Predict the Ending and Use the Characters' Voices

3 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT to predict the ending of a story, acknowledging differences in the characters' point of view.

Big Idea

Cyclical stories with ideas that go around and around make it easy to predict the ending! We have fun with these characters by using different voices for them!



There are several ways to read this book together.  I used an online book and turned the sound off and we read it together.  If you have an Elmo to show the book on the screen, that would also work fine.  If you only have 1 copy, you can read and show the pictures.

This is one of the lessons in the middle of my predicting unit. I have demonstrated several of the reading strategies in this lesson in previous lessons. Feel free to take a look at some of the lessons in this unitPeek Inside and Predict (Lesson 1 of 2)Peek Inside and Predict (Lesson 2 of 2)Predict the Ending - It Goes Around and AroundMaking Shadows with Foreshadowing While We PredictPredict Using Characters' Action and Rhythm, Go Figure with Figurative Language and Tie it Together with Transition Words.


Let's Get Excited!

10 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.

Gain student interest

  • "Today we are going to read some literature about some ocean animals. Think about what animals are in the ocean."  ....Take ideas.   "What voice would these characters have?"  Take ideas - an octopus has a low voice, crab talks slowly....)
  • "Here are the characters in the story."  Show the powerpoint slides 1-10
  • "Today we'll read this Eric Carle story and use voices to show their point of view."
  • "It has a great ending, so we'll work to predict that too."

Using Voice to Show Point of View

15 minutes

Explain the task:

  • "Today we'll be active readers by reading this story with the characters' voices. Each character in this story has a different point of view.  If we understand that the characters think differently, it helps us to understand the story better."
  • "I'm passing out character cards (character cards set 1 and character cards set 2) with names and quotes from the book.  The quotes are what the characters say in the story."
  • "We'll be reading the book together and you'll be reading your characters' words.  As you get your character cards, think about what kind of voice your character will have. Find the other students with the same card that you have and and sit together."   Let the kids find their groups and sit together.  Give them a minute or two to discuss the voice. 

The Common Core Standards represent a shift in emphasis to character study. Students examine how the characters change and their point of view, as evidence by students' reading in the characters' voices. (RL.2.6) By acknowledging differences in the points of view of characters, including speaking in a different voice for eau character when reading dialogue aloud, students are assess how the point of view shapes the contend and style of the text.



  • "As we read the book, I'll be the narrator, who is the person that tells what happens."
  • "I'll also be the voice of the hermit crab."  Think out loud.... "What voice should I use for the hermit crab?  He is a small ocean animal and has claws so I'll sound like this....Use a distinctive voice ..."because the crab is tiny/brave/thoughtful/searching.... pick the word that you want to use."
  • "I'm also going to turn my body so it looks like I'm talking to people when I read the words."
  • Read to the sea anemone page.  Read your part with LOTS of expression!
  • Make a mistake, such as reading 'What if a big fish comes along and attacks me' in a happy voice - "oh wait, I should sound frightened - let me try that voice again".   


Guided practice

  • Let the sea anemone group read their line.  Encourage loud clear voices-expression as they read. Make comments such as, "it says whisper - did you whisper?"  try that again. "The little sea star sounds boring... say that again...think about how he feels...
  • STOP at the end of the page.... "In December...."  ooooh what will happen? Let's predict the end of the story!"

Predict the Ending

20 minutes

This is the second lesson that I've taught about cyclical stories, so the students are familiar with the diagram and the idea that authors may have events cycle back from the end to the beginning. The other lesson that I taught with this cyclical story topic was Predict the Ending... It Goes Around and Around.


Create the cyclical story diagram

  • "This book is called a cyclical story because the events go around and around. We are going to write down 4 main events and see how they go in a circle.  All of the events connect in the story  they develop over the course of the story."
  • "It will be easy to predict the ending because this story is in a cycle-the last event is the same as the first!  That's what cyclical means."
  • Pass out the cyclical worksheets. Refer to the cycle chart on board.



  • "I'll start with the first event."  Refer to the top of the circle.  
  • "Let me go back .... the hermit crab says Use your voice....'Hermit Crab moves moves into a new shell'. 
  • "I'm going to write that on the top of my circle and you should write that on your first square."


Guided practice

  • "Now it's your turn.  You have 3 more events to fill in.  You can't write everything that happens in the book because there's only 3 more squares."
  • "I'll show a few pages and you need to tell what happened.  Use words such as, 'few animals' and 'several' or 'many'." Here's the thoughts that I shared about retelling.
  • Show the pages with starfish, and stop after the pebbles page and pause while they write a summary of the events.  Check their work and make sure they are not just retelling event.  You may have to prompt them - "Look at these few pages, what can you retell about that?" 
  • Then read the page "But in November"... and have them write a prediction for the last event.
  • "Let's finish the story and see what happens. Read to the end of the book. "Wow, I would say the event is, "Hermit Crab moves into a new shell!"  If I follow my story circle, that's what the first event was!! It makes a cycle." 
  • Here's what the whiteboard looked like when we were done with the lesson.


In this lesson, students describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning introduces the story and then ending concludes the action. (RL.2.5) They are analyzing the structure of the text, looking at how pages, sections and scenes relate to each other and as a whole. This is evidence of 'close reading', a shift in the Common Core State Standards toward deepening comprehension by studying the structure of a story and how the parts relate to the whole.

Apply it!!

15 minutes

Complete the project

  • "Now cut out the boxes and circle. Glue your ideas on your story circle or paper plate."
  • "Add an illustration in the middle of the circle from the story. I'll give you 5 minutes to finish your project."
  • Here are examples: project 1 and project 2


Reflect as a large and small group

  • "Let's reflect about what we learned in this lesson."
    • "How did you choose the voices for your character?" Prompt with the description or movements give clues
    • "Did it help you understand better to hear and use the voices?" Hopefully - ask them how
    • "How did you choose the events to put on the 'circle'?" Prompt with 'looked for main ideas'
    • "Is it easier to predict cyclical stories?"  Hopefully yes
  • "Now turn to your friend and share your ideas."
    • "Tell your friend your favorite character and why you liked it."
    • "Did you like using voices for the character?"
    • "Do you enjoy reading cyclical stories?"


Scaffolding and Special Education

This lesson can be scaffolded up or down, depending on student level.  

For my special education students, I made sure the groups were diverse and they were not all grouped together.  I also gave them extra support when they were writing the events, sometimes by checking their answers and sometimes by writing prompts on their slates at their desks.

For more talented students, you could easily adapt this lesson.  They would enjoy the group work and could be excellent models for reading.  The idea of cyclical stories would be great for them and you could challenge them to find other stories that are also cyclical.