Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Why is Prediction Important When Students Read?

It's SUCH an easy part of reading to skip over, but if we skip prediction when teaching our students to read, we are missing a key part of the reading process! Prediction is more than figuring out what happens next. It involves asking questions, finding evidence, and inferring.

Why is prediction important?

1. Prediction activates prior knowledge about the text. Students take what they already know, and apply it to new information.

2. Prediction before, during and after reading connects students to the text. They have a reason to read, and want to know if they predicted correctly.

3. A reader who makes predictions is focused on the text and what is about to be read. In short...they care!

4. Prediction helps kids get excited about what they are about to read. Reading isn't just word calling, it's making a connection to the text...prediction helps this to happen.

Simple Ways to Teach Prediction

1. Prediction needs explicit instruction on how it is done and modeling from teachers. This is particularly easy to do during oral reading to the class with a favorite book. For example, as you read give your own predictions of what might happen next. Tell what evidence in the book makes you think this will happen, ask for student predictions.

2. Using titles, headings, pictures and diagrams in non-fictional text helps students think about what they are about to read. Since students are more comfortable with narrative texts than with non-fiction, helping them become familiar with the text features and use them to make predictions helps them feel more comfortable with more difficult reading.

3.  Ask students to turn to a partner. Ask them to share with each other at least one prediction based on evidence found in the text. 

4. Make a simple anchor chart with "Prediction" on one side, and "Evidence" on the other. As a story is read, add predictions and evidence on the chart. Remind students that the evidence could be found on the book cover, pictures or within the text. If the prediction was correct, put a red check in the box, if it did not happen, and was a surprise, put a blue explaination mark. Discuss why it was a surprise. Did the author purposefully mislead the reader to surprise him? Was evidence missed?

5. Draw a picture! All grade levels really get into drawing pictures of what they think will happen next. Art is often a direct route into a student's thinking! After reading a chapter of a class book to the group, ask them to go to their desk and draw a picture of what will happen next. Allow students to share their pictures and tell what evidence they used to make their predictions. 

Seeing is worth a 1000 words. Great prediction lesson!