Big Anthony and the Magic Ring Lesson Plan on Predicting Outcome in Reading Comprehension

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A Little Tidbit About the Story

Strega Nona’s bumbling helper Big Anthony is always a favorite character with young children. In Big Anthony and the Magic Ring, Anthony, who didn’t learn his lesson from the magic pasta pot incident, borrows Strega Nona’s magic gold ring so that he can have “a little night life.” Once again Big Anthony finds trouble when he can’t stop the magic. First graders will be able to use what they know from reading Strega Nona to make predictions of the outcome as they listen to this story.

Predicting the Outcome

Use this lesson on prediction is sure to boost the reading comprehension of your first graders.


Big Anthony and the Magic Ring by Tomie de Paola

Chart paper and markers

Prior Knowledge

Students need to be familiar with the book Strega Nona by Tomie de Paola. If you aren’t using this lesson as part of a Strega Nona unit, plan on reading the book to the class a few days before you teach this lesson.


Show the students the book Big Anthony and the Magic Ring. Tell them that this is another book about Big Anthony and Strega Nona. Ask the students what they think the story will be about. Remind them that they can use what they know from reading Strega Nona to make their predictions. If they are familiar with making connections, you may want to talk about or review text-to-text connections with them. Write down a few of their predictions on the chart paper.

While reading the book to the class, stop every few pages and ask for more predictions about what will happen. Write down a few predictions each time you stop. You can also give the students a chance to revise their previous predictions. Each time a child makes a prediction, ask him why he made that prediction.

Guide them to think about their predictions by asking questions like “What makes you think that?” or “Does that remind you of something from the other story?” If someone predicts that Anthony will use Strega Nona’s ring without her permission, the evidence might be that he did the same thing with the magic pasta pot in the previous story.

Continue reading the story and have the students continue to make predictions while revising their old ones if needed. When the story is over, talk about how they could use what they already knew about Big Anthony and Strega Nona to predict the outcome of the new story. Explain that part of reading is to always be thinking about what will happen next and looking for clues to help you make accurate predictions. Good readers use what they know to help them predict and understand a new text.


On another day, read another book from the series such as Strega Nona Takes a Vacation. Stop as you read and give the students time to write down a few predictions for the book. When you are finished reading, have them go back and revise their predictions. Look over their predictions. Were they accurate or at least similar to those based on the other two books you had read?

To increase reading comprehension you can also use this lesson plan on Big Anthony to predict the outcome in another series. Books about Amelia Bedelia or Lilly the Mouse by Kevin Henkes are great choices.


  • Teaching experience.

This post is part of the series: Strega Nona: Lessons and Activities for First Graders

Use these first grade lesson plans and activities with Tomie de Paola’s book Strega Nona.

  1. Strega Nona: Activities for First Grade Students
  2. Strega Nona: Lesson Plans for First Graders
  3. A Lesson with Big Anthony and the Magic Ring on Prediction
  4. Finish Your Strega Nona Series with Fun Follow-up Activities