Scenario 2: Using Clues from the Text to Predict
The 20 kindergarteners sit on the rug in the front of the room, excitedly waiting for their teacher to start her interactive read aloud. The students in Ms. Martinez’s class know this routine well and appreciate the conversations they have with one another and their teacher during the read aloud time. Ms. Martinez uncovers the book, which was sitting on the easel under a sheet of paper. “Ten Dogs in the Window” (Masurel, 1997) she says. “Let’s see, do we all remember our numbers? Let’s count the number of dogs in the window to see if we agree with the author. Are there really ten dogs in the window?” Together the students count as Ms. Martinez points to each dog. “Yes, ten dogs. I wonder why they are in that window. It’s a very nice window. Let’s see. I think they all belong to one family and they are waiting for their family to come home. What do you think? Why are they in the window? Angel?”
Angel responds, “My dog likes to wait in the window. I only got one dog.”
Ms. Martinez listens to Angel and says, “Maybe that’s what the author is going to tell us about – dogs waiting in the window for their people to come home. But room nine, we know that we’re not always right with our predictions the first time. Why else would those ten dogs be in the window? Creshena?”
Creshena looks up at her teacher and says, “They at the pound. That place, you know, where you could get a new dog.” Quefon raises his hand, “Maybe they be lookin’ for a new house; new people?” Ms. Martinez pauses and says, “Interesting. I just don’t know. We have some good predictions. Partner A, please tell your partner why you think those ten dogs are in the window.” At this point, the classroom fills with talk. Students are sharing predictions with one another.
Ms. Martinez says, “Okay room nine. Remember those predictions. Let’s see what the author has to tell us.” She then begins reading the book. Several pages into the book Ms. Martinez says, “So, the dogs are looking for new places to live. Did you notice how each person who picks out a dog looks like the dog he or she picks? Let’s look at this person – he’s wearing a red jacket and hat. He has a big moustache. Which dog do you predict he’ll want to take home?” The class agrees that the Scottish terrier will be picked next, and sure enough the students get it right. Ms. Martinez says, “Let’s look back at that page. How did you know? What clues did the author or illustrator give you that this man might pick this dog? Talk with your partners.” Around the room, children talk about the look of the dog, the look of the man, the fact that both have “whiskers” on their face, and that in the illustration, the dog is one of two dogs looking toward the man. Ms. Martinez continues reading the book allowing students to predict which person will adopt which dog. Each time they do so, she flips back a page and asks students how they made their predictions.