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Word Scramble Prediction


In this activity, adapted from Gallagher’s Deeper Reading (2004), the teacher provides students with a list of intriguing words from a text they will read. The students then read the words and write a prediction based on those words. The purpose of this activity is to help students prepare and to pique their curiosity for the text.

Learning Strategies 

  • Determining Importance
  • Predicting
Building Background

Lesson Plan Stages 

  • Building Background
  • Launching Into New Content

Content Areas 

  • ELA
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies

Learning Strands 

  • Speaking
  • Writing

Common Core Instructional Shifts 

  • Academic Vocabulary
  • Building Knowledge in the Discipline


Select 10-12 words from the text that will give students enough of a clue about the text but not give everything away. This short activity works best right before students read the text.

Activity Steps 
  1. Introduce Word Scramble.

    Share the scrambled list of words with students. Explain that each of these words will appear in the text they will read. They will use those words to help them write a prediction about the text. Purposefully be vague about the types of predictions. The goal here is to get students thinking and wondering about the text.

  2. Write predictions.

    Students read the words and write a one-sentence prediction. They do not have to use all of the words in their prediction.

  3. Share predictions.

    Go around the room and have each student read their prediction. After all students have shared their predictions, say, “Let’s see who is right!”

  4. Read the text.

    This can be an independent, small-group, or whole-class read-aloud.

  5. Conduct prediction discussion.

    After reading the text, have a whole-class discussion about the reading and the predictions.

  6. Complete self-evaluation.

    Each student will write two or three sentences to evaluate their prediction. · What similarities and differences did you see between the text and your prediction?

  7. Reflect.

    · How did this activity help you engage with the text?

Downloadable Resources 
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