Johnny Key

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Activities for Making Predictions Before Reading

Classroom Activities for Making Predictions Before Reading

Here are a few activities you can use in your classroom to help students become proficient at making predictions before reading:

  • Read students the titles of books they’ve never read before and ask them to make a prediction before reading of what the book is about.  Then read the back cover or inside flap of the book out loud to see how close they came to the mark. You can do the same with movie titles and then read aloud a synopsis of the movie review.
  • Bring an unusual object to class. Show students the object and have them predict what it could be used for and how it works.  While showing the object, point out structures or components that could be clues as to what it is without actually explaining how it works.
  • Read a section of text and then have students predict what is going to happen next.  Have them write their predictions on sentence strips and place each prediction on the wall.  Revisit the predictions once the action has been revealed in the story.<
  • Explain to students that making predictions before reading is like being a detective. They can find clues in the book title, the illustration on the front cover, as well as pictures inside the book to predict what the story is about.  Have them also predict what a character will do or an important event that may take place.

Stop and Go

Create a sign that says “Stop” on one side and “Go” on the other. Then pick a book to read with whole class. Look at the cover and title and make predictions before reading about what the book might be about. Then take turns reading from the text. When it is appropriate, hold up the stop sign and pause to make a prediction. Students can write down their predictions in a graphic organizer or on sticky notes and add them to the page. Then hold up the go sign when everyone is ready to continue. Make sure that when a prediction comes true or does not come true, you stop and discuss with the whole class.


Give photographs to small groups. You may want to clip photos from newspapers or magazines or print them from the Internet. Have groups think about what might have happened after the photo was taken. Be sure they back up their predictions with evidence from the picture, prior knowledge, or examples of their own experiences. Students may wish to write their predictions down on the back of the photos or on sticky notes.

Resources for Making Predictions Before Reading

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