Lesson Plan

Making Inferences by Analyzing Key Ideas and Details

Objectives

In this lesson, students will demonstrate understanding of text by making inferences when reading nonfiction. Students will:

  • become familiar with the components of an inference.
  • make inferences based on background knowledge and clues from the text.

Essential Questions

How do strategic readers create meaning from informational and literary text?
How does interaction with text provoke thinking and response?
What is this text really about?
  • How do strategic readers create meaning from informational and literary text?
  • What is this text really about?
  • How does interaction with text provoke thinking and response?

Vocabulary

  • Inference: A judgment based on reasoning rather than on direct statement in a text.

Duration

60–90 minutes/2–3 class periods

Prerequisite Skills

Prerequisite Skills haven't been entered into the lesson plan.

Materials

      Poetry that supports making inferences includes the following:

  • “Smart” from Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. HarperCollins, 2004.
  • Teachers may substitute other books to provide a range of reading and level of text complexity. Alternative books should include narrative nonfiction texts that provide opportunities to make inferences.
  • Inferring Game activity sheet (L-3-4-2_Inferring Game and KEY.docx), one copy for each group of three or four students
  • student copies of Making Inferences Assessment (L-3-4-2_Making Inferences Assessment.docx)
  • student copies of Inferring Practice worksheet (L-3-4-2_Inferring Practice Worksheet.docx)

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Related Materials & Resources

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      Poetry that supports making inferences includes the following:

  • “Smart” from Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. HarperCollins, 2004.
  • Teachers may substitute other books to provide a range of reading and level of text complexity. Alternative books should include narrative nonfiction texts that provide opportunities to make inferences.
  • Inferring Game activity sheet (L-3-4-2_Inferring Game and KEY.docx), one copy for each group of three or four students
  • student copies of Making Inferences Assessment (L-3-4-2_Making Inferences Assessment.docx)
  • student copies of Inferring Practice worksheet (L-3-4-2_Inferring Practice Worksheet.docx)

Formative Assessment

  • View

    The goal of this lesson is to build on students’ understanding of making inferences when reading nonfiction text.

    • To assess students’ understanding of the concepts, have students complete the Making Inferences Assessment (L-3-4-2_Making Inferences Assessment.docx). Collect and grade the sheet to determine if each student is successful in meeting the goal of understanding making inferences when reading nonfiction text. Provide additional instruction if needed.
    • Observe students during their discussions with partners. Evaluate students’ ability to do the following:
      • make inferences.
      • explain how they use their experiences to help make inferences when reading nonfiction text.

Suggested Instructional Supports

  • View
    Scaffolding, Active Engagement, Modeling, Explicit Instruction
    W: Have students begin making inferences by using poetry or fiction texts. 
    H: Provide opportunities for students to work together to make inferences by using nonfiction situations. 
    E: Help students determine whether their inferences make sense or need to be adjusted based on evidence from the text. 
    R: Provide opportunities for students to discuss their inferences with a partner and then share with the larger group. Encourage students to defend their decision or to change it. 
    E: Observe students to assess their understanding of making inferences when reading nonfiction text and give students an opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned. 
    T: Provide opportunities for students to show that they know how to make inferences  when reading a nonfiction text through an independent activity and through small-group and large-group participation. 
    O: The learning activities in this lesson provide for large-group instruction and discussion, small-group exploration, partner interaction, and individual application of the concepts.  

Instructional Procedures

  • View

    Focus Question: How does inferring give readers a better understanding of nonfiction texts?

    Part 1

    Choose a poem that supports inferences, such as “Smart” by Shel Silverstein, and read it aloud. (Different poems can be substituted to increase text complexity and analysis requirements.) Explain to students that an inference is an idea that is based on more than what the words say directly.

    • As you read, model thinking and making inferences about the character.
    • Point out that you made the inference based on what you know from your past experiences and key ideas and details that the author gives in the text. Explain that students’ experiences could be things that have happened to them or someone they know or things they have read about or seen on TV or the Internet.

    Write the following guidelines on the board/interactive whiteboard or make an anchor chart to hang in the classroom:

    When making inferences, strategic readers

    • reread
    • pay careful attention to the words the author uses
    • look closely at the pictures
    • use their own experiences
    • take their time
    • think carefully

    Part 2

    Ask students what they can infer from each of the following sentences. Guide students to explain how their experience leads them to that inference. Provide students with additional examples if necessary.

    • Beth’s running shoes are very white, and the laces are very clean.

    (Beth has new shoes. When I get new running shoes, they are always very clean and white the first time I wear them.)

    • Tom wrinkled his nose when his mom put the peas on the table.

    (Tom doesn’t like peas. My sister doesn’t like broccoli, and when my mom puts it on the table for dinner, my sister wrinkles her nose.)

    Give each group of three or four a set of cards from the inferring game (L-3-4-2_Inferring Game and KEY.docx). Tell students to place the cards face down on a desk. Have each student take a turn choosing a card and making an inference about the sentence. Encourage students to tell what experience they have had that helps them make the inference.

    Part 3

    Read aloud “An Opossum Named Poppy.” (You may choose another text to meet the needs of text complexity for students.)

    Use the guidelines (in Part 2) to model the inferences that you would make while reading the book.

    Have students complete the Inferring Practice worksheet (L-3-4-2_Inferring Practice Worksheet.docx). Observe students and provide additional instruction if necessary.

    Extension:

    • Students who need additional opportunities for learning can work in guided groups to read level-appropriate poetry. Have students infer the title of the poem or use the poetry to make other inferences.
    • Students who are ready to go beyond the standard can read a nonfiction book at their reading level. Provide sticky notes for students to identify inferences in the book. Have students explain key ideas and details from the text and their own experiences that led them to their inferences. Encourage students to share their inferences with the class.

Related Instructional Videos

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Final 05/01/2013
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