Reading Help - The Goldilocks Plan

Need help with reading? Try the Goldilocks Plan!

In my opinion, there is nothing more captivating than curling up with a good book! But to those who do not share my pleasure, finding a good book can be absolute torture - because to enjoy a good book, you must first be motivated. Take moment to think about this. A nine year old who does not enjoy books, comes home from school and chooses his all-time favorite game and sits down to do his favorite thing - play computer games. Within seconds he is totally immersed in the game. The house could be burning down and he would hardly notice the smell!

OK, I exagerrate, but you get the point, don't you? By doing something that he enjoys, he is totally engaged. So how can we make reading more enjoyable? By allowing the reader to choose his or her own book. Remember, the boy did not have the computer game thrust upon him. He CHOSE it!

What is it?

The Goldilocks Plan was outlined by Ohlhausen and Jepsen in 1992. With this plan students are taught how to classify their choice of books as 'too hard, too easy or just right'.

This generates the power of choice, control, as well as challenge - while teaching new vocabulary words. So how is the 'class' of book decided or judged? It's quite simple, really.

Too Hard = One that the reader wanted to attempt but understood that it was too difficult at the time

Too Easy = One that has been read many times before - such as an old favorite

Just Right = One that the reader wanted to, could and should attempt while finding only one or two unknown words per page.

How Does it Work?

So how do you go about implementing The Goldilocks Plan?

Introduce the concept of books that are (a) too hard, (b) too easy and (c)just right. Show examples of your own that are too hard, too easy and just right for you to attempt.

Create a poster board with the questions that they must ask for each class of book.

Too Hard

For a 'too hard' book they must ask the following;

(1)When you read, does it sound disjointed?

(2)Are there more than two words on the page that you don't know?

(3)Do you understand what is happening in the book?

(4)Is everyone else too busy or unable to help you?

Too Easy

For a 'too easy book' they must ask the following questions;

(1)Have you read this book many times before?

(2)Can you go through it smoothly?

(3)Do you understand the story really well?

(4)Do you know how to pronounce almost every word?

Just Right

For a 'just right book', they must ask the following questions;

(1)Are there just one or two words per page that you don't know?

(2)Is this book new to you?

(3)Do you understand some of the book?

The Benefits

In short, the Goldilocks Plan helps readers to improve by allowing them to;

(1)Read a wider variety of books

(2)Feel confident about their ability to read books that they choose, themselves

(3)Improve their reading skills by simply doing more if it

Ultimately, the Goldilocks Plan should enhance the reading experiences of all, by taking them to the next level.


Make a habit of reading