Use these making predictions activities and lesson plan ideas to help your students develop stronger reading comprehension.
When you’re sitting and reading a book aloud to your students, how do you know they’re engaged and listening? How can you tell students are listening to learn and comprehend? One easy way is to find out if they are making predictions as they listen or read.
When students are asking questions about what will happen next, they’re internally taking in the information, making predictions, and guessing what will come next. They’re excited to see if what they’re thinking is what actually happens.
This reading strategy goes deeper than just guessing what happens next in a story. While this reading skill may come naturally to some students, we also need to explicitly model and teach how to make reasonable predictions. I’ll show you how to do just that with some of my favorite making predictions activities and lesson plan ideas.
At the end of this blog, I have a FREE resource with making predictions activities and a lesson plan for you! Don’t miss it!
By the way, I am super excited to let you know that The Read Aloud Library is almost ready! If you love the freebie in this post, you’ll love The Read Aloud Library! Join the wait list so you’ll be the first to know when it’s open for enrollment and get all the awesome details.
Why is making predictions important?
Making predictions is more than just guessing what happens next in a book. A student’s ability to do this gives a peek into their reading comprehension abilities. Strong readers take information from the text, use their own experiences (schema), and form a prediction. If their prediction makes sense and is reasonable, then they most likely are comprehending well. As a result of developing their making prediction skills, they will become better at fully comprehending.
Making predictions also encourages readers to think ahead while actively listening and asking questions. My readers always love finding out if their predictions came true, so they actively search the text to find out. It’s so fun to watch them get excited about reading! Predictions help you set a purpose for reading. When students are checking their predictions, they are learning how to self-monitor.
Making Predictions Activities and Lesson Ideas
Have a lesson plan in place and know where your teaching points will be.
I know it can be tempting to skip the planning for a making predictions interactive read aloud, especially when you’ve already read the book. But I want to encourage you to pre-read the book, have a plan in place, and mark where you want to stop to model with a think aloud, to make a teaching point, or to have students turn and talk.
Intentionally planning an interactive read aloud lesson will help your students develop this important reading strategy. Plus, you won’t feel frazzled while reading trying to remember where to stop and where you wanted to ask questions.
Do a picture walk to introduce the book.
Before reading, show students the covers of the book and a brief picture walk. This is one of the first making predictions activities I do in an interactive read aloud lesson. Ask students questions to get their brains thinking:
- What do you think this book will be about?
- Where will it take place?
- Who will the main characters be?
- What do you think will happen?
To take these questions up a level, ask students to share why they made the predictions they did. Ask them to point out specific reasons.
Introduce important vocabulary to help students comprehend the text.
Another lesson planning tip is to introduce vocabulary words that you think students might need to know to help them understand the story. Vocabulary knowledge is one of the many strands of Scarborough’s Reading Rope. It’s crucial on the path to coaching our kids to become skilled readers.
After reading, I like to also review new vocabulary words to reinforce them for my students.
Use sentence stems to reinforce vocabulary and learning.
One great way to get the conversation going about a book is to use sentence stems. Sentence stems provide a framework for talking about something and help guide students’ thinking. They can support our ELLs by scaffolding and allow students to practice academic language and vocabulary.
Here are some great sentence stems for making predictions:
- I predict that…
- I think that…
- I can predict that … because…
- I think that … will happen next because …
- I predict that the problem will be solved by… because…
- I think the character will … because…
Implement a reader’s response notebook.
I love to integrate reading and writing anytime that I can, so implementing a reader’s response notebook is a must for me! Then, I can use things like flip up books for making predictions activities in my lessons. I can use these activities to monitor my students’ understanding as we practice this skill or even as an informal assessment.
Making learning fun with a purposeful craft.
Finally, one of my favorite making predictions activities is a purposeful craft. Students love getting to cut, color, paint, and glue! I love any chance I can get to squeeze in more practice with a reading strategy or skill.
FREE Making Predictions Interactive Read Aloud Lesson
Ready to dive into teaching making predictions during your interactive read aloud time? I have a free resource I’d love to put in your hands! The Tattle Tongue Read Aloud Lesson has everything you’ll need for a successful read aloud lesson and beyond.
It has a pacing guide to help you plan out your making predictions activities and lessons over four days. Then, there is a detailed, scripted lesson plan so you know exactly what to teach. It also has pre-filled printable sticky notes for you to place in your book so you know exactly where to stop and teach.
It also includes vocabulary cards and an activity to reinforce learning new words to help build reading comprehension.
Then, there are components for a reader’s response notebook so that students can continue to practice making predictions with other read alouds. You can use the flip books to monitor learning as students make predictions or as an informal assessment.
Finally, there is a super fun craft for students to complete that serves as a cute display and lets students write about their predictions. They’ll love it!
You can get your free read aloud lesson by entering your name and email address below. I’ll send it right to you!
If you’re ready to take your students’ reading comprehension deeper and foster conversations about tattling, be sure to grab your free download today!