Standard Lesson

Using Prediction as a Prereading Strategy

3 - 5
Lesson Plan Type
Standard Lesson
Estimated Time
Three 30-minute sessions
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This lesson for grades 3–5 includes three formal sessions: The first session involves teacher modeling of the prediction strategy. The second is based on guided practice that allows the teacher and students to work together. The third session requires students to use prediction and document the results in response journals. Suggestions for transferring the strategy into later reading activities are included.

From Theory to Practice

Two teachers and a professor designed a program to strengthen the teaching of comprehension strategies using trade books. Two questions were asked and researched. The first was designed to explore the results of strategy instruction and the transfer of the taught strategies into other reading tasks. The second question explored the attitudes of the fifth graders about their ability to use the strategies. Student interviews and the student of the students' journals indicated that the students did transfer the skills to other settings.

Common Core Standards

This resource has been aligned to the Common Core State Standards for states in which they have been adopted. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, CCSS alignments are forthcoming.

State Standards

This lesson has been aligned to standards in the following states. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, standard alignments are not currently available for that state.

NCTE/IRA National Standards for the English Language Arts

  • 3. Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).
  • 5. Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.

Materials and Technology

  • Chart paper, overhead projector, or chalkboard
  • The Noonday Friends by Mary Stolz (HarperCollins, 1971)



1. Preread The Noonday Friends by Mary Stolz or other trade book to be used. Use the prediction strategy as you read to facilitate your modeling and guiding students in the use of the strategy. If a title other than the suggested book is used, prepare the facts and questions to be modeled in Session 1.

2. Print out and make copies of the Response Journal Form for Predicting.

Student Objectives

Students will

  • Use the prediction strategy to write questions to be used as goals for the reading of the trade book chapters

  • Demonstrate their ability to use the prediction strategy by recording their questions to be answered in the reading and responding to the questions after reading

  • Use the prediction strategy in the reading of other trade books

Session 1


1. Have students gather with their copies of The Noonday Friends. Introduce the book by inviting the students to read the back of the cover and the inside of the back cover. The concept of "immigrant" may need some discussion. Explain that the predicting and the use of questions to set goals for reading will be modeled.

Teacher script:

"Today I am going to predict what will happen in the first chapter of our new book. First, I am going to read the first paragraph of the chapter. Turn to page 1 and read silently as I read orally." (Teacher reads paragraph one.) "Now turn to page 16 and follow as I read the last two paragraphs of the chapter." (These paragraphs are read orally.) "There is a picture we need to study on page 9. These girls must be Franny and Simone. One girl looks very unhappy. I wonder why?"

2. Tell students that you are going to write some things you know on the chart paper. The following statements might be listed:

From page 1:
  • Franny is ashamed of her clothes.

  • Franny has a lunch pass.
From page 16:
  • Franny runs in the rain.

  • Jimmy must be a part of Franny's family.

  • Both children only have one pair of shoes.
3. "There is a gap between where our story starts at noon and the time when we see the children running home. I need to write some questions that may be answered as you read the rest of the chapter. I will write those questions on the chart."

Questions might be:
  • What happened between lunch and late afternoon?

  • Why do the Davis children need more, or better, clothing?

  • Why is the girl in the picture on page 9 sad, or worried?
"I am going to leave these questions where you can see them. I want you to read and then think about the answers to these questions. You will be asked to sit in a small group and discuss the answers."

After reading

4. Have students sit in groups of four and discuss each question asked. Was there an answer to the question? Be sure that students take turns speaking and that everyone participates. Provide time for discussion. Monitor and keep students on task.

5. When each group has discussed the questions, call the students back into whole group to share their findings. In the large group, determine if each question was answered.

Session 2


1. Have students gather with their copies of the book.

2. Display the questions from the first lesson. Ask students to relay what you did when the prediction strategy was modeled. Discuss how the questions were used as the purpose for reading. Explain that this strategy can help them as they read text of all kinds. It can be especially helpful when reading content area texts.

3. "Today you are going to read the first and last parts of chapter 2 with me." (Read the first and last paragraph in unison. Study the picture on page 25.) "Now we need to ask some questions that we think may be answered in the chapter. First let's think about what we know." Elicit responses and write the responses as the students share. (Accept any logical response.)

4. "Now we need to write down some questions. What may we learn as we read?" Accept questions, and write them where students can see them. Questions might include:
  • Who is the second boy in the picture?

  • What kind of person is Mrs. Mundy?

  • Why is the younger boy crying?

  • Why is Marshall laughing at the end of the chapter?
Invite the students to read the chapter.

After reading

Follow the procedure used in Session 1 for discussing the answers to the questions and determining if all questions were answered.

Session 3


1. Have students gather to read.

2. Invite students to share what they have learned about the prediction strategy. Ask them to discuss how and why it is used.

3. Explain that today they are going to use the strategy without the teacher. Have them read the introductory paragraph on page 30 and the closing paragraph on page 41. Tell them to look at the picture on page 39. Write these page numbers on the board or chart.

4. Hand out copies of the Response Journal Form for Predicting. Ask students to write several things that they know after previewing the beginning and the end of the chapter and studying the picture. Move among the students and help any that are not on task.

5. After the facts have been written down, have the students write three or four questions that they feel will be answered in the chapter. Suggest that four lines be skipped after each question. This will provide space for the student to respond to the question in writing after the reading. (This journal entry form is generic and can be used with other texts.)

6. Have students read the chapter.

After reading

7. Ask students to read their questions and respond to each in writing. If a question is not answered in the chapter, that is written as a response.

8. Have students sit in pairs and share their journal entries forms. They should compare the questions and answers.


Conduct follow-up sessions with students using other trade books.

Student Assessment / Reflections


  • Review the response journal worksheet to document the use of the predicting strategy. Journal worksheets should be dated in order to track growth over a period of time. The strategy should be included in the response journals often. Is the student able write questions to be used as purposes for reading?

  • Use the oral responses of students during teacher-led discussion and in small group discussions to determine the students' ability to verbalize and use the thinking skills required for the predicting strategy.


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