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.

Prediction and Inference

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 inference here.

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?

Picture Books to Teach Prediction

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat

Beekle, an unimaginary friend, yearns for a child to imagine him into existence and give him a special name. His patience is rewarded when Alice imagines him into her world. 

The Adventures of Beekle explores longing, perseverance, and the joy of finding a sense of belonging. It highlights the importance of friendship and the powerful bonds formed through shared imagination.

Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman

Amazing Grace is about a book-loving young girl who dreams big and defies gender roles. Despite being told she can't play Peter Pan in the school play because she's a girl, Grace, backed by her mama and Nana's unwavering support, auditions and wins the role, breaking stereotypes.

The story of Grace encourages discussions on self-esteem, adaptability, determination, fairness, gender roles, and the significance of making personal connections.

The Black Rabbit by Philippa Leather

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

Chalk by Bill Thomson

Three friends find a bag of magical chalk at the park on a rainy day – whatever they draw becomes real. A sun clears clouds, butterflies fly, and dinosaurs leap from the 2D realm. When a child's drawn dinosaur chases them, they must creatively resolve the problem.

Chalk promotes creativity, problem-solving, and the power of imagination. It offers a lesson about responsibility and consequences, teaching children that every action can have effects they must deal with.

Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin

When Farmer Brown's cows stumble upon a typewriter, they start typing letters demanding electric blankets. Things escalate quickly as the cows strike, and Duck is the mediator. But the peace doesn't last long when the ducks have their own demands!

Click, Clack, Moo story promotes dialogue about fair negotiations' importance, communication's power, and the essence of compromise.

The Day of Ahmed's Secret by Florence Parry Heide

Ahmed travels Cairo's crowded streets, selling fuel to support his family while carrying a secret—a testament to his perseverance. At day's end, he reveals his accomplishment to his family: he's learned to write his name. 

The Day of Ahmed's Secret opens dialogues about perseverance, hard work, the value of education, and self-improvement amidst challenges.

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

A box of crayons have decided to quit their jobs. Each crayon leaves a letter for Duncan, their owner, explaining their grievances and requests for improved working conditions.

The Day the Crayons Quit sparks communication, relationship skills, and perspective-taking discussions. It explores feelings, having a voice, and understanding and responding to the needs and wants of others.

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 to pressure 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

When Jeremy Ross moves to town, a boy’s life changes for the worse. He is Jeremy’s enemy. Dad advises making 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 magical yarn that never runs out. Through her knitting, she transforms her drab, monochrome town into a vibrant, colourful place.

Extra Yarn prompts discussions on creativity, transformation, and the power of small actions to bring about significant change. Annabelle's story reminds us that we can make the world a brighter and more welcoming place with a little imagination and the right tools.

Fossil by Bill Thomson

A young boy and his dog stumble upon a fossil which springs to life when touched! Energized by this extraordinary discovery, the boy excitedly cracks open more rocks, revealing more living fossils. But the excitement quickly turns into terror when he discovers a pterodactyl, which swoops down and flies off with his dog. 

Fossil encourages discussions on curiosity, discovery, the unexpected consequences of our actions and problem and solution. 

Heckedy Peg by Audrey Wood

A wicked witch, Heckedy Peg, transforms seven children into food items and spirits them away to her cave. But their mother's quick thinking and cunning outwits the witch, leading to a triumphant reunion with her children.

Heckedy Peg provides a platform for discussions on the consequences of disobedience, the power of creative thinking, and the art of prediction.

Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine

In Henry’s Freedom Box, author Ellen Levine takes us on a journey of courage, resilience, and creative thinking. Through his incredible determination, resilience and problem-solving, Henry finds a way to escape slavery by mailing himself to the North. 

This book is a reminder of the importance of freedom and the strength of the human spirit in overcoming adversity.

Journey by Aaron Becker

A lonely girl discovers a magic red marker and creates a door that transports her into an enchanting world filled with wondrous landscapes and adventure. She witnesses an evil emperor capture a majestic bird. She outsmarts the emperor's army with bravery and resourcefulness to free the bird.

The girl's journey inspires courage in facing challenges, persistence in pursuing goals, and thinking outside the box to overcome obstacles.

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

Marshall Armstrong, a quirky and unique character, doesn't quite fit in at his new school. He teaches his new classmates the importance of embracing individuality and finding common ground with others, regardless of our differences.

Marshall Armstrong is New to Our School fosters discussions on individuality and self-awareness, cultivating open-mindedness and accepting others for who they are, developing relationship skills and empathy, and encouraging self-reflection.

The Napping House by Audrey Wood

Grandma, a child, a dog, a cat, and a mouse are all napping together on a cosy bed. However, everything changes when a wakeful flea bites the mouse.

The Napping House is a cumulative tale that teaches children about cause and effect, as each event in the story directly leads to the subsequent event.