An important skill for students to develop as they read is learning how to make predictions. One way I like to practice this is through children’s literature. A perfect book for making predictions is It Could Have Been Worse by A. H. Benjamin. The book is about a mouse on his way home from visiting his town cousin. Mouse runs into all kinds of difficulty as he heads home – slipping, sliding, landing in thorns, . . . After each little episode, Mouse laments that his day isn’t going well at all. However, there is much more going on in the background that Mouse doesn’t know about. As it turns out, several creatures come very close to having Mouse for lunch. Because of Mouse’s “terrible” day, he manages to escape the dangers around him!
I start by reading the first few pages of the book. The students listen as Mouse loses his balance, falls to the ground, and declares, “This isn’t my lucky day.” In the background, the children can see that Cat is just about to pounce on Mouse but misses him as the mouse falls. Cat ends up in a bed of thorns as the narrative reads, “But it could have been worse!” I read the next page but stop before finding out what will happen to Mouse this time.
We talk about what a prediction is and how to use picture clues to help decide what will happen next. Then I tell the students that they will write down their prediction in the Book Creator app and will illustrate that using Drawing Pad. (Book Creator has a drawing feature within the app that is easy to use. For this activity I wanted the teachers to see an app-smashing example that they could use within their own classroom.)
Writing a prediction in the Book Creator app
The prediction activity took about two 40 minute sessions. Part of the time was spent introducing the drawing features in the Drawing Pad app and showing how to develop their page in Book Creator (add illustration, write sentence, record narration) – the next time the teachers (or I) use the apps, the students will be able to work more independently.
Illustrating their predictions using the Drawing Pad app
As students finished recording, they came to me for guidance in emailing their Book Creator page to me. The pages are then compiled into class books for students to read on their iOS devices. In addition, I also exported the book as a video to offer another way to view the books.
Here are the apps we used:
App Smashing with First Graders
Links to the ePub Books and the videos:
- What will happen to Mouse and Snake? Mrs. Hutchinson’s Class ePub Book and Video
- What will happen to Mouse and Fox? Mrs. Kee’s Class ePub Book and Video
- What will happen to Mouse and Fish? Mrs. Orehek’s Class ePub Book and Video
Directions to download books to your iOS device (iPad, iPhone, etc):
- You will need the iBooks app (free) installed on your iOS device.
- Click on the book link above (while on your iOS device).
- Tap on the download button.
- Choose Open in . . . and then choose Open in iBooks
- The book is now in iBooks on your iOS device.