Making predictions is part of life. We do it all of the time without really giving it much thought. For example, with a simple glance outside the window we predict it could rain and grab the umbrella before going out the door. When it comes to interacting with literature, making predictions helps us:
- Dive deeper into the material we are reading.
- Think critically about what is happening (or about to happen).
- Learn to understand cause and effect.
- Experiment with foreshadowing.
- Develop the skill of inferring information from what is read.
- Comprehend more fully.
In effect, making predictions is one way to develop our reading skills.
So grab the book you are about to read, and let’s make some predictions!
(You’ll want to adjust these activities based on the age of your student. For example, if he isn’t writing yet, you can copy the information on notebook paper for him.)
Suggestions — Before your read.
- Examine the cover of your book. What does it tell you? What do you think will happen in the story based on the cover alone?
- What does the title imply?
- What type of work is it? Fiction or nonfiction? How do you know?
- Is there a table of contents? What do the chapter titles tell you might happen?
- Are there pictures in the book? What do they suggest?
- Summarize what you think the book is about.
- Write a list of questions you think you will find the answers to as you read the book.
Suggestions — During your read.
- Have someone read a section of the book to you. Without referring to the text, determine what you think will happen next. Turn the page and see how close you came to predicting correctly.
- When you come across an action, write down your prediction of what the result of the action will be.
- Before starting each chapter, predict what will happen next.
Suggestions — After your read.
- Determine if the list of questions you wrote before reading was answered.
- Use two sheets of Drawing & Writing Paper to create pages showing what you thought would happen vs. what actually did happen in the story.
- Write an ending you would have preferred.
6 Ways to Get the Most from Literature-Based Studies
Ideas for helping your student interact with what he reads.
First Sentence: Alcott’s Little Women
Simple and free worksheet from ABCTeach.com that walks a student through predicting details about the story. (Free registration required.)
Unit Studies & Lesson Plans
Use Predictions to Help Kids Think Deeply About Books
Scholastic lesson plan that involves charting predictions.
Printables & Notebooking Pages
Preview and Predict Balloons
Free graphic organizer from Scholastic.
Prediction & Outcome Chart
Free chart at TeachersPayTeachers.com. (Free registration required.)