Teaching Inference

6 10 2013

Inferring is something that I have been trying to teach my kids. Last week I did a lesson that I thought was effective in helping them to practice inference and then transferring it to their reading.

I started the class by showing them some pictures that I asked them write down what they observed. Then I had them write down what they could infer from the picture and then, “ I know this because… “ to support their inferences.

They enjoyed some of the pictures….



Then I read to them the story, Fly Away Home. It is a great story about a homeless dad and son who live in the airport (I also wrote about an activity I did with this book here). As I read the story aloud, I stopped throughout the book and gave them a specific event that happened and I asked them to observe, infer and then support with “I know this because…” We discussed each stopping point as we read. It really helped the students to be able to practice inferring and then supporting their inference. 


What are some other ways that you teach inference?


Theme & Symbolism in one quick hit!

9 11 2009

Fly Away HomeI find that students constantly struggle with distinguishing the theme from the plot. I try to read a lot of picture books and have them tell me the theme after we have read it. I recently  read Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting to my students and I had them pick out the theme. It is a story about a dad and young boy who live in an airport because they are homeless. It is also a good segway into discussing the topic of homelessness and reasons people are homeless etc… We also talked about symbolism (the bird represents that there is hope and that the boy and dad have hope to someday get a home). This can be used as a warm up to spark student’s writing ideas in their writing notebooks.5 minute picture book= symbolism, theme and a discussion, or at least a thought in student’s s mind about a social issue- can’t go wrong!

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