p. 57). By leaning this strategy,

students can choose books at their own reading level and can assume the

responsibility for choosing their own books for reading (Tompkins, 1998,



Materials: Several books of different reading levels


Procedure: 1. Explain how selecting books to read can be like the story of Goldilocks. Explain that some books can be too easy, too hard, or just right for their reading level.

2. Read examples of books that are too easy, too hard and just right to the students.

3. Ask students the following questions and record responses on

the board:

What makes a book too easy? (Independent Level)

What makes a book too hard? (Frustration Level)

What makes a book just right? (Instructional Level)

4. Break students into small groups. Pass out a variety of books to each group of different reading levels.

5. Have students (for our purposes we will assume that the students in our class are in 2nd grade) put books into categories of easy, hard and just right. Then have students explain why they put the books into the categories that they did.





Poorly Average Good

How well did students categorize books correctly?

Were reasons given appropriate?


PA Academic Standards: 1.1.3 Section B Preview the text formats.


References: Tompkins, G. (1998). 50 Literacy Strategies. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall,


Wallace Gillet, J., & Temple, C. (2000). Understanding Reading

Problems Assessment and Instruction. New York: Longman.