As an adult, sometimes it is hard for us to understand why children cannot make inferences.
But as a teacher, we understand that our students struggle with this reading strategy. Especially because of their age, reading ability, upbringing, etc…
Making Inferences and Drawing Conclusion is a higher level complex skill that will develop over time. This is part of the struggle as well as part of how adults can help!
Why do we want to help students be able to “Make Inferences” or “Draw Conclusions”?
We want students to be able to ultimately connect to authors and it helps to bring all genres of literature to life! Students need to be able to figure out the authors purpose along with gaining deeper meaning. Inferences are also a foundation skill to 21st Century Learning!
There are many factors that play into this struggle…
- Lack of background knowledge.
- Lack of experiences.
- Lack of precursor reading strategy skills such as automaticity.
- Lack of ability to pick out details in a text.
- Lack of vocabulary.
- Picture walks prior to reading.
- Use wordless picture books.
- Play 20 Questions.
- Create visual scenarios.
- Paper Bag Mysteries.
- Use riddles frequently.
- Implement writing, especially short responses and note taking.
- Teach vocabulary.
- Know there can be more than 1 correct answer.
- TIME to grow!
- Use magazine photos or stock photos.
- Use comic strips.
- Make Question and Inferences anchor charts.
- LOTS of think-alouds and modeling!!!
Here is text using short question words and a sentence starter. The #5 stands for the 5th piece of text out of 6 used in each Making Inferences Product I have. Each piece of text comes in this format, along with a full page photograph with 4 scaffolding response sheets.
You will see the same photograph as above but #3 response sheet used. You can see the difference as I have 4 response sheets you can choose to use depending on students independence and ability.
Here is a full page piece of text using a scaffolding response sheet with sentence frames. The #1 stands for the 1st piece of text out of 6 used in each Making Inferences Product I have. The #2 on the response sheet stands for choice 2 out of 4 you can use to respond to full page items. You can see how this response sheet differs from the one above. It is part of the scaffolding and gradual release part of this product. Each picture comes in this format with 4 scaffolding response sheets along with what you saw above.