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Lesson Plan

It Doesn't Have to End That Way: Using Prediction Strategies with Literature

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It Doesn't Have to End That Way: Using Prediction Strategies with Literature

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Minilesson
Estimated Time 50 minutes
Lesson Author

LaDonna Helm

LaDonna Helm

Urbana, Illinois


National Council of Teachers of English



From Theory to Practice



After listening to the beginning of a story, students use details in the text, personal experience, and prior knowledge to predict the way the story will end. To support their predictions, the class discusses the plot elements of the book to the stopping point as well as experiences they have had with other books in the genre and in their own lives. Students individually create illustrations of the story's ending that reflect their predictions and share these illustrations with the class before the entire book is read again. After the entire book has been read, students compare their endings to the ending in the original story.

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In her article "Talking about Books: Beyond Decodable Texts-Supportive and Workable Literature," Dorothy Watson explores the ways that predictable texts and prediction strategies support readers. Watson summarizes Ken Goodman's explanation of the ways that readers use prediction strategies:

"In Phonics Phacts (1993), Goodman says that active readers don't wait until they have all the information before making up their minds; readers anticipate where a text is going, what will come next, and what structures they will meet. He tells us, ĎA prediction is an anticipation of what will come in the text' (p. 113)." (636)

By asking students to make predictions for a text that they have heard part of, this lesson works toward teaching students the strategies that active readers use as they read all texts (not just predictable books).

Further Reading

Watson, Dorothy. "Talking about Books: Beyond Decodable Texts-Supportive and Workable Literature." Language Arts 74.8 (December 1997): 635-643.

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