Observations & Predictions


The lesson introduces to observations and predictions.  However, the lesson also helps students become aware of making inferences, which are often confused with observations.  The more hands-on activities, the more likely the students will be able to understand the differences between observations, predictions, and inferences.  Most students make one or more observation, prediction, or inference each day, but may not realize there are differences between each.

Observations & Predictions Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about Observations & Predictions
  • Hands-on homework activities giving students practice on Observations & Predictions
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 1-4 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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The lesson begins by defining observation and describing the difference between the two types, quality and quantity.  The lesson also notes that observations are not the same as inferences, and gives students strategies for understanding the two terms separately.  Most students make one or more observations, predictions, or inferences each day, but may not realize there are differences between each.  It is suggested that several hands-on activities are used to help your students understand the differences between observations, predictions, and inferences.

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction: 

  1. Display a basketball or other ball that can be bounced. Ask students an observation question:  What do you see?  An inference question:  Where did this ball come from?  A prediction question:  What will I do with the ball?
  2. Allow for responses and list them in three columns. Ask students if they notice anything different about each of the responses in the three columns.  Introduce the difference between an observation, inference, and prediction.
  3. Distribute Observations and Predictions content pages. Read and review the information with the students.  Include other examples of observations, inferences, and predictions to help students understand the difference.  Save final two questions for lesson closing.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  4. Distribute Activity page. Read and review the instructions.  Pair students.  (Review the answer key for further instructions regarding objects or events to use for the activity.)  Allow students sufficient time to complete the responses to the questions.  The activity could also be completed as a class together, one object or event at a time, then allow for responses and discussion following each.
  5. Once completed, check for students understanding. Allow pairs of students to share their responses.
  6. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
  7. Distribute the Homework page. The next day, check and review the students’ responses. Allow students to share the responses related to events or objects from their home or neighborhood.
  8. In closing, ask: What was the most surprising observation you ever made in your life?  Have you ever made a prediction that came true?
  9. Allow for responses and discussion.

Common Core State Standards: 

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.9, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.4, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.9, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.4, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.9, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.4

Class Sessions (45 minutes): At least 2 class sessions.

Additional Resources: 

Want more SCIENCE resources?  Check out our other Science Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade