Making Predictions with Young Readers
In third grade, students begin to transition from learning to read into reading to learn.
Let’s break that down.
In Pre-K, Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd-grade students building their foundational reading blocks. Things like phonics, phonemic awareness, and the difference between letters and words. These are all the most important parts of reading. As children master these foundations of reading, they progress into building comprehension.
When we read, we always learn from what we read. If we finish reading a book, article, or poem we should be able to share something that was within that passage to be really reading. I try to explain to my students that reading is thinking. We think about what we read. We make predictions about what will happen. We also think about what we wish we could have changed in the story or passage. As we read, we always think.
This can be harder for our younger readers. So, it’s important to model reading with making predictions. Asking children what will happen next as you read to them prepares them for reading on their own. Predictions help form their critical thinking about what they are reading.
My nephew LOVES reading the Brown Bear book series. “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see?” Every page offers insight into what will happen next in the story. As each animal character sees another animal character. Each character follows a predictable description too, color then animal. You can practice predicting with your preschool-aged child by asking what animal will be on the next page? Reading these predictable stories will set your child up to begin to see the patterns in stories, allowing them to make easy and reliable predictions.
Kindergarten and 1st Grade Predictions
Children in grades K and 1 will start to make deeper predictions. These are a little harder as they will be abstract. However, it’s important to grow their abstract thinking. This week I read a book about a Bee and a Flea with one of my 1st-grade students. I asked them to predict what the bee or flea would do next based on what we learned. I had to reinforce the idea that it is simply a guess. We do not know if we’ll be right or wrong and that right or wrong doesn’t really matter. Quite the concept for a 6/7-year-old. All that matters is that we’re thinking about the book.
To make predictions with children of this age group it is best to start with what they already know. At the end of a page ask them, “What is happening in the story?” Follow up with, “What do you think will happen next?” Modeling this thought process is important too. So, you might start with asking what happened then respond by saying, “I think ---- will happen next.” This will show the child that they can also make guesses. Before you know it, they will be making predictions with you.
Second Grade Predictions
Children in 2nd grade are beginning to read long chunks of text and beginning to build their own comprehension around reading. Continue asking them “What is happening in the story?”, “What will happen next?” and add on “Why do you think that?” This critical thinking skill will help them to begin creating their own ideas about what they read. They have opinions and they should begin learning how to share them and justify them. You can model this by saying, “I think --- will happen because I noticed --- in the story.”
If you’d like personalized help for your child’s reading comprehension fill out this form to get started with tutoring as soon as next week.
Here are some books that I LOVE to read aloud to these age groups. These are affiliate links so I will get a tiny portion if you purchase through these links.