Making Inferences

Making inferences is always a skill that can be difficult for students.  The answer isn’t stated in their reading and they actually have to do some deeper thinking.  I enjoy teaching this topic because there are so many fun activities to use and the answer isn’t right in the book.  Last week I tried a new making inferences activity with my kids.

Before the lesson started, I cut out a bunch of magazine pictures.  I cut the pictures so that very little background was showing.  To start the lesson, I showed one of the pictures.  It was a picture of two girls playing soccer.  I asked the kids where they thought the girls were playing soccer.  Of course, they all thought it was a soccer field and we discussed why that was the choice.  We were making inferences based on what was shown in the picture and what we knew about soccer.  Then I asked them, where would the girls not be playing soccer.  I heard a swimming pool, Mars, the desert and many more.  The kids thought it was so funny.  I repeated the activity using a picture of a man running.  I saw many hands being raised during this activity.

Once I knew the kids understood the activity, I sent them to work on their own picture.  First they chose one of the magazine pictures that I had cut out and placed it on a piece of white paper.  Then several students were given an opportunity to share their inference about where the picture was taking place.  Once they shared, the students then had to think where the activity was not happening.  That became the background of their picture.  I saw some volcanoes, swimming pools, train tracks and clouds.  The one change I would make is to not allow the students to share their ideas with other students.  I saw about 4 with volcanoes and 3 with swimming pools.  I’d love to see everyone’s own creations.  Either way, the kids loved it and some even asked for a second picture.  The kids in the gifted reading program came back from their class and they wanted to join in on the fun.

Here are some pictures of the kids at work.

A kid eating macaroni and cheese in the desert.
A kid eating macaroni and cheese in the desert.
A truck in the water.
A truck in the water.

A fish on train tracks.
A fish on train tracks.

What are some fun activities you have used with making inferences? 

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