In an earlier post, I mentioned the connection that my co-librarian Susanna and I have made with our reading teachers this year. We scheduled monthly lessons focusing on a particular skill or activity (as well as encouraging book check out). One quick lesson was aimed at building our students' inferencing skills, an important component of reading comprehension.
Our mini-lesson highlighted the idea that we all use inferencing each and every day and defined it as follows:
We then guided students through several different tasks, encouraging then to make inferences along the way. Our lesson included independent work and a small group task.
White Board Guessing
We started with a fun little game to warm up. As we revealed one clue at a time on the screen, students were asked to guess the animal or object by writing it on their personal white board. A simple example:
What's Going on in this Picture?
Moving on to collaborative work, we divided students into small groups, gave each group markers, chart paper, and one striking image (I like the photos from The New York Times' weekly "What's Going on in this Picture" series).
We tasked students to use their inferencing skills to figure out:
Finally, we gave each student an exit ticket for independent practice -- three short passages with some specific inferencing questions.
Jennie picked herself off the road and checked herself over for injuries. No blood or scrapes and nothing seemed to be broken. Good thing she was wearing her pads and helmet. She walked over to the skateboard that was laying upside on the sidewalk across the street, popped it right side up with her foot, and rode home.
Why was Jennie on the road? How do you know?
What quick strategies do you use to teach your students to make inferences? We'd love to hear from you!
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