Wow, talk about a challenging skill to teach…inferring is extremely hard for students to understand. We try to teach the students to look at clues…not just guess. We have to use inferencing with characters, story plot, problems, real life, vocabulary words, the list goes on!! I am ALWAYS and I mean ALWAYS looking for new ideas for myself and to share with my team on inferencing! (My team has the same issues.) and from the looks of it, most teachers have trouble teaching inferencing. Is it good enough just to say…oh well, if they get it, they get it…if they don’t, they don’t? No way. 🙂
So what to do about it? Research! I think I may have found something fabulous that will turn inferencing into a friend instead of that dreaded skill (or foe.) Check this out! This girl has already taught it this way–she says it works!! 🙂 She has 2nd graders, so I would need to extend it a bit for my third graders, but man does this sound better than what I have been doing. I will give a brief overview. 🙂
Here is a great book for inferencing! Instead of straight up reading the book to the kids (which this book doesn’t really lend itself for “reading”) play a game with it instead!! Here is a sample page of the book!
I am going to play “Are you Smarter than a 4th grader?” (Since I have 3rd graders) with my kids! I am going to say the clue or defintion and the students will infer the word! Some are harder than others–of course you can help the kids out! The key is to make sure they know the clues are the most important part!! Don’t just guess, make an educated inference. 🙂 Afterward–there is this great graphic organizer for the students to fill out! I think I will leave one word of the book out…and have them do that one on their own on the graphic organizer!
Next comes “Inferring About Me” activity, I think this will be a favorite of my students!
The students fill out the map about themselves but do not put their name on it yet! Then as a class, the students have to infer who the student is based on the character traits they listed! Then the students repeat the same exercise using characters from books. (For example, someone may fill one out on Flat Stanley) Then the students guess who their character was (tip: make sure the students pick a pretty well known character!) 🙂 I just love this idea! It works on character traits and inferences!
Again, I have to give credit to Made in the Shade Blog! I just put a few of my own touches on it to match my kiddos (3rd graders). I love all of her ideas though!