Children love playing guessing games and we want them to learn how to make educated guesses. Arm them with the skills they need to predict outcomes when reading or listening to books and then reinforce these techniques all year.
If you see a boy holding a balloon and next to him a girl is standing with a large pin and a mischievous look on her face, can you predict what will probably happen? The answer is pretty obvious. You wouldn’t say that he is going to ride a horse. You would probably predict that she is going to pop the balloon. You used clues to make an educated prediction.
Reading comprehension involves various thinking skills. One of them is predicting outcomes. You can reinforce this skill each time you read to the students or when they read to you.
1. Students will predict what will happen next, using pictures and content as a guide.
Book: Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young
Book: Fortunately by Remy Charlip
- Light colored construction paper folded in half (like a book)
An unfamiliar puzzle with enough pieces for each student to have one piece. You may also have two puzzles with fewer pieces and divide the students into two groups. Hide the box so that they will not see what the puzzle will look like when completed.
I can predict that in your kindergarten classroom you will read to your students almost everyday. As a teacher it was always my most favorite time of the day. The children are gathered near and excited to see what is going to happen in that colorful book you are holding. Make it a habit to begin each book with a routine.
- Show the students the cover of the book.
- Read the title out loud.
- Tell them whether the book is fiction (containing imaginary events and characters) or non-fiction (containing real information).
- Ask for opinions about what the children think is going to happen in the book before you even open the cover.
Discuss with the children how they are able to guess what might happen in the book. Do they look at the pictures? Listen to the words? Both? Tell them they should use all the information to “predict the outcome" or make a good guess about what is going to happen next.
Show the children the book Seven Blind Mice and follow the routine above when presenting the book. It’s hard to predict what will happen by looking at the cover. The mice find something strange by their pond. Each mouse only looks at part of this “Something" before deciding what it is. Encourage the children to look carefully at the illustrations and listen to the words. Can they predict what the “Something" is before the mice find out the truth.
Activity: Do this activity as a whole class or in two groups. Give each student a piece of the puzzle. Instruct the students to study the piece to see if they can predict what the puzzle will be when completed. Then ask each student to search for someone within the group that may have a piece that fits his or her piece. As the pieces begin to fit together pause for a moment. Can the students predict what the final picture will be? By the end the students should conclude that, as they got more information, their predictions became more reasonable or accurate.
Procedure Day Two:
Here’s a fun book to use when predicting outcomes: Fortunately by Remy Charlip. It’s entertaining because the outcomes on each page are not what you would expect. It is a “good news, bad news" theme and it will really engage your students as they try to predict what will happen next. Again remind them to use the illustrations and the text.
The assignment is for the students to make a “Fortunately, Unfortunately" example following the theme of the book using the folded construction paper. On the front of the paper the student should make a picture of an unfortunate scene and on the inside how the scene turns into a fortunate one. Here are some examples:
- It’s raining so we can’t play outside: We had fun playing games inside.
- Our car broke down: We got to ride in the tow truck.
- The store ran out of cookies: We bought ice cream instead.
- My bicycle is broken: I got a new one for my birthday.
- My dog is lost: The neighbor found him and brought him home.
When the students are finished, allow time for each student to present the front of the paper and ask the others to predict what happens next. Then share the answer.
Predicting outcomes can be used with every book you read all year long. This keeps the students engaged while you are reading and builds comprehension skills.
Young, Ed. Seven Blind Mice. Philomel Books, 1992.
Charlip, Remy. Fortunately. Aladdin Paperbacks, 1964.