Activities to Teach Students to Make Predictions About a Story

Making predictions is a crucial skill for students to develop as they become independent readers. By predicting what might happen in a story, students can better comprehend the text, make connections between the events, and create mental images of the characters and settings. Here are some activities that teachers can use to teach students to make predictions about a story.

1. Cover Guessing:

This is an activity where you provide the students with a list of titles of books they have not heard of before. They must then select a title about which they need to make some guesses based on the title and the cover alone. Encourage students to think about the type of story the title might suggest and any potential events and characters. Once they finish, they should share their predictions with their classmates.

2. Picture Frenzy:

Using a short book, or even just one page, show students a picture from the text and ask them to make predictions about what may have happened before, during, or after the event shown. Encourage the students to use the picture as the starting point to create the idea, as they use what they see to build an idea.

3. Read and Predict:

Divide the class into small groups or pairs and provide them with part of a text. Before they read the text, ask them to first read the title and any headings and captions that may help them understand what they are reading. After twenty minutes, students will make predictions regarding what they think will happen next, either by writing it down or by what they believe the group should do. They will then share their predictions with the group and the next group will read the next section of the text, using similar strategies to make predictions.

4. Using Clues to Predict:

Using a text deliberately designed for prediction, read a sentence or paragraph that ends with a question; before the text is continued, the students must use contextual clues to make an informed prediction of what the answer to the question will be. This can be a great exercise to help students look for clues in the text.

5. Semantic Word Webs:

Create a semantic word map on the board with the title of a book in the center. Encourage students to write words that come to mind when they think of the title. These words could be characters’ names, settings, events, and attributes. Once the web has been created, students should try to predict the story based on the words they have contributed. This exercise encourages visualization and metaphorical thinking.

In conclusion, when teaching students to make predictions about a story, it is important to use a variety of strategies. Some students learn better by analyzing pictures and others by utilizing contextual clues. Therefore, teachers should be prepared to use a range of activities and strategies to make sure that all students develop the ability to make meaningful predictions about the stories they are reading.

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