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By Mark Warner
Age Range: 5 to 11

Prediction is a very useful reading skill.

This activity can be used with any book, although ones which are split into chapters (which have "cliff-hanger" endings) may be more suitable. It can be organised a number of different ways:

  • Most teachers read a book to the class, and this is an ideal opportunity for the children to predict. When you reach the end of a chapter (or an exciting part in the story), stop reading and discuss what might come next. Ask the children to justify their ideas (i.e. why do they think that? have they based their ideas on the story so far?). The children could write down their ideas, so that they can refer back to them later, if you wish. Continue reading, and discuss the children's predictions. Were they correct?
  • Working in small groups, ask the children to read a story together. At the end of each chapter, they should discuss the story so far, and predict what they think will happen next (based on their reading so far). They should then read the next chapter, and look back at their predictions. Were they correct? Before reading on, they should refine their predictions in the light of what they have just read. Do they still think the same thing is going to happen? This process should be repeated at the end of each chapter, until the children reach the end of the book, when they can discuss the story itself, and their predicting skills.
  • The above activity can also be carried out individually, with each child making short notes about what they think will happen next, and then reading on.

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