Make and confirm predictions about text by using prior knowledge and ideas presented in the text itself, including illustrations, titles, topic sentences, important words, and foreshadowing clues.
The ability to predict what will happen in stories using prior knowledge and background information, the parts of the text (e.g., covers, titles, pictures, topic sentences, significant words, foreshadowing, etc.).
Do a “book walk” before reading a text out loud or together. Look at the covers, the illustrations and/ or photographs, browse the chapter titles, etc. Ask: What do you think this book is about? What clues can you find in the pictures about the characters and setting? What possible conflicts could arise? As you read together, refer back to your predictions to see how correct they were!
Experience the excitement of predicting by completing a simple task. Make a prediction about something that could possibly happen tomorrow (e.g., the weather, what exact time the ice cream truck will drive by, how many times the phone will ring, etc.) based on your prior knowledge, and seal it in an envelope – no peeking at each other’s! At the end of the next day, see whose prediction was closer! You could also do this looking ahead to next week, or next month if you can wait!
KWL charts are great for recording information and tracking ideas to be able to evaluate them. Before reading a book, write down your initial observations, ideas, and details you notice in the first column. For example, you can often tell what the setting is just from browsing through the pictures. But be sure to only write down the facts you are sure you know, not your opinion. The second column is for questions and concerns you have about the story – what are you curious about? The last column is to be filled out after you have read the story. Write key details from the story and see how the entire chart encompasses the essence of the story.
What We Know (K)
What We Want to Know (W)
What We Learned (L)
Listen to a book on tape (you can check these out from your local library, if you don’t own any) or ebook. Before you read and every few minutes throughout the story (2-5 depending on the length of the story), stop or pause the tape and write down your predictions of what will happen next in the plot. Then look at the overall summary of the story and see how close your predictions were with the synopsis of the story.
Are you predictable? What makes a plot or character predictable? Usually, patterns of behavior or of genres give us clues as to how a story might play out. For example, fairytales usually have happy endings. A character that is bad at the beginning will usually continue unless there is an obvious turnaround point. Ask a friend or family member what makes you predictable or not – do you eat the same thing for a meal often? Do you wake up at an exact time every day? Do you play the same sport every year? Then ask yourself: why or why not?
What are the main events of a story? (the problem, the parts that are exciting like the climax, the solution to the problem, etc.)
How can you tell what the main events of the story are? (when the story is a “page-turner” – you can’t wait to see what happens next, when you figure out a mystery or problem in the story, etc.)
What does subsequent mean? (following, later, succeeding, etc.)
What is another term for the problem in the story? (conflict)
What is another term for the solution in the story? (resolution)
What is a topic sentence? (the main idea of a paragraph)
Where in a paragraph can you find the topic sentence? (often the first sentence or towards the beginning)
What are important words in a text? (ones italicized, capitalized, bolded, often defined in glossary, etc.)
What graphic organizer is helpful for predicting? (KWL – what we Know, What we Want to know, and what we Learned)
Is it okay for predictions to be incorrect, or wrong? (yes, of course)
What is visualization when reading? (viewing the text in your mind – making your own pictures to match the story, easier without looking at pictures in book)
How do you infer when reading? (you “read between the lines” by hypothesizing or assuming certain things about the plot and/or character based on clues and patterns in the story)
Why is it important to predict? (to check understanding of a story and add fun and excitement to reading!)
What other skills can predicting work well with? (visualizing – you can visualize what will happen next in your imagination; inferring – you can infer or “read between the lines” to gain insight about the details in the story)