We received a Be There Bedtime Story from Aunt Ali last night. She read a book called Meet the Planets by John McGranaghan. After her cheery greeting she asked the girls “What do you think this story will be about?”. This one simple question immediately engaged my daughters with the text. Their brains went into making an inference based on the cover. This is a higher-level brain activity that teachers use many times a day. All this, from one simple question. The girls were ready to find out if their prediction was correct as Aunt Ali read on.
As I mentioned last week, a great resource for parents who want to make the most of their shared reading time with their child is called 7 Keys to Comprehension; How to Help Your Kids Read It and Get It! by Susan Zimmermann and Chryse Hutchins. There is an entire chapter dedicated to making predictions that is written in a simple, approachable way for anyone.
Making predictions is one of the first reading strategies you can use in order to engage your young readers. Use the cover of the book to make some predictions (right along with generating some questions too, if they come up!). You can ask “What do you think will happen next?” in many parts of the story. When a problem develops in a story ask your reader how they think that problem might eventually be resolved.
Once you begin prompting your young one to make predictions while reading a book, it becomes a nice habit you will never want to break! Your young reader may even ask you to make some predictions of your own.
So, was my prediction correct?