The 'Five Finger' Rule

  • The Five Finger Rule:

    Sometimes it is difficult to tell if a book is going to be too easy, too hard, or just right.  The "Five Finger Rule" is a way to 'test' a book before you spend a lot of time with it. Here are the steps to help you:

    • First choose the book you think you would like to read.
    • Find a page of text somewhere in the middle of the book.  Find a page with lots of text (words)  and few or no pictures. 
    • Begin to read the page.  It is best to read the page aloud or in a whisper if possible while doing the test so you can hear the places where you have difficulty.
    • Each time you come to a word you don't know, hold one finger up.
    • If you have all five fingers up before you get to the end of the page, wave the book "good-bye."  It is probably too difficult for you right now. Try it again later in the year.
    • If you have no fingers up when you finish the page, then the book may be an easy read for you.
    • If you have two or three fingers up when you finish reading the page, the book may be just what you need to grow as a reader.