Comprehension of a text is crucial for the adequate perception of the text by students. They should develop reading skills and abilities to ensure the comprehension of texts which meet their level of education and development. At the same time, in order to develop reading skills and abilities it is important to implement appropriate strategies which can not only facilitate reading process but also teach students effective reading strategies which can help them to understand better the text they read. In this respect, prediction strategies are particularly important because they make students conscious of the importance of messages and details the text may contain. In addition, prediction strategies can develop not only reading skills but also analytical and creative thinking of students.
On analyzing a variety of prediction strategies, it is possible to dwell upon the directed reading-thinking activity, which is an effective prediction reading strategy. In fact, the directed reading-thinking activity implies that a teacher guides students in making predictions about a text, and then reading to confirm or to refute their predictions. This strategy can be applied when the text or book is just started to be read by students as well as in the process of reading and working on the text, when students have already read a part of the text or book. Specialists point out that this strategy encourages students to be active and thoughtful readers, enhancing their comprehension.
Basically, this strategy can be applied in different classrooms with students at different stages of their reading proficiency. At the same time, this strategy can be effectively applied in a six-grade class since students have already developed their basic reading skills and they can think logically and creatively. In addition, at this stage, students can use the text they have read or basic information they have about the text, such as the title, chapter titles, pictures, etc., to make their predictions about the continuation of the text or book. In such a way, this strategy is appropriate to students’ current reading skills and abilities and, simultaneously, it is challenging enough to develop their creative thinking and stimulate their thoughtful reading because they will not only read attentively the text but they will also make predictions related to the part of the text or some elements of the text which give insights to the entire story.
On implementing the directed reading-thinking activity, it is necessary to start with introduction. At this stage, a teacher should help students to summon up all the information they get about the text, what they have already read, main facts, events, characters, etc. on summarizing the main information, students will come prepared to prediction activities proper because this information will lay the foundation to their predictions. After that, students make their predictions, using facts and information they get. At the third stage, students start reading the text, for instance, chapters on which they have made their predictions, and prove or modify their predictions. For instance, as they read each next chapter they either prove their predictions, if they are correct, or modify them on the basis of new facts that have learnt from the chapter. Finally, students reflect on reading and their predictions, explaining what they found in the text that proved their predictions or what made them modify their predictions.