Monday, June 27, 2016

Start the Year with Predicting Puzzles

How can you encourage collaboration at the beginning of the year while also teaching reading strategies? Predicting puzzles are one suggestion! 
I use this activity to teach students that predictions need to be checked using text evidence. Predictions are 100% verifiable. Many students make predictions that are not based on text evidence. Others make reasonable predictions but never read to confirm those predictions. 

Side note: In later lessons, I contrast making predictions with making inferences. Inferences can be logical or illogical based on text evidence, but you can never be absolutely certain that an inference is completely accurate. 

The idea for this activity is not my own. I learned about it in a blog post by Jen Jones at Hello Literacy. Her site has a wealth of information about teaching reading. If you've never explored her blog, you should. Jen's TPT store is also a treasure trove.

I bought 6 puzzles so that students could work in small groups.

The basic idea is that each group gets 4 pieces of their puzzle to start with. The box covers are stashed away so that students have no idea what the puzzle picture should be. Groups examine the pieces and predict using clues from the pieces. They're expected to write about their prediction and why they made it. To grab the recording sheet, please click here

To make distribution and clean up easier, I marked the back of each piece with either AA, BB, CC, DD, EE, or FF.  I used double letters so that for future lessons I could remember which starting pieces to give students. The remaining pieces of the puzzle were simply labeled with either A, B, C, D, E, or F.  The puzzle boxes were also assigned a letter (A-F).

After writing about their predictions and the clues they used, the groups put together their puzzles to confirm their predictions.

To close the lesson, we gathered and discussed the following key points:
  •  Predicting when you read is something like putting together a puzzle without the picture on the box. You need to look at clues in order to figure out what the picture will be. 
  • When you read, you use clues from the text and/or the illustrations in order to make reasonable and thoughtful predictions. 
  • When we put our puzzles together, we were checking to see if our predictions were correct or accurate
  • When we make predictions about text, we READ ON to confirm our predictions. (I emphasize words like accurate and confirm. They are important academic vocabulary.)
Thanks for visiting! I'd love to read about creative ways that you teach reading comprehension strategies. Please share in the comments!

1 comment:

  1. I love the idea of using puzzles to start the year off with teamwork and predicting. Thank you for sharing!

    Elementary Engagement