This activity asks learners to make predictions and ask questions about a book before they jump into reading it. It can be utilized to introduce learners to any new book, whether a work of literature or a resource book. Spending some time viewing the cover and previewing the content of a book is an effective way to spark learners’ interest and provide learners with the context that will help them engage with the material.
- Learners Study the Cover: Ask learners to examine the cover of their book. In their journals, they can record connections that come to mind either from the words in the title or the cover illustration. Based on the information on the cover, learners can discuss in pairs or groups what they believe the book may be about. Learners can also list questions that arise for them after they view the cover. Prompts for this step may include: What comes to mind when you see the book’s cover? What does this reveal about the book?
- Learners Open the Book: Allow learners five to ten minutes to flip through the interior of the book, recording notes about what they find. You may want to highlight specific features, such as the table of contents or index, or you may wait to see what learners first discover on their own. Prompts for this step include: What did you notice inside the book? How is it organized? What words or concepts stand out the most? What does your inquiry reveal to you about the book? Based on what you see, what questions do you have?
- Share Predictions and Questions: Provide learners with the opportunity to share their predictions with a small group or as a whole class. You can create a list of questions about the book and post this on the wall. As learners read the content, they can try to answer these questions. This discussion time gives an opportunity for you to bring up aspects of the book that learners may not have noticed. For instance, you may call attention to a glossary or information about the author. Or you may spend more time exploring the titles of chapters to get a feeling for what will be covered in the book.
- Introducing the resource book: Here are some specific prompts that can be used when adding a resource book.
- Why do you believe we call this a “resource book” as opposed to a “textbook”?
- Describe the image on the cover. What does the cover mean to you? Why do you believe this image was chosen as the cover for this book?
- What do you think the title means?
- What are “connection questions”? What is implied by the label “connection”?
- What chapter titles stand out to you the most? Why?