Peek Inside.... And Predict! (Lesson 1 of 2)

15 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT use the story structure and illustrations to make a prediction and adjust that prediction with evidence from the story.

Big Idea

You see the illustrations; now add ideas that you know and read to verify your predictions!



This is the first lesson in my predicting unit. My goals for these lessons is the kids learn to predict based on text evidence, rhythm, rhyme, foreshadowing, story structure, voice, and other text features. This is part one of a 2 part lesson where I use this 'peek and predict' strategy, encouraging kids to look at words and illustrations to make a good prediction. In my second lesson, Peek and Predict (Part 2 of 2) students practice this strategy a second time.

I chose these books because the are great reads. My kids LOVE the Knuffle Bunny series and almost all of them have read the first book. The Amos and Boris story is a classic and I love to have the kids read classics. So much literature feeds off the themes of these timeless series. These books were great for predicting because the illustrations really showed off the characters, settings and events. The endings were fairly predictable so the kids felt a sense of success when they were able to predict correctly. In Peek Into Predicting (Lesson 2 of 2), I will use this SEE/KNOW/READ strategy again and give students more autonomy identifying story structure and predicting.

Predicting is not listed specifically in the Common Core State Standards for reading as a discreet skill that students learn. However, my viewpoint is that predicting is a very important skill that can be addressed in a variety of ways through the objectives that the Standards can be broken into. For examples, you can predict using the structure of the text (RL.2.5) as I did in this lesson, or you can predict by looking at how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges (RL.2.3) or you can predict by asking and asking questions to demonstrate understanding of key details in the text (RL.2.1). Instead of just listing reading strategies, such as predicting, connecting, summarizing, the CCSS goes deeper. It asks students to use the text, illustrations, story element, structure, and other deeper comprehension skills and demonstrate these strategies.

** I revised this worksheet the 3rd time that I taught this lesson for several reasons. I wanted the the kids to write the title of the book at the top.  I also wanted the columns wider to match some of my kids' writing abilities. Finally, I took off the 'prediction' at the bottom because I had them write it on the 'peek and predict' folder instead.

Get Excited!

5 minutes

Underlined words below are lesson vocabulary words that are emphasized and written on sentence strips for my Reading & Writing word wall. I pull off the words off the wall for each lesson, helping students understand this key 'reading and writing' vocabulary can be generalized across texts and topics.  The focus on acquiring and using these words is part of a shift in the Common Core Standards towards building students’ academic vocabulary.  My words are color coded ‘pink’ for literature/’blue’ for reading strategies/’orange’ for informational text/'yellow' for writing/’green’ for all other words.

Engage the students

  • Bring out some books and be ready to demonstrate the 'peek and predict' strategy.
  • "I brought some literature books today for you to look at.  We're looking at a the illustrations, asking some questions and thinking about a few elements of the story structure to help us make a prediction."
  • "I have a GREAT REALLY FUN way for us to make predictions about books..... we're going to....act this out…peek and preview." Take a look at my teacher demonstration of the 'peek and predict' strategy.
  • 'I"m using this folder to 'peek and predict' what's happening in the story. When I just take a peek, it gives me enough information to predict what will happen, without reading it. Then I can read to see if my prediction is correct."
  • "Once we talk about how to make some good predictions, you'll make your own 'peek inside and predict' folder!  You can take it home and show your parents how to .... act this out one more time with the peeking into a book and slamming it shut.... 'peek inside and predict’!”

Teachers' Turn

20 minutes

Explain the task

  • Refer to the See-Know-Read Chart as you do this.
  • "Before I read a book, I like to preview the book to help me understand the book better. Lots of times I can get information just from the illustrations I SEE  - the characterssettings, and events.”
  • "This information is usually in the beginning of the book and helps me preview the text to better interact with the story."
  • "Then I can think about what I KNOW about these. Have I seen this character before? What was the setting and have I gone to a place like that? What happened to the character and has that happened to me before?" 
  • "When I'm done, I'm ready to make a prediction. It's a good prediction because it's based on what I've seen and what I know so far."
  • "Finally, I'll READ about what happened in the story. I can check to see if my prediction was correct. At the end of the book, I can look see what happened and verify my prediction."



  • "Let me try this SEE-KNOW-READ strategy with this book....Amos and Boris."
  • "When I look at the beginning, I see...... in the first few pages ...characters such as a mouse, sun, whale.. and a setting, maybe the ocean long ago. The events I see are the mouse lays on the whale and the whale is in the middle of the ocean." Put those on the chart.
  • "Now I there are also some things that I know about these characters and this setting -Boats can get holes, whales live in the middle of the ocean....." Add this info to the chart.
  • ”I'm going to predict that 'the whale will save Amos with his tail. He will rode on the whales back. Amos will save Boris. and People will help them'."  Make sure its A LITTLE BIT WRONG so you can show them that sometimes our predictions are not accurate. Leave room to cross off ideas and add ideas. The kids need to see this example. 
  • "I'll use the worksheet to make an illustration of my prediction. I'll sketch my ideas, but I need to make sure I have the characters and setting in the illustration." Don't spend a lot of time on this – it’s not the focus, but its good to follow up with an illustration that helps the kids put all the ideas together.  The kids should not copy the pictures of the book though.
  • Here's my illustration.


Guided practice

  • "Now help me read and verify and check our predictions. I'll stop at the middle to check and then gain at the end of the story."  Read to the middle and stop. Then read to the end of the story.  "What did we read?"  Take ideas.
  • "Do I need to change anything? Yes, cross off 'with his tail' and change 'people to elephants'"   Cross off and add for the kids so they can see how they should use the text to support and verify predictions.  
  • "Look, now my prediction matches what happened in the story.  When I am able to learn from the story and change my predictions, I'm an 'active reader'."  Here's my completed chart.
  • "Now I can make a illustration of the end of the story that matches my prediction."
  • "I'll put the picture of what happened at the end of the story on the outside of the file folder and my predicting worksheet on the inside to make my 'peek and predict' folder."  Here's my completed project.


Encouraging students to cite evidence to ask and answer questions is an emphasis from the Common Core State Standards. In this lesson, I want them to make good predictions, using evidence from the text (the peeking). Using information gained form the illustrations and words in print to demonstrate understanding of characters, setting and plot helps them be better readers who interact with the text. (RL.2.7)

Peek, Think, and Read to Predict

20 minutes

Explain the task

  • "Now its your turn to take a 'peek and predict' ! I brought a GREAT book that I think you'll really like - its called Knuffle Bunny Too."
  • "We'll be predicting by using what you SEE, what you KNOW and what you READ."


In this lesson, I’m referring to the SEE KNOW READ chart that we will do again tomorrow in part 2. Today, I'm giving them more support with how to ask and answers questions. The Common Core emphasis on close reading and using questions with text dependent answers (RL.2.1) shifts the responsibility of reading comprehension more on students. I want them to not only think of the questions to help them focus their prediction, but also use evidence from the text (illustrations and words) to verify the answers.


Set up a prediction

  • Pass out the worksheets - you'll be showing the book to the class as they form a prediction.
  • "First, let's look at the illustrations and pages at the beginning of the book. What characters, setting, and events do you see? Write down ideas on your chart about what you see."
  • "Take a few moments to think about what you know about the characters, setting, events... maybe you know something about another story like this one?” prompt for original Knuffle Bunny...."How did Trixie feel about her bunny? What do you know about kids and their stuffed animals?"
  • “I'll read a few pages (read up to 'Then before she knew it...') and you can add some ideas about what I read.  What happened so far?"
  • "Let's read a little more so we can put down an idea about the solution..." (Read up to "She realized something...)
  • "Ok, we're ready for the prediction.  What will happen at the end of the book? Remember your prediction should have parts from all three things - the characters, problem, and solution ideas- that we 'peeked' at. Write it on the bottom of your worksheet.
  • Give them a few moments to put down an idea.  "We will verify and change this prediction, so it's ok if you're not sure!"
  • Here's a student worksheet example.


By focusing on the overall structure of the book, including the beginning of the book the introduces the characters and setting as well as the end of the book that concludes with the actions and events, I'm helping students analyze the structure of the text, including how the beginning and end relate to each other and to the story as a whole. (RL.2.5) The Common Core State Standards encourages us, as teachers, to carefully create these structured situations that allow students to examine the parts of the story, predicting and verifying information independently after careful modeling. 

Verify and Illustrate

15 minutes

Read and look for support for the predictions: 

  • "Let's check the book and see if the evidence supports your prediction."  
  • Read to the page that says, 'When the school bell rang, Ms. Greengrove returned the Knuffle Bunnies.'  You may have to point out the color of the bunnies' ears to show they were switched. "Ok, what happened?"
  • "Let's check your prediction.  Who wants to share?" Take an answer.  "Does the evidence of what we read support that prediction or do you need to change it?  It doesn't matter if you predicted right or wrong, because you can change it!"
  • "Let's read to the end and we'll check the prediction one last time."  Read to the end.  
  • "Ok check our predictions. Adjust if you need to. Once everyone has adjusted, then all of our predictions are right!"


Students work on the project

  • "Let's show what we know by making our 'peek inside and predict' folders. - Draw a picture of what happened at the end of the story." This is one of my student's illustrations.
  • Glue your prediction picture on the front and the illustration of what really happened inside the folder. You can 'peek and predict'."  Here's the completed project.
  • "That was a great story.  I really enjoyed predicting and adjusting because I was really 'actively reading'.  I was thinking and reading and predicting.  I know I'll remember the story better and I feel I understood all of the details."


Scaffolding and Special Education: This lesson can be easily adjusted up and down, depending on the academic level of your students.

For my special education students, I gave them prompts for the SEE/KNOW/READ paper by writing ideas on the slate at their desk.  I called on them specifically for clues with the illustrations, because those tend to be more obvious.  They did well with illustrating their 'peek and predict' folder.

For students with higher academic abilities, I would expect higher vocabulary related to the beginning (neighbors, classmates).  Ask them about their evidence or support for their prediction - If they say that the girl will be scared, can they reference her facial expressions. If they guess that the bunnies are switched, can them reference the word 'description' or 'details' in the picture. Challenge these students to use words to describe this evidence.