Inst. Proj. Inferencing

Generating inferences is an essential
process that allows for a deeper
understanding of a text.
 Good readers automatically generate
inferences before, during, and after
reading by using what they already
know (background knowledge) and
what is in the text(text clues).
The four-day lesson was based on a
strategy suggested in Strategies that
Work by Harvey and Goudvis.
 Students were encouraged to use their
prior knowledge and text clues in order
to make inferences about characters’
feelings, what was happening in the
story, and words in the text not
The texts chosen for this project were
ideal for generating inferences with
detailed pictures and scenarios that
students could relate to.
 The lesson began with modeling and
whole group sessions, which lead to
guided practice and finally independent
practice with texts on their level.
Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting
A young boy and his father are homeless and have chosen an airport as
their new home. The boy feels that they may be there forever but when
he sees a small bird trapped in the airport escape, he knows that he too
will be free one day.
Alexander, Who Used to be Rich Last
Sunday by Judith Viorst
Alexander receives a dollar from his grandparents but due to his
carelessness he ends up without anything at all.
A Boy, a Dog, and a Frog by
Mercer Mayer
In this wordless picture book, a boy, his dog, and a frog have quite the
adventure when the boy attempts to go fishing.
A New Friend (Harcourt Storytown
Leveled Reader)
The barn animals hear a sound on the barn roof and little do they know it
will result in a new friend.
Modeling/Guided Practice (Days 1, 2, &
› Inferencing was introduced through a
charades game where I had the students
act out a feeling and the remaining students
had to guess.
› I introduced the idea of BK + TC = I
(background knowledge + text clues =
inference) from the Strategies that Work text.
› As a whole group, the
students and I
explored making
inferences using A
Boy, a Dog, and a
› Being that there are
no words in the text,
students had to dig
deep to figure out
what was going on in
the text.
› Using Fly Away Home
by Eve Bunting, I
modeled how to
make inferences and
recorded them.
› Using a flipchart I
found on Promethean
Planet (attached to
the board post),
students were guided
to make inferences.
› This help the students
to better see how to
stop while reading to
generate inferences.
› As we read
Alexander, Who Use
to be Rich Last
Sunday, we worked
together to make
inferences and
complete an
organizer together.
› This discussion was my favorite part because
I was able to hear so much of the students’
 “I can tell that Alexander’s brother isn’t very
nice because he tells him to go buy a new
face. And I know that is not a nice thing to say
to someone.”
Independent Practice (Day 4)
› To be able to complete the strategy
independently, my students needed text on
their level. I chose a first grade leveled
reader from Harcourt Storytown.
The students read independently and
completed an organizer. Some of the
organizer was filled in while they completed
the rest.
Students did best when we worked
together during guided practice. As I
facilitated discussion and guided their
thinking they made strong inferences that
truly deepened their understanding.
 When working independently, students did
well but struggled putting their thoughts on
› They had trouble determining what their
background knowledge and the text clues were
to be able to add them to the chart.
My colleague Ashley Button tried the
strategies I taught in my classroom and
below is her feedback:
Mrs. Button spoke to me about her
lessons as well.
› She said that “her students caught onto the
inference generation quickly” after she had
spent some time modeling.
› It was great to get some feedback from a
colleague as far as what I had done with my
students. I plan to share my lesson ideas with
other teachers as well to share thoughts on
After teaching these lessons on inferencing, I have
learned that this is a strategy that requires a lot of
modeling and support.
› Students struggled to make inferences on their own when
working independently. However, they were able to share
a lot when we worked together.
I have found that inference generation truly deepens
the understanding readers have of a text.
I was able to see that prior knowledge does
indefinitely play a large role in inference generation.
› Students were able to make strong inferences with the
texts chosen but teachers should take care to choose
texts students can relate or be sure to build upon
background knowledge prior to reading.
All in all, teaching these lessons simply
reinforced my understanding of how
important generating inferences is for
good readers.
Harvey, Stephanie & Goudvis, Anne.
(2007). Strategies That Work. Portland,
ME: Stenhouse Publishers; Markham,
Ontario: Pembroke Publishers Limited

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