Lesson plan

Look for the Clues

What the character will do next? Designed to teach students the skill of predicting characters’ actions, this lesson guides students to use clues and evidence from the text to make their predictions. Let’s follow those clues!
Need extra help for EL students? Try theVerbs that Show Character ActionPre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
GradeSubjectView aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try theVerbs that Show Character ActionPre-lesson.
  • Students will be able to predict characters’ actions using clues and evidence from the text.
The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(10 minutes)
Follow the Clues Predict Your Own Ending
  • Distribute index cards or half-sheets of notebook paper.
  • Ask the students to complete a quick write in which they write about a character who is preparing to go to a specific location. Tell the students not to name the location. As needed, give an example. Give the students five minutes to write.
  • When students have finished, collect all of the index cards and mix them up. Distribute one to each student.
  • Challenge the students to read their card and try to name the place where their character is going.
  • Invite students to read their card and share their thinking, including their rationale for naming a particular place.
  • Tell the students that when we make a prediction, or predict, we use clues or evidence in the story to tell what we think will happen next. (For this lesson, the focus will be on predicting characters’ actions, such as going to a particular place.)
(10 minutes)
  • Read the first part of Sylvester and the Magic PebbleOr other text of choice.
  • Think aloud and model the process of finding clues and evidence within the text.
  • Demonstrate the process of using the clues to make a prediction. Make sure that the students see a connection between the clues and the prediction.
(10 minutes)
  • Use the book excerpt of choice or the following text, written on chart paper: “One day Harriet decided to go to the park. She loved nature and she also loved using her new camera to take pictures. When she arrived at the park there weren’t many people there. She quickly spotted some squirrels and even a few deer running through the woods!”
  • Guide the students through the process of locating clues and evidence within the text that will help predict Harriet’s next actions. As you question the students, underline these key words and phrases with a colored marker.
  • Lead the students in making a prediction, asking students to turn to their partner and share predictions, including any evidence they used to make their predictions.
  • Encourage student responses in a class discussion and write students’ ideas at the bottom of the chart paper.
(15 minutes)
  • Ask the students to complete Follow the Clues worksheet in which they use the text to locate clues from the text and then write a prediction.


  • Challenge students to use library books or levelled texts to list evidence and make predictions about parts of the book that they have not read.
  • Lead the students in more advanced predictions that may include predicting a character’s emotional responses or reactions.


  • Provide one or more clues on the Follow the Clues worksheet.
  • Provide text that has been underlined and marked for the student. Direct student’s attention to the clues and guide the student in making a prediction.
  • Use pictorial support and guide the students in making predictions using pictures that show a sequence of events.
  • Ask the students to create a paper slide video using a sequence of drawings. Ask students to narrate the story and then have a classmate predict what will happen next in the story.
  • Utilize Google slides or drawings and invite students to create their own stories, narrate them, and ask classmates to make predictions using their stories.
(10 minutes)
  • Distribute the Predict Your Own Ending worksheet and have the students write clues from the text that lead to a prediction about the end of the text.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask students to turn and talk to their neighbour about the best ways to make a prediction in a story. Invite several students to share their thinking.
  • As needed, remind students to use clues and evidence from the story to make future predictions.

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