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Pre-Reading Activity for Any Novel: Popcorn Predictions

One of my favorite things to do before we begin a novel is have students make predictions about what the text will be about. I do this for a few reasons. One, it's fun! Two, it gets them invested in what we're about to read - they always want to know if their predictions are correct. And three, this popcorn predictions activity gets them up and moving around while using their inferencing skills! It's a win-win all around. 


HERE'S WHAT I DO:

Prep Beforehand. I first comb through the book and search for quotes that I can pull that are relevant to the story, but don't give too much of it away. For this specific predictions activity, I chose 24 quotes from The House on Mango Street. I typed all of those quotes out, printed them, and then cut them up so that each quote was on a separate strip of paper. 

I also create a recording sheet for students that has five spaces for them to make their recordings (which I will explain further down in this post). I print out enough copies of this sheet, and I'm ready to go!


In Action. Explain to students that they are going to be participating in an activity that requires them to make predictions about the text based on quotes from the text, itself. When making their predictions, students should make sure to use the quotes to make predictions that are based on the actual quote. They should not be making some outlandish prediction that has nothing to do with what the quote includes! 

Then, explain to students that they will each receive a sentence strip. Once they receive their first strip, they should make their first prediction about the text in the first box. I like to give my kids 90 seconds to complete this (it keeps the activity moving along). Then, students will "pop" around the room to find someone to switch their sentence strip with. After they receive their new strip, they will make a second prediction about the text with this new information. Again, I only give them 90 seconds to switch with someone and write down their prediction. We do this 3 times total, so that they have seen 4 different sentence strips and have made 4 different predictions - each one more detailed after having read more about the book. 

Finally, students will work with a small group to share their predictions with one another. After discussing everyone's predictions, the group will come up with one, final prediction to share with the class. 


In Closing. Once the activity is completed, students share out their predictions with the class. It's fun to see if some students have made similar predictions or if anyone is really close to what the book is actually about! The kids love it, and it's a great way to start any novel. 

You can click here to grab your Popcorn Predictions Recording Sheet that I use - I'll send it right to your inbox! 






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