Saturday, July 18, 2015
I am just beyond excited about something new I have been working on for my students this year! Good readers make inferences when reading, however I always feel like the students really struggle with it.  It is just NOT AN EASY SKILL!
All of the following standards require students to make SOME sort of inferences!

CCSS.ELA-Literacy. RL.5.1
Students here need to quote accurately from the text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
Students need to determine the theme of  story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.
Students compare two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (especially how characters interact)

So, to teach the skills above, I like for the students to have a CLEAR understanding of what inferences are, especially so we can use academic language during discussions on making inferences.   I came up with a list of different ways you can explain making inferences to your students....Here is what I came up with!

#1) Putting Two and Two Together
#2) Using Clues to Figure Out Text
#3) Using our Schema or Background Knowledge
#4) Using Evidence to Support our Thinking
#4) Understanding the Characters Intentions
#5) Figuring Out the Author's Message
#6) Interpreting How a Character is Feeling
#7) Forming a Conclusion Based on Evidence AND Reasoning
#8) An Educated Guess
#9) Speculation about Something
#10) An Assumption
#11) Reading Between the Lines
#12) Logical Judgement based on Evidence
#13) Information that is Implied or NOT Directly Stated
#14) Putting the Pieces of the Puzzle Together
#15) Something the Text Suggests

Pin the image below to keep this list at your fingertips!

This year, I am going to use "INFERENCE of the WEEK" to help the students with making inferences.  Using a different THEME each week, students will see a different picture posted when they walk in the classroom every day where they will make observations and then turn those observations into inferences.  In addition to this, the students will do the following.  
Day One: Students will read an informational passage to build background knowledge related to the Inference Theme of the Week.
Day Two: Figurative Language, Writing Prompt, Synonym and Antonym Practice related to the Theme of the Week
Day Three: Students use a structured template to help them write about the picture that day related to the Theme of the Week
Day Four: Students practice writing Simple/Compound/Complex sentences related to the Theme of the Week
Day Five: Weekly Assessment GREAT for student portfolios
The themes for Inference of the Week are:
School Days
Sharks (GREAT for your own SHARK WEEK!)
I experimented a bit with FLIPAGRAM to give you a glimpse of what it looks like!

We are your TRICKS and TIPS for teaching students to make inferences? Please share!


  1. Thanks so much for generating this is very helpful!!!
    Lois (4th Grade Teacher/New York City)

    1. Your welcome Lois! Glad that you found it helpful.

  2. I find this to be a very confusing skill for my students. This list will be handy when we are discussing inferences. The product you developed looks very interesting and I am going to try it out. Thank you for all of your hard work!!!
    Mary from FL

  3. Thank you so much for sharing. I think I want to try to use something like this as well because I think it will help my students immensely!!! Do you have this in your store? It looks like fun to teach and learn from using your example! This is a great idea and again I thank you for sharing!!


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