The students of sixth grade can read and analyze information, make suggestions, and try thinking critically. Therefore, to develop reading skills and to make the reading process more efficient for the students of sixth grade, the good decision is to use so-called prediction strategy. Prediction reading strategy is an approach to reading that is based on the previous knowledge, skills, and experience of learners. Prediction is very popular and effective approach, thus there exists a certain amount of diverse strategies to be used within the process of reading.
In the current work, we will focus on one of the prediction reading strategies, the Directed Reading Thinking Activity (DRTA). This strategy is one of the most distributed ones, especially for teaching students of sixth grade.
During the procedure of the DRTA prediction strategy, the teacher selects the appropriate text to be used in class. It should be a short fiction story or fantasy story based on familiar fields of life. For our current lesson, we chose a small story How the Rose Got its Thorn from the resource of 6th-grade myth stories. This short story is about the time when roses had no thorns and suffered from caterpillars and other animals that ate them. Rose could only beg them to stop eating her.
Finally, the thorns from a turtle’s shell jumped onto the rose to defend her from insects. We chose this particular story because it was written by the student of 6th grade and is very close for children of this age.
On the first step, the teacher offers students to make their prediction about the selected story based only on its title. When all predictions are made, the teacher writes them down on the board. During the second step, the teacher reads first passage of the story and asks students if their prediction were right. Some predictions may be confirmed, some others – denied, and some may be changed. Then the second step repeats as the teacher reads every passage and discusses with students their predictions. After reading the whole story, students may see whose predictions were closest to the original. At the final, but very important, stage the teacher asks the students to justify their predictions. Those students who made wrong predictions analyze their mistakes. The students who made proper predictions compare the situation in the story with their own experience and find similarities between them.
The major advantages of the Directed Reading Thinking Activity prediction reading strategy are its ability to develop students’ decision-making process, their critical thinking and analyzing skills, and their ability to make proper conclusions. This strategy requires the learners to use their previous knowledge and experience to make suggestions and predictions about the determined text, to develop analytical and creative thinking while making and evaluating predictions, and as a result to activate their thinking ability.
1. Rosen, J. (1985). Guessing: Reading as Prediction. Innovative Learning Strategies.
2. How the rose got its thorns. Sixth Grade Myth Stories. http://www.madison.k12.wi.us/blackhawk/id39.htm#michael
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