Focus Question: How does predicting help readers understand nonfiction texts?
To prepare for the lesson, choose three book characters. Fill a bag with a variety of items that represent one of the characters. Hang pictures of the characters on the board.
Say, “Today we have a mystery to solve. We need to find the owner of this bag.” Start pulling items from the bag. Show each item and encourage students to predict which character might own the bag. Ask them to give a reason for their predictions. After all the items are shown, ask students if they want to revise their prediction. Then reveal the character. Point out that students cited evidence for their predictions as well as revised their predictions with each item shown.
Ask, “What is nonfiction?” (a book or an article based on facts)
Show students the covers of a variety of nonfiction books. Ask, “What predictions can you make by looking at the cover of a nonfiction book?” Discuss how looking at the picture, the title, and any other words that are on the cover can help the reader make predictions about the book.
Ask, “Why might you want to make predictions about a book before you read it?” Answers may include the following:
- to see if it is a book I want to read
- to see if this book might have the information I am looking for
- to help me think about my past experiences related to that topic so that I can make inferences while I am reading
Show students the cover of the book The Insecto-Files: Amazing Insect Science and Facts You’ll Never Believe or a similar nonfiction book. Ask students to predict what they think the book will be about and to provide reasons, based on prior knowledge or evidence from the cover, for their predictions.
After students have had a chance to share their ideas, take the class on a picture walk of the book. Slowly flip through the book, showing students all the pictures. Encourage students to think “What is this picture telling or showing me?” before moving on to the next page. (For students who struggle, encourage them to look at what is mainly happening in the picture. Then direct attention to the background and perspective of the picture so that students take in all the details.) Model how to use the pictures in the book to make predictions. After you have modeled a few predictions, ask students to make their own predictions about what they think the book is about. Encourage students to share details they notice and any questions they have. Reproduce the Making Predictions Graphic Organizer on the board/chart paper/interactive whiteboard (L-3-4-1_Making Predictions Graphic Organizer.docx). Model how to fill in the organizer.
Read the book aloud and have students confirm or adjust their predictions as you read, citing text evidence for their decisions based on analyzing key ideas and details.
Have students work in pairs and complete a picture walk through another nonfiction book. Encourage them to discuss the clues that the pictures provide.
Give each student a nonfiction book at his/her reading level. Ask students to do a picture walk through the book. As they make predictions, have them fill in a copy of the Making Predictions Graphic Organizer. Remind students to back up their predictions with evidence from the pictures. If the prediction is not confirmed by the key ideas and details in the book, encourage students to adjust their prediction.
- To provide additional practice, read a nonfiction book aloud and have students complete the Making Predictions Graphic Organizer (L-3-4-1_Making Predictions Graphic Organizer.docx). Work with students to use evidence from the book to confirm or revise their predictions.
- To extend the lesson, have students make a list of other text features in a nonfiction book. Examples include bold or italic print, headings, captions, illustrations, graphics, and table of contents. Ask students to analyze how these features help them make predictions about the book.