Lesson: Inferencing with Background Knowledge

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Lesson Objective

Students will be able to make an inference based on their background knowledge.

Lesson Plan

Connection (3-5 mins): Students should be seated on the carpet with a partner.  They will be expected to turn and talk to that partner throughout the lesson. Yesterday we used background knowledge to envision.  Today we will learn a new reading strategy to use with our background knowledge.  We will use our background knowledge about a topic to draw conclusions about what we are reading and make inferences.

Teach (5-10 mins):
Readers, today we will begin to make inferences.  The word infer means to draw conclusions by using evidence/clues from the text, illustrations, and background knowledge. Teacher reveals chart that explains good readers infer while they read to get a deeper understand of what they are reading.  Chart should include a organizer for teacher to add to during the modeling portion of the lesson.

-CHART:   -good readers infer while they read, to get a deeper understanding of what they are reading
                    -T-chart : I see…/  I know… / I can infer…
Model (15 mins):

Teacher refers to the book Fireflies by Julie Brinckloe throughout the lesson.  Looking back at our read aloud, as we read, we looked at the words, illustrations, and used our background knowledge to infer and get a deeper understanding of the story.
For example I stopped and asked what does it mean the jar glowed like moonlight? By using my background knowledge of the moon, I know that the moon is the only thing shining at night, and I can infer that the jar must have been the only thing glowing in the dark of his room.


Teacher models another place to stop and infer.  I stopped and asked what does it mean by the moonlight and fireflies danced in his tears? By using my background knowledge, I know tears are water and water has a reflection, so I can infer that the moonlight and fireflies reflected in his tears


Teacher charts previous two examples on the classroom chart.  Readers, did you notice that I was able to infer using my knowledge of the moon and tears.  Now you try. 


Teacher reads aloud another section of the text.  "I tried swallowing but something in my throat would not go down".  using your own background knowledge about that feeling, what can you infer the boy was feeling?  Turn and tell your partner what you inferred.  Teacher asks for students to share out.  Teacher charts student responses.

 Exit Slip/Independent Work (15-20 mins): Students return to their seats.  They use a handout of the infer t-chart during their independent reading time.  Students should read independently in their "just right" books and complete the t-chart.  Teacher walks around to conference with struggling students and offers support.  Teacher collects t-chart to ensure students mastered the strategy.


Reflection: Inference is a very hard skill for students to master.  I think allowing them to lean heavily on the t-chart is helpful.  However, many students still needed the lesson scaffolded down.  I would suggest modeling more examples or starting the students all in the same book for independent work allowing them to work in groups.  Another suggestion is for the teacher to read aloud another book and students complete the chart on their own during this time to serve as an exit slip.

Lesson Resources

Inference Chart   Activity


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