Each day, we begin our literacy block at the classroom rug. I gather the children together and share some special pictures that I have made. From looking at the pictures that I have produced, the children will make predictions about the subject of each "shadow" picture that I created. This is my introduction to a more formal lesson on making predictions. This strategy is important for children because it helps in the overall understanding and comprehension of text.
Boys and girls, today I have some very special pictures to share with you. I am calling these pictures "Shadow pictures" because you cannot see the person only a black paper cutout of that person. Taking a look at picture number one, I want you to examine the picture and make some guesses about this person based on the information you already might know. When we make informed guesses, we call these predictions especially if we can support our guesses with good reasons for making them.
By looking at the picture, can you guess whether it is a person or an animal? Yes, because we know the shape of humans is different than that of an animal. So what do you think, human or animal?
Can you guess if this is a boy or a girl? Yes, we can give it a good guess because we know boys and girls have different shapes, too.
Can you guess if this is an adult or child? This gets trickier because the picture is small, but again, adults and children have different shapes.
Do you think this picture tells a bit about the size of the child? Can you guess if the child is a smaller or larger classmate?
Now take what you know: person, boy, child, larger--whisper to a friend who you think this might be a picture of, then in a minute I will take three volunteers to share what they think. You will be describing these familiar people and the clues that led you to make your predictions.
I flip over the photo to reveal the subject, and give them one more photo to make predictions about while using the same questioning technique.
I show the students the cover of the book, The Shape of Me and Other Stuff, and then ask them to make some predictions about this story. As the children give me their thoughts, I write them on the board. We talk about the things that we know and make good guesses.
Let's take a look at the cover of the book that I will be reading to you today. Our objective today is that we will be predicting what this book is about by taking what we know and making good guesses about the story. Let's start with the author. Who do you think wrote this story? You guessed Dr. Seuss because you know that we have been reading his stories and you probably recognize his name on the cover. So taking what you know about Dr. Seuss books, what else can you predict? ( Answers will vary, but they may talk about how silly things happen in his stories or that there are unusual characters in Dr. Seuss books.)
Look at the pictures on the cover: more shadow pictures. What does this lead you to think?
Listen to the title again, The Shape of Me and Other Stuff--does this give you some ideas for a prediction? I have written all these ideas on the board, and I will read them back to you to review our predictions. While I read the story, I want you to think about these predictions, but please don't shout out what you are thinking. Save these thoughts for after the story is done.
I read the story to the children using my voice to emphasize any correct predictions that the children have made without specifically pointing them out. Afterwards, we check the ideas from the story to the thoughts from the children that our on the board. The reading standards focus on the students' ability to read carefully and grasp information, arguments, ideas and details based on evidence in the text, so this practice of referring to the text is supported by the Common Core.
See, boys and girls, we can make very good guesses or predictions when we take what we know and use them to think about a story. This helps us to understand the story even better.
Using the worksheet form, I create a scenario and ask the students to predict what would happen next. The children draw and write out their thoughts. For my class, I show my students a picture of the turtle tower from the book, Yertle the Turtle. I ask the children to think what will happen next. This assessment about predictions is a terrific precursor for my next day's lesson using the book about Yertle. I can read the predictions before starting the story and then the children can see if their ideas match the story.
Now that you have an idea what it means to make predictions, I am going to have you look at one last picture and make predictions about it. What is different this time, is that you will be drawing a picture of your guesses and then writing about it. This is a picture of a turtle tower. What do you think will happen if the turtles keep piling up on top? Draw your idea and then write a sentence about it on this special paper. I want to see if you can use your prediction skills to figure out what happens next.