Example in the Non-Example
Predicting is another reading comprehension strategy students of all ages can use to support their reading. Starting from the beginning of kindergarten, we discuss the cover and title of a book to let them “guess” what the story is going to be about. One of my favorite stories for early predicting is “We Went Walking” by Vera Williams. It’s a simple repetitive book in the tradition of “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” by Eric Carle. Showing even the earliest learners the cover and explaining the story will take place on a farm, students can predict what animals we might see. Using a simple circle map, write each of their predictions around the circle. I always like to throw in an animal that would never make sense, like a crab. This is a perfect example of a non-example. Students can easily explain why this isn’t a “good guess” for a prediction.
Don't just use the prediction before you read, make sure you revisit. After the story, revisit the circle map using a code…check mark for animals in the story, circle animals that COULD HAVE been in the story, but were not, and finally, an “x” on answers that were not in the story and were not good guesses, like the crab. By adding the non-example, students are able to give you an explanation for why something was not a “good guess.” One student responded, “A crab doesn’t live on a farm because it needs the ocean and if the farm was in the ocean, the cows would drown.” Make sense to me.
Predicting with Chapter Titles
My kindergartners always read Magic Tree House chapter books. We always read for the last few minutes of class each day, one chapter a day. After every chapter, the students would say, “What’s the chapter tomorrow?” They knew I would read the chapter title for the following day and they would raise their hand to give their prediction about what could happen tomorrow. The students always used the sentence starter, “I predict…” and must include a “because” clause in their prediction.
Once the students have used their predicting skills, make an anchor chart. The below anchor chart was made with a group this year. Unfortunately, hind sight is 20/20. We went back and made a new anchor chart, although I don’t have a picture of it, to add “and what we know” to the chart. We know crabs don’t live on a farm, so predicting we’d see a crab wouldn’t be a “good guess.”
Using “Go Away, Lily” by Reading A to Z, students were given a list of possible predictions. The students read the title and were asked to determine if the prediction made sense. Once they were given new information about the story, students predicted when Lily would bother her boy.
My second graders were using the Reading A to Z story, “Why I’m Late Today.” They made an initial prediction for the story using the cover, the title, and their schema. Once we read the first few pages of the story, students revisited their predictions and adjusted their predictions. They needed to refer to the text to give evidence of their prediction shift. Use the FREEBIE attached for a Reading Response Journal for independent practice.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Allow for lots of practice and help the students hone their predicting skills. Start small, predicting with whole group. Add the "because" clause and make them justify their prediction using the text and their schema.
If you would like a predicting paper, Click Here.
If you would like a predicting poster for your classroom, Click Here.
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