Making Inferences

I spend a lot of time teaching inferencing to my language kiddos, as I'm sure all of you do! I've found that the easiest way to introduce inferencing is by starting with pictures. I want my students to work up to making inferences from text, but pictures are a less intimidating way to introduce and reinforce the foundational skills. In addition to making logical inferences, the students need to be able to explain how they reached their conclusion. This skill can be quite difficult for language kids, and they often require lots of written cues and modeling.

The good news is that there are a TON of helpful visuals and activities out there! I am especially amazed by how many anchor charts have been created in order to explain inferring as well as the prompts ("thinking stems") for justifying inferences. And one of my favorite resources comes from Pinterest - an entire picture board to elicit inferences! I created this powerpoint to combine the two - Picture prompts and stellar anchor charts to remind students how to make and explain inferences. (See the final slide of the presentation for photo credits).

How to use: After we review what "inference" means, I open the powerpoint and start by asking the students to make some observations about the picture. Before we attempt to make any inferences, I want them to consider what is going on in the picture - the setting, characters, etc. When enough observations have been made, I advance the slides to reveal some questions for the students to consider. After each picture prompt, there is an anchor chart. I flip between the picture prompt and the anchor chart in order to help the student form and explain a solid inference.


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