A double-entry prediction chart asks students to select passages from the text and make predictions about characters or events. Students will then explain the thinking behind their predictions using text evidence. This activity encourages deeper interaction with the text because students will reflect about what has happened already and what might happen next.
Select a fiction or non-fiction text. This activity should take place mid-text. You do not want to attempt it at the beginning because students will not have enough background information about the characters or events. Depending on the text, you could have students do this activity after reading the text to have them think about what a sequel might hold for the characters. Students will need their notebooks or journals. Create a list of sample teacher statements that you can use during the mini-lesson.
- Introduce double-entry prediction chart.
Introduce the activity by explaining to students that they will make predictions about the text.
- Conduct mini-lesson on predictions.
Hold a class discussion on predictions. What are predictions? When can predictions be useful or harmful? Be sure to differentiate predictions from mere guesses; predictions are based on evidence and inferences from the text. Provide a few sample statements and ask students to make predictions based on the statements. You can be creative and have fun with the sample statements to make them engaging and relevant for the students.
- Create the double-entry prediction chart.
Ask students to draw a line down the middle of the page, creating two columns. The first column should be titled “Quotes from the Text” and the second column should be titled “Predictions.”
- Model for students selecting quotes and making predictions.
Select one quote from the text, make a prediction, and explain your rationale for the prediction. When modeling it is important to think aloud so students understand why you are doing each step. Why did you select this particular quote or passage? Why did you make that specific prediction?
- Students select quote or passage.
The passage or quote should be important to the story. For example, students should not select a passage that describes the weather, unless the weather is a key component of the story. Remind students to select a quote or a small passage. You don’t want students to spend a lot of time copying a long passage into their chart.
- Students make a prediction.
Students can ask themselves questions such as: • What do you think will happen next? • How will this impact other characters? • How might this character or other characters respond to this event?
- Students justify the prediction.
This is a key component of making predictions. It is important for students to explain their thinking behind the predictions: • Why do you think that will happen? • What happened in the text previously that makes you think this prediction will come true?
- Repeat the quote, prediction, and justification for multiple entries.
Depending on the time you have allotted and the length of the text you are using, students could be asked to make as few as 4 predictions and as many as 10.
- Share out.
This is an opportunity for students to share their thinking about the text. This can be as a whole class, in small groups, or in pairs. The purpose of this share-out is for students to engage in the text together.
An independent reflection on the process of making predictions could include questions such as: • How did making predictions help you better understand the text? • When you are reading a text, why is predicting an important strategy?
The double-entry prediction charts can be revisited at the end of the text to see if any of the predictions were correct.