What Will Happen Next?
You sit down with your child to read a brand new storybook. The cover is enticing, which is what drew you to the story in the first place. You and your child gaze at the cover wondering what the story will be about. You read the title and that may or may not change your first predictions, which may or may not have been verbalized. You begin reading. Wow, your child is making predictions and seeing if her guesses are correct, just like a scientist!
As you are reading the book together, stop at key moments in the story to make a prediction. In a story with characters you may stop to ask, “what do you think she will do next?” or “how many more times do you think this will happen? or “how do you think she feels?” By asking these questions during the story and listening to your child’s answer you are able to monitor his comprehension development and put his prediction skills to work. Predictions are not always right, which makes them predictions. It’s ok to think about what other ways the story could end or how another element could change the story. This opens the door to new activities such as creating a new ending to the story.
You can practice prediction skills with your child by doing some estimating together. Just like predicting, your child is working to make a good guess. You can play some simple estimating games with your child by asking questions and having him make a prediction. Ask your child simple questions such as, “how many stuffed animals do you think are in this basket?” or “How many steps do you think is it from the front door to the back door?” By using questions such as these you are able to encourage the use of scientific and mathematical words such as estimation, prediction, more and less. Your child is making the connection between the important skills of prediction, reading, mathematics and science.
There are books available in the market that allows the reader to choose what will happen next to the characters of the books. These books have multiple scenarios and endings, making it more exciting for children and parents alike.