Making Predictions Background Information for Teachers and Parents
This page contains information to support educators and families in teaching K-3 students about making predictions. The information is designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. movie Making Predictions. It explains the type of content covered in the movie, provides ideas for how teachers and parents can develop related understandings, and suggests how other BrainPOP Jr. resources can be used to scaffold and extend student learning.
Review reading comprehension strategies with your children. Remind them that active readers visualize information, pause and summarize what they read, ask questions, make predictions, make connections between books, and evaluate the text. Strong readers take notes and access prior knowledge to develop their own ideas and opinions as they read. This movie will explore how to make predictions to improve comprehension. We recommend modeling good active reading skills by reading together and then pausing to make predictions together. Look for textual and structural clues together to make educated guesses about what will happen next in the story. Help children understand how authors might foreshadow what will happen and make sure children’s predictions are supported by evidence in the text.
Remind your children that a prediction is a guess about what might happen based on what you already know. Good readers make predictions before they even open a book! Show a book to your children. Together, look at the cover and title and make a prediction. What do you think the book will be about? Why? The features on the cover can give clues about the genre of the book. Review that a genre is a type of book, such as fiction, nonfiction, mystery, memoir, or poetry. Open the book and point out the table of contents if there is one. Explain that they can read the headings and chapter titles to get a better idea of what the book might be about. They can also flip through the book to review pictures, diagrams, photographs, and illustrations to make predictions.
Encourage children to pause to make predictions as they read. Making predictions helps them stop, review what they’ve read, and think about what they’re reading. They can read a paragraph or a section and then pause to come up with ideas. They can think about characters, setting, and plot to help make a prediction. Children should make sure their predictions can be supported by evidence from the text. They should look at how characters act in the story to make predictions about how the characters will act later. They can look for patterns in the story that might come up again. Authors sometimes foreshadow, or give hints about what might happen in the story. Model reading carefully and finding clues in the writing.
To make predictions while reading nonfiction, children can think about what they might learn in a section or chapter. They can review headings and chapter titles, charts and diagrams, and pictures and captions to help make predictions. We recommend screening the Reading Nonfiction movie for further exploration.
Encourage your children to make predictions as they read, and to keep track of their ideas by taking notes. Graphic organizers such as prediction charts can be helpful here. They may also want to write their predictions down on sticky notes and put them on the page where they make their prediction. Encourage them to find the strategy that is right for them.
Help your children understand that it is important to keep predictions in mind as they read. It is O.K. if their predictions do not come true! The goal is not to predict correctly, but to understand what they read. Good readers gather information as they continue reading, and often revise their predictions. They also evaluate past predictions. Which predictions came true? Which did not?
Encourage your children to be active readers and empower them with skills to help them understand what they read. Help them become passionate readers who engage with the text and read in an efficient and meaningful way.