Tug of War

retold by Karen Jameyson , illustrated by Fifi Colston

Learning intention:

I am learning to use clues to make predictions about a text so that I can broaden my comprehension skills.


Success criteria:

  • I can use the title and illustrations to make predictions about the story
  • I can use information in the story to predict what will happen next
  • I can explain the reasons for my predictions


Tell students the name of the story and show them the illustrations, then ask them to make predictions about the story based on these factors and share their ideas with the class. Remind students that predictions are ideas about what we think is going to happen.

Read the first paragraph of the story, stopping after the sentence:

Soon she had a plan.

Ask students what they think Hare’s plan will be. Choose 2-3 students to share their predictions with the class and ask each of those students to stand in a different spot in the room. The rest of the students should then go and stand with the person whose prediction they think is correct.

Continue reading to the bottom of the first column, stopping after the sentence:

(The other end was, of course, tied to Elephant’s leg.)

Assess if any of the predictions were correct, and if so, award each member of that group a point. Ask students to then make a prediction about whether Elephant, Hippo or Hare will win, allocating a spot for each group to stand based on the animal they choose.

Continue reading, stopping after the sentence:

But since they were about the same size and strength, neither could win.

Award a point to each student on the team who guessed that neither would win. Ask 2-3 students to give their prediction about how they think the story will end and get them to choose a spot to stand. Ask the rest of the students to make their decision about which group they are going to join, then continue reading to the end.

Award a point to each student who was in the team that made the correct guess (or the closest to correct). Check if any students have earned all three points. If so, ask them to share with the class the reasons they made those prediction choices and if they felt there were any clues in the text or illustrations that helped them.

Highlight the fact that we also use our experience and prior knowledge to make predictions, often without consciously realising. Discuss the following examples from the text:

  • We may know from experience that being bossed around is upsetting and frustrating, and for this reason may be able to imagine how Hare is feeling.
  • We are told that Hare is packed with brains and soon comes up with a plan. This tells us that Hare is going to come up with something clever to teach Hippo and Elephant a lesson for bossing her around.
  • We know that Hippo and Elephant are both large, strong animals, and therefore a tug of war between them may prove to be a challenge.
  • We know from Hare’s actions that she has tricked Elephant and Hippo, so we can assume that the outcome will not be what either of them are expecting.