Lesson: Inferences with Pictures

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Lesson Objective

Students will make inferences based on pictures to understand the author's meaning.

Lesson Plan

Connection (3-5 mins):

Yesterday we made inferences using our background knowledge.  This was important because our background knowledge helps us understand the story.  Today we will continue to make inferences using pictures to infer the author's meaning of a text without words.

Teach (5-10 mins):
Students are seated on the carpet with a partner.  They are expected to turn and talk to this partner throughout the lesson.  Explain that the word infer means to determine information from evidence  in other words to use clues from the text like words or pictures to determine the meaning of what you are reading.


When we read, all the information might not be stated, but the author gives us clues to figure it out (“reading between the lines”).  Today we will determine the author’s meaning of a text without words by using the pictures as clues.  Teacher unveils chart.  (Teacher creates chart prior to lesson for use throughout, refer below)

-CHART:   -good readers infer while they read, to get a deeper understanding of what they are reading
                    -T-chart : I see…/  I can infer…
Model (10 mins):
Teacher reads aloud from Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney.  Teacher stops and models thinking twice during the read aloud.  The first time stops at a page with a picture of the mouse not being eaten by the lion.  I can infer that instead of the lion eating the mouse, the mouse begged the lion to let him go.  The author did not tell me that with words but I used the pictures as clues to help me figure that out. Teacher adds to the class chart.


Teacher continues to read aloud and stops again at a picture where the lion is trapped in a net.  I can infer that the lion did not see the hunter's trap and he was captured by the hunter's net.  The author did not tell me that with words but I sued the pictures as clues to help me figure it out.  Teacher adds to the class chart.


Did you notice I was able to infer alot of information from just the pictures, even if the author didn't tell me.  Now it's your turn to try.


Teacher continues to show a few more pages of pictures.  Turn and tell your partner what you can infer from the pages I just showed you.  Teacher monitors conversations and pushes in when necessary.  Students share out their responses and teacher adds to class chart.

Independent Practice (10-15 mins):

Now that you have practiced using pictures as clues to infer what happened in the story I want to give you a chance on your own to infer the author’s meaning of the last couple of pages on your own.  I will give you a post-it and I want you to write what you see and what you can infer from what you see.  Students add post its to the classroom chart.

Share/Exit slip (5 mins) : Today I saw great readers doing wonderful things, really looking at the author’s illustration as clues to inferring the meaning of the text.  Teacher evaluates post it notes to determine what students need extra practice and conferences with them during independent reading time.  Teacher reads aloud some post its that are exemplary.


Reflection: This lesson is a great way to introduce inference.  I found that students struggled with inferences using background knowledge so I began incorporating this lesson into a stategy unit.  This helped students bridge the gap in their understanding between inference and background knowledge especially with the use of a picture book.

Lesson Resources

Inference t-chart   Activity


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