I love teaching my children how to infer!
I start out by asking them about Scooby Doo and his gang. They always tell me that the gang catches the bad guys. When I ask them how they catch the bad guys they tell me they have to use clues. Then I explain that when we are reading, we should be detectives just like Scooby Doo and his gang. We should use the clues the author gave us in the text and the illustrator gave us in the illustrations. Plus, we should think about what we know and use our schema to understand something that the author may not have explained in the story.
Then we play a game a little like charades. First, I tell them that I am going to act out a feeling and I want them to guess what it is. I pretend to walk in the classroom scowling, drop some books on the table, and then I huff as I sit down in my chair. All the hands go up and they know right away that I am pretending to be mad. I explain that although I didn't tell them how I was feeling they were able to use clues and what they know about how someone might act when they are mad to figure out the feeling. Then I tell the students we are going to play a game. One person will step outside the door as I tell the rest of the class a feeling. For example, I might tell them the word is happy. When the student returns, the rest of the class raises their hand with a clue. A student might say, "I feel this way when I am playing with my friends". The student gets 3 chances to guess the feeling.
I'm sure I came across the ideas mentioned above in one of the many, many books I've read about Reading Workshop. I wish I could remember where the ideas came from and give credit where it is due, but I have forgotten the source.
Then I introduce my poster.
You can grab a FREE copy over at Google Docs or by clicking on the image above.
I explain that we will be learning how to use clues in the text and our schema as we are reading to figure out something that wasn't explained in the story.
The next day we do Babbling Abby's Mystery Box Activity. You can find it at her TpT store or by clicking on the mystery box image below.
Here's my mystery box.
Before I gave them any clues, they told me what they thought it was and I recorded their guesses on this graphic organizer while it was projected under the document camera.
Next I gave each student one of the 4 clues. They wrote it on their recording sheet and then had to go around and find the other clues. After they found all 4 clues, they drew a picture of what they thought it was.
I wish you could see their faces.
They were all smiling because they absolutely loved this activity! Thanks Abby!
Finally, they told me their new guesses and I recorded them in red.
On the third day, my students enjoyed playing a guessing game as I read
Finally, I'm ready to begin modeling and practicing with short stories.
I begin with Rachel Lynette's Inference Task Cards.
You can get them over at her TpT store or by clicking on the image above.
After my students have had a chance to practice with short stories,
I begin modeling with books.
I also plan to show my students how they can infer the meaning of words by starting with K Dupree's Inferring Word Meaning With Character Traits and Feelings Task Cards.
You can grab her task cards at her TpT store too!
Mrs. Curry's Gang will continue their clue gathering and detective work this week!