EL Support Lesson

Reading Pictures

In this lesson, students will practice "reading" pictures. They will look at the details in pictures in order to make predictions about what happens in a text. This lesson can be used alone or with the Predicting Pictures lesson plan.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Predicting Pictures lesson plan.
Grade Subject View aligned standards
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Predicting Pictures lesson plan.

Using pictures to support reading is one of the key early literacy concepts new readers learn. In this lesson plan, young learners will learn how “reading” pictures for details and clues can help them predict what might happen in a story. Geared toward first grade EL learners, this EL support lesson goes over words such as “picture,” “clue,” “explain,” and “prediction,” and walks children through the process of using pictures and vocabulary to discuss stories and make predictions.


Students will be able to use details in pictures to make predictions.


Students will be able to describe supporting details in a sentence level context using sentence frames as a support.

(10 minutes)
  • Show students the picture book that you selected, but don't tell them the title. Have students look closely at the picture on the cover of the book.
  • Ask students to share what they think the book might be about. Instruct students to look at the picture and point to/describe the things they see on the cover.
  • After hearing students' ideas, tell them the name of the book. Ask them if the name changes any of their thoughts about what the book is about.
(5 minutes)
  • Hand out the Vocabulary Cards to students. As you go over each word, have students locate the card for the word you are reviewing.
  • Tell students that in the introduction they made predictions. Predictions are what you think will happen. Making predictions helps us to pay attention to stories we listen to and stories we read.
  • We use pictures, or the drawings in books, to learn about what might happen in a story. Pictures give us clues, or ideas, about books.
  • When we make predictions, it's important to explain, or describe, why we think our predictions might be true. We can use picture clues to help us make our points.
(10 minutes)
  • Go back to one of the predictions that students shared in the introduction.
  • Tell students that we are going to back up our predictions using information from the pictures.
  • When we explain our predictions, we use words like because. For example, "I think this book will be about dogs because I see dogs on the cover."
  • Have students turn and talk to a partner to give evidence that supports a prediction from the introduction. Have students use the following sentence frame:
    • I think this book will be about ____ because ____.
  • You can write this sentence frame on the board to support students.
(10 minutes)
  • Hand out a book to each student. Have them look through the pictures in the book. As they go through the book, they can put sticky notes on pages that give key information about the text. They can also write words on their sticky notes to remember what the pictures show.
  • After going through the book, have students write down and complete the following sentence frame:
    • I think this book will be about ____ because ____."


  • Allow students to make predictions in English or their home language (L1).
  • Have students say their predictions orally.


  • Have students write multiple-sentence predictions.
  • Have students read their books to determine whether or not their predictions came true.
(2 minutes)
  • Ask students to answer the following questions with the corresponding sentence stems:
    • What are predictions?
      • "Predictions are ____."
    • How do pictures help us make predictions?
      • "Pictures help us make predictions by ____."
(3 minutes)
  • Call on pairs to volunteer to share their stories and predictions with the class.

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