Inferences are my favorite! There are so many fun ways to teach students how to infer during reading. It requires some higher order thinking skills, so it can be difficult for students to grasp. I have some ways and ideas to make teaching making inferences super fun and engaging!
I like to kick of the unit with a Pixar short film. I actually show one to kick off each day of the unit as an attention grabber. They are super quick, fun, and get the students thinking. They are inferring and don't even realize it yet. This is a great one to use, but there are tons more out there that would work.
As with every new concept, I always make an anchor chart for us to refer to all throughout the unit. I introduce inferences with this chart, and then I have the students talk about it. I then chant the parts of how to make an inference with a motion for each part and have the students echo me. We do this a lot! After about a week of doing that, they will know what an inference is for the rest of the year! It's crazy how it helps them remember! You can just randomly ask them during the year, and they can use the terminology and everything. They're amazing!
That's Miss Nelson from Miss Nelson is Missing on the chart. That is the first book I use as a read aloud for my students to practice making inferences. Make sure they have not read it before. If someone has heard it, tell them to keep what happens a secret! This book is perfect for making inferences. I use it first because there are always students who have read it before, so I like to use it for the whole group introduction.
As I am reading the book, I am completing one of these graphic organizers, modeling how to properly make an inference and record my clues and schema. Students are filling one out with me on their clipboards at the carpet. You could even make an anchor chart you fill out by sharing the pen, but I like to use one of these to make them familiar with the format. I use these all throughout the unit.
We then made these scary Miss Swamp craftivities! Even though she is super scary, you can't help but love her!
During my inference unit, I like to incorporate lots of different books and read alouds. These are some of my all time favorites. Chris Van Allsburg may be my favorite author. His books are so mysterious and amazing! So much inferring is required!
The following day, I start releasing a little more independence. We, of course, repeat over and over what it means to make an inference using whole brain strategies. We do another story and craftivity and then they participate in a cooperative group activity. If time is an issue for you, you could have them do this during small group instruction or even during centers. It would also be a great early finisher activity students could easily grab and work on.
I create 3 or 4 case files like the one below and fill each with graphic organizers and a book or passage.
Students read the book or passage inside and complete the graphic organizer together. The first time I do this unit, I like to use all picture books. When I do this unit again, I might vary it with other books and passages. The great thing about my inference pack is that you can use it over and over throughout the year. There are too many activities to fit in one week.
I like to put a question in which they have to infer in the file. It gives them a purpose and keeps them focused. It's the "CASE" they have to solve!
Students wear these little name badges while working. They fit in a name badge holder or you could just paper clip them to their shirts.
I always like to incorporate craftivities into my comprehension units. We make pigs for Piggie Pie and teddy bears for Corduroy.
When we work on inferences again and throughout the year, we make flap books, mini-booklets. and add to our interactive notebooks. I like to add variety to the different activities that we complete.
At the end of each lesson, I try to do some sort of exit ticket to check their understanding. I may read a short passage or story and ask them an inferring question about it. They write their inference on a slip of paper and clip it up. Last year, I had a board for exit tickets. Each student had a clip for their exit ticket. It was quick and simple. It's also really great for observations!
I have actually done some of these activities for observations, and my administrators always really love it! I have gotten great scores because of the rigor, pacing, and variety of activities and assessments. I hope this helps you out and makes teaching inferences easier and more fun for you and your students! If you need any of these inference activities, click the pic below.
It's been a busy but fun weekend. Fall has definitely been in the air!
I went with some teacher friends to the Nashville GoNoodle meet-up. It was so fun! Mr. Catman was there, so that was really cool to sees the man behind the mask! Go Noodle has been a lifesaver in the classroom, so it was really fun to see the people behind such an amazing site.
I also went to the Strawberry Patch Barn Sale in Hartsville, Tennessee with my mom, sister, and friend. So many fun booths and yummy food. It definitely made me excited for fall!