Picture Books for Making Predictions When Reading

Picture Books for Making Predictions When Reading

Explore these great picture books for making predictions with your students. Making predictions helps your students engage with books they are reading, and connect to their own experiences and knowledge.

Picture Books for Making Predictions When Reading

Prediction and inferring are interlinked comprehension strategies. Continued reading will confirm most predictions or not. Whereas, an inference is not always confirmed with further reading. Explore books for teaching inference.

Why Use Picture Books for Making Predictions?

Prediction needs the reader to identify clues, evidence and, along with their own knowledge, to form valid predictions. It takes practice, as it involves thinking ahead of what may happen before revising ideas.

Prediction can be a little scary for some students. They may worry about getting it ‘wrong’. Picture books should help with this, particularly wordless ones. They give the opportunity to use facts, reasoning, and illustrations to make predictions. The shorter format means students can remember more of what has happened.

Skills needed for prediction include recalling information, rereading, asking questions, inferring, and drawing conclusions. They develop a reader’s comprehension skills, helping them make an educated guess of what will happen next.

Questions to Use With Books for Making Predictions

This is a list of questions and prompts to use in the classroom.

  • I think/wonder/suppose/guess
  • I think [character] will [guess] because
  • Since [event] happened, I think [guess] will happen.
  • What will [character] do next? Why do you think this?
  • Where will [character] go? Why?
  • Why is [character] ….? How do you know?
  • Why do you think [character] …?
  • Will this [event or action] influence what happens in the story?
  • When did the situation/event happen? How do you know?
  • How do you think [character] feels about the situation/event?
  • Why was {event/object] important to [character]?
  • Why do you think [character] feels …? What are the clues?
  • Why did [character] say …?
  • What made [character] behave/react in that way?
  • What is [character] thinking about?
  • Why doesn’t [character] …?
  • Why did the author …?
  • Who do you think …?
  • What is happening now?
  • What do you think will happen next?

FREE Inference and Prediction Activities

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Picture Books to Teach Prediction

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat

Beekle longs for a child to imagine him and give him a special name. His wish comes true when his special friend Alice imagines him. Promotes a sense of belonging, friendship and perseverance.

Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman

Grace's love of reading and role-play motivates her to audition for the role of Peter Pan in the school play. The other children tell her she can't play a boys part. Her mama and Nana tell her she can be anything she wants, helping her find the confidence to audition and win the role of Peter Pan. Promotes determination, self-esteem, enthusiasm, tolerance, and gender roles.

The Black Rabbit by Philippa Leather

A fearful rabbit doesn’t understand why a big, scary rabbit is always chasing him. It is only when the rabbit runs into a dark wood that the sinister rabbit disappears only to spot some glowing eyes concealed in the trees. Will Rabbit overcome his fears?

Chalk by Bill Thomson

Three children use their imagination to create real-life objects after finding magic chalk. This wordless picture book promotes creativity, friendship, responsible decision-making, creative thinking, problem-solving and retelling.

Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin

Farmer Brown’s cows type him a letter demanding electric blankets. They go on strike when he refuses their demands. Duck takes an ultimatum from Farmer Brown to the cows and they agree to exchange the typewriter for the blankets. But, the next day Farmer Brown gets a note from the ducks demanding a diving board for their pond! Read to discuss communication, persuasion, activism, knowledge, problem & solution, fairness, and resourcefulness.

The Day of Ahmed's Secret by Florence Parry Heide

Ahmed lives in bustling Cairo and he has a secret, but before he can share it he travels through the city with his donkey and cart selling fuel. After a long, busy day he proudly shows his family how he can now write his own name. Use to discuss hard work while overcoming adversity.

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

Duncan’s crayons have quit. They leave letters expressing their grievances and requesting a change in their working conditions. Reinforces themes of communication, creativity, self-awareness, relationship skills and perspective.

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems

Just as a bus driver takes a break a pigeon begs the reader to let him drive the abandoned bus. He uses every persuasive trick he has to pressurise the reader into his demands. Use to teach first-person narration, persuasion, point of view and peer pressure.

Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis

Insects surround a new, green shoot and ask “Du iz tak?” They use a ‘ribble’ to climb the stalk and build homes on its branches. The shoot grows into a beautiful flower, but as the seasons change it wilts and the insects say goodbye to their home. Promotes communication, a sense of community, vocabulary and inference.

Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big by Berkeley Breathed

Edwurd Fudwpper's humongous fib gets him into trouble with the military, a dogcatcher and a three-eyed alien. It takes his little sister, Fannie Fudwupper to rescue him. This rhyming book promotes honesty and responsibility.

Elmer by David McKee

There was once a herd of elephants, all the same colour, except for Elmer who stood out from the herd. He changes his colour to fit in but discovers he enjoys being different. The other elephants accept Elmer for who he is and realise it is okay to be different. Promotes a sense of identity, self-awareness, acceptance and open-mindedness.

Enemy Pie by Derek Munson

A boy’s life changes for the worse when Jeremy Ross moves to town. He is Jeremy’s enemy. Dad’s advice is to make an enemy pie, but it will only work if he spends the whole day with his enemy. They end up having so much fun the boy doesn’t need the pie. Use to discuss kindness, conflict resolution, bullying, and problem-solving.

Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett

Annabelle finds a box of colourful yarn which never runs out no matter how much she knits. When an evil archduke steals the yarn its magic no longer works. When the yarn finds its way back to Annabelle and the magic continues. Promotes determination, integrity, perseverance, respect and being a risk-taker.

Float by Daniel Miyares

In this wordless book, a little boy takes his boat made out of newspaper out into the rain. He places the boat in the gutter stream and the boat sails away on an adventure. He runs to keep up with the boat and finds himself on a wonderful adventure.

Flood by Alvaro F. Villa

A wordless book about surviving a natural disaster. A family rides out an on-coming storm, but flee when it gets too bad. The returning family find their home in ruins, which they decide to rebuild.

Heckedy Peg by Audrey Wood

A loving mother saves her seven children (names after the days of the week) from an evil witch. The witch, Heckedy Peg, turns the children into food and takes them to her home, a cave. The mother tricks the witch into giving her the children back. Promotes discussions on caring, disobedience, creative thinking, and prediction.

Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine

Henry Brown, a slave, overcomes many challenges, including being torn from his family who were sold as slaves. Working at a warehouse he comes up with the idea of achieving his dream of freedom by mailing himself to the North. Reinforces themes of freedom, overcoming adversity and resilience.

How to Heal a Broken Wing by Bob Graham

Everyone walks past a wounded pigeon on the pavement. A compassionate boy takes the pigeon home to care for, with the help of his parents. Promotes compassion and social awareness.

Journey by Aaron Becker

A lonely girl escapes into a mysterious world and witnesses an evil emperor capture a majestic bird. With courage, the girl outsmarts the emperor's army to set the bird free. Journey is a wordless picture book that promotes confidence, perseverance, problem-solving, risk-taking and creative thinking.

The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors by Drew Daywalt

ROCK, a fearsome warrior, goes in search of a worthy opponent to battle. When he collides with SCISSORS and PAPER a battle for superiority begins and introduces us to the legend of Rock, Paper, and Scissors. Use to teach character traits and prediction.

Marshall Armstrong is New to Our School by David Mackintosh

Quirky Marshall Armstrong doesn't fit in at his new school. But he soon shows the other students you don't have to follow the crowd to be popular. Promotes individuality, self-awareness, relationship skills and open-mindedness.

The Napping House by Audrey Wood

Entering the napping house we see grandma, a child, a dog, the pet cat and a mouse all asleep on a bed. That is until a wakeful flea bites the mouse and starts a chain reaction that wakes everyone up. Use to teach cause and effect, recurrent patterns and sequencing.

The Rain Came Down by David Shannon

The rain came down and causes total chaos in a small neighbourhood. All goes back to normal when the sun returns. A great picture book to show cause and effect in action.

The Royal Bee by Frances and Ginger Park

Based on the childhood of the author’s Korean grandfather. Young Song-ho’s poverty prevents him from attending school. Eager to learn, he listens to lessons at a local school. Discovered by a teacher who sees his potential, he is invited to attend the school. Use to teach inference, determination, courage, and prediction.

The Sandwich Swap by Kelly DiPucchio

Best friends, Lily and Salma do everything together but disagree when they don’t understand each other's cultural lunch choices. When they taste each other's food, they realise friendship is more important than their differences.

Stephanie’s Ponytail by Robert Munsch

When everyone copies Stephanie’s unique ponytail she decides to make more and more outrageous styles. Everyone questions her decisions but she is determined to her herself. Promotes self-esteem, individuality, self-awareness and peer pressure.

This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

A small fish wearing a hat admits “this is not my hat”. He stole it from a big fish. A fish who is soon on the hunt for his hat and the dishonest fish. The fish, sure it will get away with the crime, is unaware that the big fish is searching for his hat. The last we hear of the little fish is him swimming into the reeds with the big fish following behind. Promotes honesty, integrity, conflict and responsible decision-making.

Tuesday by David Wiesner

It’s Tuesday and everything is normal. Suddenly, frogs levitate on their lily pads and travel towards a nearby town. They fly around the neighbourhood to the surprise of its residents who wake up wondering what happened. Use this wordless book to teach inference, questioning, and prediction.

Two Bad Ants by Chris Van Allsburg

Two ants leave the safety of their colony and venture into the unknown dangers of a kitchen to find delicious sugar crystals. The lucky ants escape an assortment of dangers to return home with the tasty crystals. Use to teach inference, prediction, problem & solution, and different perspectives.

Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad by Henry Cole

A girl is frightened when she discovers a slave hiding in a barn. Her compassion takes over when she saw the fear in their eyes and she cares for them even when slave hunters come looking for the escaped slave. She is rewarded with a doll as a token of gratitude. Use this wordless story promotes themes of black history, courage, compassion, inference, prediction and asking questions.

Window by Marion Arbona

On her way home, a young girl imagines what is happening behind different windows. There is a clue in each window for the reader to guess what is going on. When the girl returns to her own room, we see the inspiration for her vivid imagination. A wordless book to teach prediction, visualization, and inference.

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Picture Books for Making Predictions When Reading

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