How to Make Predictions Based on Information from a Reading Selection Video

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  • 0:02 Importance of Predictions
  • 1:25 How To Model Predicting
  • 3:25 A Tool for Making Predictions
  • 5:55 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kara Wilson

Kara Wilson is a 6th-12th grade English and Drama teacher. She has a B.A. in Literature and an M.Ed, both of which she earned from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Making predictions when reading is an important reading comprehension strategy. In this lesson, we will discuss why it is important and how to model and practice it.

The Importance of Making Predictions

If you were to have your palm read, the lines on your palm would be examined to predict what will happen to you in the future. But when a reader makes predictions about a novel or textbook, specific details from the text are used. Predicting is a reading comprehension strategy that readers use to anticipate what comes next based on clues from the text and by using their prior knowledge.

From the second a reader sees the title of a text, looks at a picture on the cover, or reads the first line, prior knowledge from what they've learned and/or from life experiences is used to make predictions or educated guesses. Predicting is an ongoing process that keeps the reader engaged as he or she tries to figure out what is coming next by making new predictions. He or she is also revising old predictions as more information is gathered. From beginning readers to adults who've been reading the majority of their lives, predictions help keep readers focused and motivated, and it shows that they understand what they are reading.

More advanced readers make predictions very naturally before and during the reading process, much like when someone watches a movie and keeps interrupting it to say what they think will happen next. This may be annoying, but it shows that the person is demonstrating a higher level of thinking versus passively reading or watching and absorbing everything without questioning or thinking about it.

How to Model Predicting & Its Importance

With beginning readers, you should model predictions by thinking aloud. This is done when you read a text to the class and talk about your thought process in order to show students how to make predictions. For example, a student might think The Three Little Pigs is going to be about three pigs on a farm because of the title. There aren't any detailed clues as to its context. But you can guide the students to examine the picture on the cover, pointing out the angry wolf and saying, 'What can we predict about him?'

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