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Lesson Plan

Choosing the Right Book: Strategies for Beginning Readers

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Choosing the Right Book: Strategies for Beginning Readers

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Recurring Lesson
Estimated Time Five 20- to 40-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Julie Burchstead

Sandy, Oregon


International Literacy Association



From Theory to Practice



Choice is a powerful and motivating teaching tool. But young children need help learning how to make good reading choices. Book-matching strategies helps students select appropriate books independently. Students explore the different purposes readers have and how to determine what their purpose for reading is. Students also learn how to evaluate whether a book is at the right reading level and length for their abilities.

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Wutz, J.A., & Wedwick, L. (2005). BOOKMATCH: Scaffolding book selection for independent reading. The Reading Teacher, 59(1), 1632.

  • A book is "just right" when a student thinks about a purpose for reading and can evaluate a text for its ability to match that purpose.

  • Students are more likely to be able to choose an appropriate text when they know a variety of ways to evaluate it.

  • Students who can effectively choose appropriate texts will be less likely to abandon books they choose and more likely to spend more time in engaged reading.

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Clay, M. (1993). An observational survey of early literacy achievement. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Clay notes that students eight and under who are learning new or complex information benefit from teachers who observe how students problem solve and then use that knowledge to tailor individual instruction. She also stresses text needs to provide the right level of challenge for additional learning to occur. Consistently reading texts that are too difficult may cause students to become less confident as readers.


Miller, D. (2002). Reading with meaning: Teaching comprehension in the primary grades. Portland, Maine: Stenhouse Publishers.

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