Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Making Predictions with Picture Books

I recently created a new unit of reading comprehension printables. It covers topics such as connecting, visualizing, inferring, and predicting and is meant to be used with picture books.

I cannot stop talking about how much I LOVE picture books. I think picture books are so essential to not only primary classrooms, but intermediate ones too. I blogged {HERE} about how I used picture books to teach genres and I'm back today to talk a little about predicting with picture books.

During read-alouds, stopping a book and asking several students to predict can be very enlightening. You'll find that some students make great predictions and some students may be a bit (or very far) off the mark. I think before you get to this stage, you have to model predicting to students. Stop the book and use your thinking voice out loud to tell students what is your prediction and what clues you are using to make that prediction.

When predicting, remind the students to use the clues in the text and pictures. I often use far-off ridiculous examples as a way to remind students that we need to predict from the evidence provided to us. If I'm reading Goldilocks and the Three Bears, would it be a good idea to predict that suddenly a dinosaur will come along and step on the bears' home? Not unless I'm reading Mo Willems' Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs (which, by the way, would make a great story to compare to Goldilocks and the Three Bears during a fairy tale unit!).

If you're reading a book that has a semi-unpredictable ending, such as Mo Willems' That is Not a Good Idea (can you tell I'm a Mo Willems fan?), re-read the story with students, looking for possible clues to predict the ending.

So now onto a short list of some predicting favourites:

1) What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? by Steve Jenkins - One of my favourite non-fiction authors, Steve Jenkins' books are always fantastic. Use this book to have students predict what each body part is used for, using appearance clues.

Via Amazon

2) Stephanie's Ponytail by Robert Munsch - Your students will love the hilarious hairstyles as all the students (and teachers) try to copy Stephanie. Will Stephanie really shave her hear, or will your students be able to predict an appropriate alternative?

Via Amazon
3) If You Give a . . . series by Laura Numeroff - You could do a book study on this series by Laura Numeroff, with students predicting the crazy shenanigans of the various animals.

Via Amazon

4) Knuffle Bunny Free by Mo Willems - Of course it wouldn't be a picture book list of mine if I didn't throw in a Mo Willems book! Have students predict whether Trixie will find Knuffle Bunny and what might she do with him if she does find him.

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4) Enemy Pie by Derek Munson - Not only is this a great book to talk about friendships and bullying, but take the time to have your students predict the outcome of the enemy pie.

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These are just a few of the many picture books that are great for teaching predicting. What are some of your favourites?

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