A big element of reading comprehension is based on prediction—if students can make good predictions about a text, (whether these predictions come true or not) they are able to have a deeper understanding of and connection with the text.
This pre-reading strategy, ‘Mystery Items,’ focuses specific attention on prediction. To start, the teacher will select several objects and have the students simply write down predictions about the objects’ potential significance in the story before reading.
Following this, the students will create a ‘Prediction/Confirmation Chart’ which will have predictions on the left side, and confirmations on the right side. During and after reading, the students will fill in this chart. Because they have previously made predictions, and connections to the text through these predictions, they will be reading more carefully and thus have a greater understanding of what is happening in the story.