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Lesson Plan

The Wonder of Leo Lionni: Increasing Comprehension with Prediction Statements

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The Wonder of Leo Lionni: Increasing Comprehension with Prediction Statements

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Vanessa Udry

Tolono, Illinois


National Council of Teachers of English



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From Theory to Practice



This lesson focuses on the strategy of "wonder" statements, asking students to stop, think, and write about what may be happening in the text as they read a story. This strategy helps students think about what they are reading and helps increase reading comprehension.

First the teacher reads a Leo Lionni book aloud, pausing periodically to wonder what might happen next in the story and writing these wonder statements on the board. Next, the teacher reads another Lionni book aloud, again pausing periodically for students to record their own wonder statements on a handout. Finally, students work in small groups to read another Lionni book, recording wonder statements in a stapleless book that they later share with the class. This lesson can also be used during guided reading centers, while the rest of the class is participating in other Leo Lionni activities, such as those suggested in the Extensions section.

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Stop and Wonder Bookmarks: These printable bookmarks are good prompts for students doing independent or small group reading to pause for a wonder statement.

"I Wonder" Worksheet: Students can use this handout to write and draw wonder statements as they listen to a book read aloud.

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Strategies that help students stop and think while reading can increase student understanding and comprehension. When we ask students to focus on this kind of thinking consciously, they engage in metacognition, or "thinking about thinking," which has been relates directly to reading comprehension. Michelle Kelley and Nicki Clausen-Grace write: "Diehl (2005) suggests that metacognition is the key to thoughtful, active reading because metacognitive readers glean a richer understanding from texts by purposefully applying strategies when needed." Strategies that can help increase metacognition include explicit instruction, modeling, interaction, increased student control, guided practice, and systematic feedback. This lesson uses these strategies by having students make prediction statements.

Further Reading

Kelley, Michelle and Nicki Clausen-Grace. "Ensuring Transfer of Strategies by Using a Metacognitive Teaching Framework." Voices from the Middle 15.4 (May 2008): 23-31


Collins, Vicki L, Dickson, Shirley V, Simmons, Deborah C., and Kameenue, Edward. "Metacognition and Its Relation to Reading Comprehension: A Synthesis of the Research." NCITE Research Synthesis. 1996. University of Oregon. Web. 22 April 2006.

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