Thursday, December 1, 2016

Inferences for Primary Students...Believe it or not!

Learning standards across the country are "upping the game" for all students, including our earliest learners. This post gives ideas for teaching inferences to those early students. Starting with pictures and ending with words can just be the key to reading comprehension.
Inferences?  Seriously?  In Kindergarten? Absolutely!
It's just a matter of making it meaningful to five-year-olds...and you can.

Use Mentor Texts

I'll be the first to admit I use Magic Tree House books a lot.  I mean, like A LOT.  I know.  I think they are the best books.  That being said, the first time I thought about teaching my kindergatners about inferencing, it was completely by accident. That's right...by accident.  We were reading The Knight at Dawn and Jack was hanging from the castle precipice and the students were hanging on every word.

"Jack felt his fingers slipping.  Then down he fell.
Down through the darkness.
SPLASH!"

And that was the end of the chapter.  "Oh, no!  What happened to Jack?" I asked.  "He fell in the moat!" a chorus of kindergartners yelled. "How do you know that?" I asked again.  "The book said, splash," answered a student.  I continued, " What if it said THUNK?"  Another student chimed in, "Then he would have fallen on the ground." Yep, that's what it's all about.

Look at a little

Learning standards across the country are "upping the game" for all students, including our earliest learners. This post gives ideas for teaching inferences to those early students. Starting with pictures and ending with words can just be the key to reading comprehension.
Let's look at pictures first...no text.  When the students were listening to the story, they weren't focusing on the text, they were focusing on the story.  Likewise, using pictures is an easy way to start a lesson about inferencing.  Using a portion of a picture, ask the students what they know FROM THE PICTURE. Who is in the picture? When did someone take the picture? Where is the picture taken? How does the person in the picture feel? All of these questions make students look at a picture critically, not just on the surface. Once they have thought about the picture...expand the view.

Look at a lot

Learning standards across the country are "upping the game" for all students, including our earliest learners. This post gives ideas for teaching inferences to those early students. Starting with pictures and ending with words can just be the key to reading comprehension.
Show them the whole picture. Ask them the same questions again. Ask if they could tell a better story.  Using several sets of pictures and LOTS of oral practice, the students will be making inferences all over the place. Inferences are all about what the text makes us think, not about what is in the text.

What are the clues in the text?


Finally, introduce students to making inferences using text.  Using 3 sets of clues and 3 pictures, students can use the text to help decide which picture the text describing. Each of the hats could be used in the winter.  Each of the hats could be used to keep your head warm.  BUT, if the hat is the same color as a snowman's nose...there is only one choice. The words don't say it, but the inference does.

If you'd like a FREEBIE sample set of Inferences for Primary Students, CLICK HERE.

If you'd like a full set of Inferences for Primary Students,click the picture below or CLICK HERE to visit my TPT store.


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Learning standards across the country are "upping the game" for all students, including our earliest learners. This post gives ideas for teaching inferences to those early students. Starting with pictures and ending with words can just be the key to reading comprehension.


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