Above Image: A boy next to a growth chart with a watering pail © BrianAJackson, iStockphoto.com
What is it?
An I Predict…Chart learning strategy is used to assist students in developing the skill of predicting about events and phenomena that they explore through observation and investigation.
Why use it?
- To provide students the opportunity to make predictions in order to learn events and phenomena in the natural and human-made environments.
- To have students activate their prior knowledge and conceptions related objects, events and phenomena.
- To help students understand that a prediction through is not simply a guess, but rather is based on prior knowledge and research investigations.
How do I use it?
- Before using this strategy, introduce its purpose to the students and provide a structured example to teach and model expected behaviours.
- Provide students with a question about what might happen in the future (e.g., Do you think it will rain this afternoon? What do you think will happen if we don’t give our plants enough water?, etc.) Alternatively, with the students, identify a question of interest about something that might occur in the future as part of an inquiry or investigation.
- Ask students to activate their prior knowledge and think about what they already know about what might happen.
- Ask students to make predictions about what might happen as part of an inquiry or investigation and use the I Predict…Chart to record the students’ predictions.
- Encourage students to justify their predictions by having them frame their predictions in the form “I think … because…” or “I predict … because…”
- Provide students with the opportunity to refine their predictions based upon others’ predictions.
- After the inquiry or investigation, encourage students to revisit their predictions and reflect on what they now know and how it might impact future predictions about similar things.
Tips for success
- Ensure students are provided with their own quiet think time to come up with their predictions.
- In small or large groups, ensure each student has the opportunity to share and justify his/her prediction.
- When having students work in partners, use the Think/Pair/Share learning strategy to ensure each partner has the opportunity to share his/her predictions.
- Students can record their predictions orally using a recording device.
- Students can make sketches to represent their predictions.
- Each student can be given a sticky note on which to record his/her prediction and rationale and then can they can attach the sticky notes to the I Predict…Chart.
- The I Predict… chart can be used as a group placemat where students simultaneously record their predictions about inquiries and investigations and then come to consensus about the predictions and justification for their predictions.
- Provide students with the opportunity to make predictions using the I Predict…Chart based on questions of their own choosing.
- Discuss with students how predictions can be formulated into hypothesises which can be testable and falsifiable. To help teach students this science process skill, go to Processes of Science and read the Developing a Hypothesis section.
I Predict Chart - Template
I Predict - Template - Placemat
I Predict Chart - What do tomato seeds need to grow?