These lessons teach how to infer from pictures, idioms, and short stories. Students learn to determine what's missing and solve object, agent, location, and feelings inferences.
- Learn to recognize and interpret available information
- Find patterns and similarities within prior knowledge and experience
- Use appropriate language to explain inferences
- Learn to verify inferences by getting input from others
Administer the pre/post assessment to determine what your student understands about making inferences. Then select the skill that best matches his ability level. Your students will work through steps to improve these inference skills:
What Will Happen Next?
Find a picture that best completes the sequence and explain why. Describe the last step in a picture in the sequence.
Find what's missing in object and people pictures and explain why the missing item is important. Identify and explain what's missing in a picture sequence and tell what probably happened between the first and last picture sequence.
Picture Scene Inferences
Find the absurdities in pictures and explain what is wrong. Use information in a picture to answer questions.
Solve riddles with pictures based on the categories animals, transportation, appliance, furniture, clothing, and food. Give as many answers as possible to riddles. Combine clues and determine missing information to solve object riddles with and without pictures.
Decide who is being talked about based on clues and fill in missing information. Picture clues gradually fade.
Decide where something happened based on clues and fill in missing information.
Act out and guess emotions. Infer feelings illustrated in pictures. Decide how someone feels based on clues. Fill in missing information to match the situations. Match feeling words to sentences.
Make predictions based on word clues
Cause and Effect Inferences
Determine the cause of a situation or event based on word clues
How Would You Know?
Tell how you know something based on word clues
Inferring From Idioms
Use context clues to determine idiom meanings based on animal and body part themes. Rephrase idioms in sentences.
Inferring From Short Stories
Read short stories and answer four inference questions about each story.
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- Explicitly teaching and reinforcing inference-making leads to better outcomes in overall text comprehension, text engagement, and metacognitive thinking (Borné et al., 2005).
- Students should cite the evidence they used to draw conclusions in order to make the implicit process [of making inferences] more explicit (Borné et al., 2005).
- Students are expected to make inferences in authentic reading situations as well as on high-stakes standardized tests (McMackin et al., 2001).
- Standardized tests require students to predict, draw conclusions, elaborate, explain, and make analogies (McMackin et al., 2001).
- Calkins (2001) suggested that by teaching children to interpret [via making inferences], we teach them how to seek meaning in what they read and how to make meaning in their lives.
No-Glamour Inferences incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.
Borné, L., Cox, J., Hartgering, M., & Pratt, E. (2005). Making inferences from text [Overview]. Dorchester, MA: Project for School Innovation.
Bowers, L., Huisingh, R., & LoGiudice, C. (2005). Test of Problem Solving 3-Elementary. East Moline, IL: LinguiSystems.
Calkins, L.M. (2001). The art of teaching reading. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, Inc.
McMackin, M.C., & Newton, S.L. (2001). Investigating inferences: Constructing meaning from expository texts. Reading Horizons, 42(2), 118-137.