Predict the Story

Students get a list of novel titles. They take guesses about the genre, characters, and plot.

Learner Level: Intermediate +
Language focus: Guessing, predicting
Skills: Reading, Speaking, Listening
Time: 10-20 minutes
Materials: List of about 10 novel titles that your students wonʼt know
Grouping: Pairs
Preparation: Print off a list of Novel titles from the Internet, such as Amazon.comʼs ABNA 50 semifinalists

Teacher Instructions:

1. Write these verbs on the board: “bet, think, doubt, assume, wonder if, guess”
2. Place students in pairs.
3. Hand out a list of fiction titles.
4. Have students guess what the book is about. They can discuss the genre, characters, plot, ending. They should try to use the verbs on the board in their discussion.
5. Call the class back together. Choose a few titles and have students discuss their different ideas about the genre, content, characters, etc.
6. Ask other questions, such as “Who thought of the best story?” or “Which would be the best book and why?

For Example:

Student A: Okay, “The Third Sister” by Keith Fentonmiller. I bet that’s a crime novel.
Student B: Really? I think it sounds like women’s literature.
Student A: But the author is a man.
Student B: Oh, yeah. Maybe you’re right. I wonder if the third sister is murdered.
Student A: I bet the third sister saves the second sister’s life.
Student B: That’s already a book. I think the third sister is illegitimate.
Student A: What does that mean?
Student B: She has a different father, but nobody knows until later in the book. He wins a million dollars and then comes
back for her.
Student A: I’d read that book.

Teacher 2 Teacher:

For homework, invite your students to do some research about one of the titles. Can they find the authorʼs website? Did they guess the right genre? What about the plot? Were they way off with their predictions or did the title give away the plot?

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