Charles: Focusing on Literacy Skills [Predicting]

When reading a text, it is important to ask yourself questions.  One of the most important questions is WHAT do I think will HAPPEN NEXT?  This allows us to reframe the story, and READ for MEANING in a new CONTEXT.

Charles: A Focus on Literacy Skills

Charles is a short story written by Shirley Jackson in 1948.  A full copy of the text can be READ HERE.  This SERIES will focus on all TEN KEY LITERACY SKILLS.  The lessons are arranged in SEQUENTIAL ORDER which builds a strong foundation before moving on to the next skill.

This series is an excellent way to BEGIN your class’s semester, ensuring everyone has a strong understanding of BASIC LITERACY SKILLS before you gradually release responsibility, asking them to put those skills into practice.

Explore other SHORT STORY LITERACY SKILLS ASSIGNMENTS for more ways to instruct your students.






By predicting you form expectation about what will happen in your text.  Closely tied to inferring, predicting requires you to use prior knowledge and information from the text to form an opinion that will be PROVED EITHER CORRECT or INCORRECT throughout the course of your text.

Predictions in Our Lives

We encounter predictions every day.  The type we are most accustomed to is the WEATHER FORECAST.  The clothes you wear, the activities you plan, and type of transportation you arrange are almost always based on the PREDICTION of it will rain or be sunny; if it will be too hot, too cold, or just right; or if a huge storm might appear.

The Predictions that we Make

When we tell a lie, we PREDICT what the outcome of that lie will be.  When we play games we try to PREDICT the other players’ moves so that we can gain an advantage.  When we read we often PREDICT what will come next, so we can make sense of what is right in front of us.

Prediction is a powerful tool.

Making a Prediction

When you ANNOTATED your story, you make a MARGIN NOTE  explaining how you thought a character felt.  When you did that, you laid the groundwork for a prediction about their actions.  When we know how someone FEELS we often have great insight into how they ACT.

Use the example below to help you create a GRAPHIC ORGANIZER and PREDICITON on a SEPARATE SHEET of paper.

How the Character the Felt

What that Might Mean

Laurie’s parents were happy to hear about his day at school, ignoring the trouble he caused when he got home (5 – 6) They care more about him than they do his sister.
Laurie’s parents worried about how he was doing in Kindergarten because of the other students (31) They are concerned for his wellbeing, but not for the safety of the other students
Laurie’s parents waited until the Parents-Teacher meeting to express their concerns for his safety (84) They think that leaving him in that class is fine, even though there’s a violent student


I predict that Laurie’s parents will be unable to come to terms with the fact that their son in the problem child in the class.  Their willingness to overlook the negative behaviour Laurie displays at home and their concern for him, but not the other children who are being violently assaulted at school indicated that they only care about defending their son.  While Laurie’s parents expressed concern about his class, they didn’t care enough to remove him from a dangerous environment.  Because of these factors, I predict that because they are accustomed to some level of violence and cannot recognize the negative behaviour that happens in their own home, they will be unwilling to believe the teacher when she explains that Laurie is the disruptive influence.




What’s Next

You have now demonstrated an ability with almost all the KEY LITERACY SKILLS.  You have  also developed a very strong UNDERSTANDING of your text.  Now, it’s time to look towards additional sources that might offer INSIGHT.  By combining those sources with your text, you will create a new SYNTHESIS.



Charles – WhatBinderDotCom Literacy Skills – Predicting.PDF





Charles: Literacy Skills Series











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