Tag Archives: Predicting

The Ox-Cart Man by Donald Hall

Schema: selling what you make, seasons

Circle story: The story begins in the fall and follows the man and his family through a year as they make what they can on their farm to sell and use the money from what they sell to buy the things that they can not make.

Predicting: What do you think the Ox-Cart man will be doing the next fall?

Drawing Conclusions: What do you think the Ox-Cart man might buy with his money the next year?

Sequencing: Sequence  the farm chores and activities that the family does  throughout the year.

Synthesizing: What do you think the things that the man sold will be used for after he sells them?

So Far From the Sea by Eve Bunting

Schema: sea, setting

Questions to activate background knowledge:

Can you think of another time in history where a group of people have been treated unfairly because of the color of their skin?

Can you imagine being taken away from your family because of your ethnicity?

Why is the title so far from the sea when it looks like the sea behind them?

Why does the woman have spring flowers in the winter time?

Have you ever heard of World War II?

Who was locked up and killed during that war?

What is a spy?

Point of View: Who is telling the story?

Text-to-Self Connections: going somewhere that makes you feel nervous, making emotional connections

Inference: I am inferring that it is winter because they are putting on their jackets.  The wind is cold from the Sierra.

Setting: 1942, popular song: Don’t Fence Me In

Drawing Conclusions: Look at the location of Manzanar and draw a conclusion about why the author made the title “So Far from the Sea”

Mental Images: the field bigger than a football field, seeing it empty like erasing a blackboard, imagining he could climb on the mountain’s back and it would become a big eagle to fly him away, boat( a real American scout sail)  moving on as a way to say his grandfather had moved on, and so were they

Cause and Effect: Because Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, the United States, the effect is “the U.S. was suddenly at war”

Metaphor: What could the author mean when he says the grandfather began dying the moment he was put on the bus and taken to Manzanar?  The author is comparing dying to being taken so far from the sea and losing his boat and freedom.

Metaphor: What is “moving on” a metaphor for as the family leaves the cemetery? a boat moving on, the family moving on to Boston, the family moving on and letting the hurt of the grandfather’s mistreatment go

Organizational Strategies: What did you notice about the way the illustrator organized the illustrations with the color pages and the sepia no color ones?  What is he trying to show? Can you think of any other text-to-text connections that show a shift in time?

Compare and Contrast: The way the camp looks before and after the war.

Text-to-Text Connection: Tree of Cranes by Alan Say is set in Japan and a mother is telling her son what Christmas was like in America when she was a child.

Synthesis: Can you think of other groups of people who are thought of as suspicious because of their heritage in our present day time or in the past?–Jewish people during WWII, slavery in the U.S., today’s airport security with certain names, appearances, the Muslim religion, the controversy in NYC about the Mosque being built near the 9/11 site?

Synthesis: Can you think of a time when you had to “move on” and let something go that has hurt you?

Teacher’s Pets by Dayle Ann Dodds & What Do Teachers Do (after you leave school) by Anne Bowen

Schema: teachers after school may grade papers, meet with other teachers, play with the class pet, call parents, make copies, go home

Text-to-Text Connections: Both books are about teachers and what they do at school; Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Seuss.

Compare and Contrast: What teachers do during school with what they do after the kids leave.  Match  teachers who are at your school with teachers in the books.  Who is the scientist?

Text-to-Self Connections:  Some students may have made the slime that the teachers made.

Drawing Conclusions: Can you draw some conclusions about teachers after reading these two books? (they like to have fun and enjoy pets)

What evidence from the text led to your conclusion?

Internal Consistency: Miss Fry is predictable in her response to each child.  What would be something she could do that would be inconsistent with her mannerisms?

Predicting: Predict what the parent will use as the reason for asking if the pet may stay at school in Teacher’s Pets.

Inference: Why do you infer that the student brought a sponge for a pet?

Willa and the Wind by Janice M. Del Negro

Schema: windy days

Personification: The wind takes on human traits and speaks in this tale.

Cause and Effect: Because the wind blows the sisters’ cornmeal away, the effect is that Willa is determined to get it back or get something in return.

Characterization: Willa is a strong woman character.  She can be described as fearless and aggressive. Use the idea wheel to describe Willa.

Drawing Conclusions: Willa draws the conclusion that the innkeeper is dishonest.

Predicting: Predict what the innkeeper will do when Willa arrives with the goat.

Seasons: With March winds, this is a good one to use for Spring.

Text-to-Text Connections: The Windy Day by G. Brian Karas

The Wind Blew by Pat Hutchins

The Wind Blew by Pat Hutchins

Schema: March winds, the old saying that “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb,”  chasing something that has blown away

Cause and Effect: Because it was so windy, the effect is that everything is blowing away

Predicting: Ask the students to predict what is going to blow away next.  There are clues on each preceding page of what will be next.

Sequencing: Use a sequence graphic to sequence the order of the items being blown by the wind.

Spring begins in late March so this is a good one to use for a seasonal book.

Text-to-Text Connections with The Windy Day by G. Brian Karas

Willa and the Wind by Janice M. Del Negro

Stick Man by Julia Donaldson

stick man

Schema:  sticks, playing with sticks

Text-to-Text Connections: Over in the Meadow, an old rhyme about the animals in a meadow; the rhyme goes something like, “over in the meadow in the sand and the sun lived an old mother turtle and her little turtle one…”  See the lyrics

Also a connection with the Gingerbread Man stories as the stick is running from animals and people.

Personification: the stick is personified

Predicting: Ask students to predict what the stick man will be used for next as you are reading the story.

Because a dog grabs him, the effect is that stick man gets farther and farther away from his home.  Every situation where Stick Man is taken can be used as a cause and effect example.

Because Santa Claus rescued the Stick Man, the effect is that he is taken back to his tree.

Organizational Strategies:  Create a flow chart showing the stick’s movement throughout the story.

Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto

toomany tamalesSchema: making tamales, admiring jewelry

Text-to-Self Connections: taking something without permission, not wanting to get caught, getting together with relatives for the holidays,  seeing something and then remembering something you forgot about

Predicting: Predict what Maria is going to do when her mother leaves to answer the phone.

Drawing Conclusions: What conclusion does Maria come to about the whereabouts of the ring?  What clues from the story lead you to this conclusion?  First she thinks it is in a tamale because she thinks it fell off of her thumb and went into the masa.  Secondly, she thinks Danny swallowed it.

When did Mother come to the conclusion that Maria was playing with the ring? The clues from the story indicate that she found it in the masa since she “scraped off a flake of dried masa”  from the ring.

At what point do you think Maria’s mother found the ring in the masa?  Maybe when she sent Maria to get her father to help?

Synthesis: What do you think Maria synthesized from this experience?  to tell the truth immediately? to leave other people’s belongings alone?

Can’t Catch Me by John Hassett

can't catch meSchema: ice from the fridge, icebergs

Text-to-text Connections: Gingerbread Man stories, stories where characters are being chased

Compare and Contrast: the animals that want to eat or cool off with the ice cube to characters in other versions of the Gingerbread Man.  Compare the whale with the fox in the original story.

Sequencing: Sequence from the last animal to interact with the ice cube to the first.

Drawing Conclusions: What conclusions can you draw based on the last page of of the story with the freezer door open, water on the floor, and the legs of the boy and his mother?

Cause and Effect: Because the freezer door was left open, the effect is that the ice has melted

Predicting: Predict what the ice cube man will say when one of the characters wants to use him in some way.

Felt board story: I found some clip art to represent the characters in the story, laminated them, stuck some Velcro on the back, and made a quick felt board story to go with this book.

Charlie Needs a Cloak by Tomie De Paola & Red Berry Wool by Robyn Harbert Eversole

charliered berrySchema: sheep, wool, sweaters, cloaks, the invisible cloak in the Harry Potter stories

Text-to-Text Connections: These two books make a big connection in that they both talk about how wool is used to create a garment.  Charlie shares more technical information about the process.  Red Berry shows how the words used to create fabric can have more than one meaning.

The lamb thinks wash the wool as to get in the pond.  He thinks spinning the wool means to spin around and around, and he thinks knitting the wool means to be close with the boy.

Cause and Effect: Because the lamb spins in the meadow, the effect is that he gets dizzy and falls off of the cliff.

Because the boy looks after the sheep as his responsibility, the effect is that he is always there to save the sheep when he encounters danger.

Compare and Contrast: Use a graphic organizer to compare the words used to make the wool fabric with how the lamb uses the words to make his wool into a sweater like the boy’s.

Synthesis: Students synthesize that snakes like to eat berries from Red Berry.  Many children share that they have been warned, mainly by their grandparents,  about watching out for snakes when picking berries.

Predicting: Predict what Charlie will be doing next spring based on the last scene in the book.

Sequencing: Sequence the skills used to take the wool to a garment.

Inference: Infer what the mouse in Charlie must be thinking throughout the book.

Point of View:  Retell Charlie from the point of view of the sheep  that keeps fighting for her wool.

Seasons: Charlie goes through the four seasons.  He shears the sheep in the Spring.  As the year goes by, the sheep’s wool grows.

Reading Comprehension Strategies

Making Thinking Visible: The terms I am explaining below work together to create connections that will help young children to increase their reading comprehension.  For years we have taught reading in abstract terms and many children do become great readers by being exposed to books and reading.  Some of us need something more concrete to which we can attach our learning.  The terms mentioned below and in many of my posts give children the vocabulary with which to talk about their reading experiences.  I use these terms when I read aloud to children during their short library times once a week.  I am teaching them to use these terms when they are sharing with me about what we are reading.  I have witnessed students who do not like to sit and listen become engaged as they are allowed to raise their hand and share a connection they have with what I am reading to them.  Passive listeners are now active ones.  By showing kids what I am thinking when I am reading, I am modeling what being a good reader is like.  Good readers think when they are reading.  Good readers make connections.  Good readers make inferences and predictions.  My students have learned to respond when I ask them if anyone wants to make an inference or a prediction with, “I am predicting that…, or I am inferring that.”  By giving students the vocabulary and modeling the strategies for them, I am helping them to make their own thinking visible.

Schema:  Schema is our background knowledge.  I tell my students that schema is everything in our brains that we have learned from the time we were a baby to now.  I have made up some hand movements to go with it to help them to remember.  We point to our brains,  move our arms in an open circle for “everything,”  hold our arms like we are rocking a baby, then point down to mean “now.” Please ask your student what schema is and what they have in their schema about books that you are reading to and with them.  Research is showing that when we make connections with what we are reading to something we already have in our schema, we will be able to better remember it.

Text-to-Self Connections: When this type of connection is made a student is able to tell you things they have experienced  themselves that are like what they are reading about in their book.  When I am reading a book about frogs, I might have a text-to-self connection with seeing a frog in my backyard, picking up a frog, or seeing my dog chasing a frog.  By reinforcing these types of thinking activities, you will be helping your student’s comprehension skills.

Text-to-Text Connections: When one book connects in your schema (everything you already know) with another book that you have read, you are making a text-to-text connection.   All new learning must be connected with something we already know  if we are to comprehend and remember it.

Predicting:  When reading with your child, stop and ask them to predict what will happen next in the story.  In the library students are expected to preface their prediction with the words: “I am predicting that….”  By asking your child to predict, you are helping them to make a connection with the text which will help them to comprehend and remember what is being read.  Sometimes our predictions are even better than the the actual outcome of the story!  Predicting engages young readers as you are reading with them.

Comparing and Contrasting: When reading with your student, ask how characters, places, or possible outcomes in the story are alike and different.  Students use graphic organizers to show the similarities and differences by writing them in circles that overlap.  The similarities are in the overlapping parts of the circles, and the differences are in the parts that do not overlap.  Please ask your student to show you how they make thinking visible by using a graphic organizer with them such as a Venn Diagram.