Reflection: Staircase of Complexity Drawing Conclusions - Section 3: Guided Practice


Making inferences and drawing conclusions is a skill we have been developing since birth.  As we get older and gain experience, we also gain background knowledge.  Background knowledge is key to making inferences and drawing conclusions.  A lack of background knowledge can really hold a student back from making inferences and therefore affect his or her reading comprehension.  I find it important to help the students tap into their background knowledge and learn how to use that knowledge to master the skill of inferring. 

I like using pictures first because the students at this age are so visual.  They can process pictures much faster than text and really feel a security with the skill, before we move on to more complex text. 

The one aspect of this part of the lesson that the students did have to be reminded of was to NOT MAKE an inference in the prior/background knowledge column.  I had to slow them down and help them understand how to identify the background knowledge they used to make the inference or draw the conclusion.  The students were all able to make inferences, but they struggled with JUST identifying background knowledge. 

At first, this really frustrated me.  I stopped throughout the lesson to correct them.  As I was doing this it hit me-did it really matter if they could separate the background knowledge from the inference?  My objective was for them to make inferences and draw conclusions-and they were doing that.  So, why was I finding it so important that they understand the background knowledge?  Was it necessary? 

I still have not really found an answer, but am thinking that as we deal with more complex text, they will see the importance of having background knowledge and maybe then will have to be more actively tapping into it. 

  Making Inferences and Drawing Conclusions
  Staircase of Complexity: Making Inferences and Drawing Conclusions
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Drawing Conclusions

Unit 5: Unit 3 Nonfiction and Informational Text
Lesson 6 of 9

Objective: SWBAT draw conclusions from a variety of text.

Big Idea: Students become detectives and read between the lines to draw conclusions.

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