Lesson: Inferencing to connect to a character

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Lesson Objective

Students will make inferences about a story by using background knowledge.

Lesson Plan

Connection (3-5 mins): Yesterday we learned that readers used strategies to help them understand and connect with a story.  Today, we are going to learn how to relate to a what we're reading and use our own experiences to make inferences about what we're reading.


Teach (10-15 mins): Watch me as I make inferences.  One of my favorite books is called Bridge to Terabithia.  I think that for most of us this is probably a challenging book, but I chose it for our lessson today because I think there are a lot of different parts of the story and different characters that we can relate to that will help us make guesses about what will happen in the story


Teacher reads aloud the first 3-5 pages of the book


While I was reading these first three pages I related to many different parts of the story.  On page 2 the part about Jessie's sister reminded me of how when my brother was really young I used to make him play with me just like Jessie's sister wanted Jessie to do.  And he would play Barbies or he would get in my doll-baby stroller and I would push him around.  But then when we got older we didn't really play together very much.  So I'm going to make a guess that since Jessie and his sisters are already a little bit older that they probably don't play together, and maybe they don't even get along very well.


Readers, did you see how I used my background knowledge or what I already know to connect to the character.  Then with what I know about the character I made an inference about the story.  Let's try together.


When I was reading page 3 and 4 the author tells us that Jessie had been running every day that summer.  So it sounds to me that he was practicing really hard for something.  What do you think?  That reminds me of times in my own life when I've practiced really hard for something, like when I practiced really hard for a solo in orchestra and when I practied ballet so that I could move up a level.  So I'm going to make a guess about whats going to happen to Jessie.  I think that he's going to go back to school and win the races with the older boys. 


What do you think is going to happen to jessie when he goes back to school?  Turn and talk with a partner.  Talk about a time when you practiced really hard for something and what happened as a result.  Then use that information to make a guess about what will happen to Jessie. 


Readers, let's come back together.  I heard some really great conversation about the story while I was listening to you.  Have some students share abour conversations.


Today and everyday when we're reading, you can use your own life experiences to connect to the story.  Then you can use those connections to help you make inferences about what will happen next, or what will happen later in the story.


Independent Practice (15-20 mins): Students read in their "just right" books for independent reading time.  During this time students should be writing in their reader's notebooks how they connect to the character and listing inferences they make.  Students may use the attached chart to keep track of their reading.


Exit Slip (3-5 mins): Teacher collects student inferences/chart to ensure students are making connections and appropriate inferences from those connections.


Reflection: This lesson combines many different skills.  Students have to reflect on background knowledge and connect to a character before they can even begin making an inference in this lesson.  However, with the detailed modeling many students were able to complete the steps.  I found the chart to be helpful for many students because it reminded them of the steps they must take in order to make an appropriate inference.

Lesson Resources

Inference Chart   Activity


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