The Five-Finger Test

Here's a test you can use to find out if a book is too hard for you to read.

1.   Choose a book you think you would like to read.

2.   Pick a page somewhere in the middle of the book. Choose a page that has a lot of words and not many pictures.

3.   Read the page out loud or in a whisper. That way you can hear when you have a problem reading the words.

4.   Every time you come to a word you don't know, hold up one finger. Read to the end of the page or until you have five fingers up.

  • If you have all five fingers up before you finish the page, wave the book "good-bye." This book is probably too difficult for you right now. You can try it again later. Look for another book. Ask your teacher or librarian if you have trouble finding one. Use the Five-Finger Test again on the new book.
  • If you have no fingers or one finger up at the end of the page, then the book is probably an easy read for you. Use the Goldilocks Test as you read to see if the book is too easy or just right for you.
  • If you have two to four fingers up when you finish the page, the book is probably just right for you. You'll be able to understand the book, but you'll have to work at it a little. Working a little makes you a better reader. Use the Goldilocks Test to make sure this is a "just right" book.