Ideas & Strategies - Generating and Testing Hypotheses

Inquiry Chart: From the inquiry method of science. Students generate what they know (or think they know) about a topic and questions that they would like to answer through study of the topic. The chart is reviewed and updated throughout the unit of study.

Exploration Report: From Project GLAD, this chart helps students to observe, create questions, and develop hypotheses on any topic of study.

Cognitive Content Dictionary: Strategy from Project GLAD that helps students make predictions about word meanings and develop strategies for vocabulary study.

Graphic Organizer for Generating Hypotheses: From Hill & Flynn.

From the SIOP Model -

  • Stop That Video

"Stop that Video" is a strategy adapted from "99 Ideas and Activities for Teaching English Language Learners with the SIOP Model", by MaryEllen Vogt and Jana Echevarria.

The idea is that as students watch a video, the teacher will stop playback at key moments in the video to maximize comprehension. During the stoppage, students can reflect on the section that they just viewed, as well as make predictions about what they think could happen next. (Students could also be asked to predict what they expect the video to be about before the film begins). English learners particularly benefit from note-taking sheets that outline key points or questions to be answered in the video. Once students process information independently, they can share and clarify the information with a partner. This strategy allows the teacher to check for understanding throughout the course of the video and address any misconceptions. If a student chooses to process the information with another student in their primary language, their comprehension will most likely be enhanced.

(click the above link for printable slides for the classroom)

Squeepers is a strategy based on building a framework for students which "reinforces the major metacognitive strategies that highly proficient readers use" (pg. 71).

Students follow the sequence of -

  1. Survey
  2. Question
  3. Predict
  4. Read
  5. Respond
  6. Summarize

Graphic Organizer for "SQUEEPERS"

  • Picture Walk -

In picture walk, students walk around the room looking at posters with images and text that give clues to the text they will be reading that day. Students would look at the images and with post-its or notes, make predictions, ask questions, or make comments about specific observations.

After reviewing the text, students come back to their comments, questions and predictions, and make sure all have been addressed.

  • Backwards Book Walk -

In "Backwards Book Walk", students begin by reading the conclusion of a non-fiction piece of writing. From there, students make predictions about what they think they will learn about in the reading.

Students continue to read the text backwards, skimming the material for key vocabulary and for context clues in the images. As more information is collected, students can reflect and adjust their predictions. When students get to the beginning of the selected text, they share with a partner the main ideas and share out to the class.

This strategy gives students an additional method for "pre-reading" and puts a new spin on previewing text.

From the eMINTS National Center

First Lines is a pre-reading comprehension strategy in which students read the beginning sentences from a book and then make predictions about that book. This technique helps students focus their attention on what they can tell from the first lines of a story, play, poem, or other text. As students read the text in its entirety they discuss, revisit and/or revise their original predictions.

An anticipation guide is a comprehension strategy that is used before reading to activate students' prior knowledge and build curiosity about a new topic. Before reading, students listen to or read several statements about key concepts presented in the text; they're often structured as a series of statements with which the students can choose to agree or disagree. Anticipation guides stimulate students' interest in a topic and set a purpose for reading.


Watch video of teachers using prediction strategies in their classroom here.

  • Directed Reading and Thinking Activity (DR-TA)

The purpose of DR-TA is to foster critical awareness by moving students through a process that involves prediction, verification, judgment, and ultimately extension of thought. First allow students to skim the text and make some predictions about the text. Then review the title asking students for a prediction and explanation, continue through headings, graphs, maps, and quotes to activate schema and provide an orientation to the text. Have students take notes or use post-it notes to mark their predictions.

Use questions such as:

What do you think a text with this title might be about?

What do you expect will happen?

Could it happen in any other way?

Which predictions do you agree or disagree with and why?

After students have previewed the text and made predictions, have them read the text (whole group, small groups, partners, or individually) finding information, examples, or evidence in the text that verifies or refutes their predictions.

Have students read sections of the text and stop as directed so the teacher can interact with them about the predictions, important information to take note of, etc., in order to model the behavior of good reading.

  • Heading Into Questions

The objective of Heading Into Questions is to give students a purpose for reading. As a teacher delivers a lesson, it is crucial to keep in mind that students need a purpose so that they may see the path they are to follow while reading. The students look at the bold headings in the reading to predict the types of questions that may be asked in reference to the information in the text. Initially the activity should be done with the whole class, so that the students may have the strategy properly modeled. Using the text copied on transparencies, the teacher models how to turn the headings of a chapter into questions by adding questioning words (who, what, where, when, why, how). These questions become the focus and purpose of the reading. Students use the questions to monitor their comprehension throughout that section of the text. After they receive frequent opportunities for guided practice, students can create Heading Into Questions individually, in partners, or in small groups. No matter how students are grouped they can split up the task, turn each heading into a question, write the questions, and then present the questions to the class. The questions can be written on chart paper and the answers filled in during the lesson delivery.