Comprehension Skill: Making Inferences

Earlier, I wrote a post about comprehension strategies and skills… the differences and similarities and a list of each.

Next week I will be focusing on the comprehension skill of making inferences (also known as inferring or inferencing).

In simple terms, this is the text evidence plus background knowledge.

TE + BK = I

When an inference is made, it may or may not be answered.  This is different from a prediction because this is a guess that will eventually be answered. A prediction is also a continuation of sequence… what will happen next.  An inference focuses on characters’ feelings, why things happened, and what is happening.  This is what the author did not tell you: “reading between the lines.”  Inferences are constantly made while reading and in life but people don’t put a word to it usually.

Yesterday, I created an anchor chart with sentence starters for her to us to respond to her reading in a paragraph in her reading response journal.

The first book that I will use is actually a book with no words.  I love this book.  It is a “story” from the underground railroad.  There is a background of this in the back of the book that I will read to her first (we haven’t really studied this yet).  Through a series of pictures, we figure out that this girl helps a black person in the underground railroad.  It takes a while to come to this understanding.  Lots of inferences are made throughout.

How Many Days to America is the story of a group of families that escapes the Caribbean to find safety in America.  This book would also be great for making connections because of what is going on in the world.  I love this book so much.  Inferences can be made throughout for understanding of the text.

Cheyenne Again is about a Native American boy that is taken from his family and made to become like the white people.  This book is also great for teaching theme, which I will do eventually.

Smoky Night is about a family (single mom and her son) in the midst of riots in California.

Notice that 3 out of 4 of these picture books are Eve Bunting books.  She is my favorite children’s author.  She writes about the “hard stuff.”

After the lesson is taught using the picture book, Karis will spend about 30-45 minutes reading Esperanza Rising and she will use sticky notes to mark the inferences that she made.  She will then use the sentence starters to write a paragraph about the inferences that she made.  Esperanza Rising is about a family that is taken from luxury in Mexico to working on a farm in the United States.  It relates well to the picture books that I read throughout the week.

We will also use Esperanza Rising for dictation and copywork as well as to teach some grammar and vocabulary through it using Bravewriter’s The Arrow lessons.

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