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Making Predictions is a skill that comes naturally to fluent readers. We do it without thinking. But how do we teach readers to make predictions? It is a reading strategy that needs to be taught explicitly and modeled for students. Keep reading to learn about essential tools for teaching your students how to make predictions.

How to Teach Making Predictions

Learn how to teach the Making Predictions reading strategy with these helpful teaching tools and student resources. These essential tools will make teaching predictions much easier for you and more effective for your students. As with any reading skill, students will require teacher think alouds to model how to implement the strategy as well as plenty opportunities to practice using the gradual release of responsibility.

Tools to Make Predictions

When teaching comprehension reading strategies, such as making predictions, there are some essential tools we always need. These teaching materials include mentor texts, anchor charts, and graphic organizers.

Books for Making Predictions

books for making predictions

Making Predictions is a reading strategy that can be applied to just about any type of text! You can use the photographs, titles, and sections of the text to predict. Check out my favorite books for making predictions.

Making Predictions Anchor Chart

Anchor Charts are an essential tool for introducing a new reading strategy. Displaying an anchor chart during your minilesson helps keep your instruction focused. It can also serve as a visual reminder of the reading strategy during small group instruction, literacy centers, and independent reading.

Some information you might include on your Making Predictions poster:

  • Explanation of the reading strategy
  • What it means to make a prediction
  • A “Good Readers Can…” statement to explain the strategy in kid-friendly language
  • Thinking stems such as “I predict ___ because ___.”
Making Predictions Reading Poster
Making Predictions Anchor Chart

You can also co-construct a predictions anchor chart with your students. During your minilesson, complete the missing pieces of the anchor chart. Or use sticky notes to model how to make predictions as you’re reading the text.

Anticipation Guide

Another type of prediction anchor chart is an Anticipation Guide. Students reflect on general statements about a topic or theme before reading. They decide if they agree or disagree with each statement and record it on the anticipation guide. After reading, they return to the statements to reflect on their thinking or revise it based on their new learning/understandings from the text.

Anticipation Guides help activate students’ prior knowledge before reading. It also prepares them for what they might expect in a text, allows them to make connections, and synthesize new learning with their background knowledge.

Prompts and Sentence Stems

It can be helpful to keep a strategy cheat sheet with prediction prompts that you can use for any text. I like to keep a list of them at my small group table to use during our lessons.

Teacher Cheatsheet for Predicting to use with reading small groups

When planning your making predictions lesson plans, it is helpful to record specific prompts you want to use. These can be applied to any text during whole group or small group lessons.

  • Based on what you already know, what do you predict might happen?
  • How does this (sentence, title, picture, etc) help you predict what might happen? 
  • What do you already know that helps you predict what might happen? 
  • What other predictions can you make? 
  • What clues in the text helped you make these predictions? 
  • What will (character) probably do in the future? 

Be sure to provide students with sentence stems to help them practice making predictions. These sentence frames are especially valuable to primary learners and English Language Learners. It can be helpful to post them in a place where students can easily refer to them to guide their discussions and written responses during your minilesson and small group instruction.

  • I predict that… because… 
  • I think that… will happen next because… 
  • This makes me think that… will happen next because… 
  • I predict the main character will… because… 
  • I predict the problem will be solved by… because… 

Making Predictions Graphic Organizer

Students can complete a graphic organizer to practice making predictions during literacy centers, small groups or independent reading.

Making Predictions graphic organizer: Before, During, and After Reading
Making Predictions Graphic Organizer: Confirm Predictions

One type of making predictions graphic organizer is to record predictions before, during, and after reading. Another option is to have students record the evidence that supports their prediction. They can also confirm or revise their prediction as they learn new information from the text.

Readers’ Notebook Page and Study Guide

Provide students with a readers’ notebook page to remind them of the strategy, graphic organizer, and sentence stems to use when predicting. Print a copy that they can use for additional practice at home

Predicting readers notebook page

Predictions Bookmark

Predicting reading comprehension strategy bookmark

Students can keep a Reading Strategy Bookmark in their book boxes to remind them of the predicting strategy during independent reading.

Predicting Activities

While these tools are all scaffolds for students as they learn how to make predictions, you may be looking for more specific activities to teach the skill. Be sure to check out the corresponding post with Predicting Activities that your students will love!

Save yourself time and money with this Comprehension Bundle! It includes ALL the tools you need for EVERY reading strategy!

You’ll find anchor charts, graphic organizers, and so much more!

Reading Comprehension Strategies Bundle

What other tools have you found beneficial for teaching predictions? Share in the comments below!

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