Lesson: Fiction Inferences

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Lesson Objective

Students will be able to make inferences about characters in a fiction text.

Lesson Plan


Connection (3-5 mins): Readers, you all did a great job making inferences yesterday.  Today we will look at a fiction text to make inferences about a character trait.  This is a great way to practice making inferences that help us become deeper thinkers.


Teach (10-12 mins): Students should be seated on the carpet with a partner.  They will be expected to turn and talk to this partner throughout the lesson.  This year we spent a lot of time thinking about character traits.  Turn and tell your partner the definition or an example of a character trait.  Students should turn and talk.  Teacher calls on a student to share and writes a working definition on class chart. 


Remember from yesterday that when we make inferences we must think about our own background knowledge and evidence from the text.  Watch me as I read the text, “Wailing Well” and make inferences about characters. 


Teacher reads aloud the first paragraph of story.  Readers I think I can already make an inference about the character Charlie.  The story tells me that she is the toughest kid in the fifth grade.  I know using my background knowledge that tough kids usually will take a lot of risks and try new things.  If I put both the evidence from the text and my own background knowledge together, I can infer that Charlie will complete whatever the dare is by the end of the story.


Let’s keep reading to find out if we are correct.  Teacher reads aloud the next paragraph.  I think this is another place we can stop and infer.  In the text I learned that Charlie’s hands were shaking.  I know that when my hands are shaking I’m probably nervous or scared about something.  Using those two ideas turn and tell your partner what you can infer about Charlie.  Students should turn and talk.  Teacher has students share out and discuss their thinking. Great job everyone, we can infer that Charlie is scared to complete this dare.  I want to try one more example before you return to your seats.


Teacher reads aloud until the end of the first page.  We just learned a lot about the plot of this story.  I think we need to stop and infer.  In the story I learned that Charlie was scared but didn’t admit it to Eric.  What background knowledge do you have about a time when you were scared or didn’t admit something to a friend.  Turn and tell your partner.  Students should turn and talk.  Teacher calls on partners to share their responses.  Okay, now that we have our evidence and background knowledge, it’s time to infer.  Stop and jot in your notebook what you can infer about Charlie or Eric.  Students should write in their notebooks while teacher circulates (I always have students bring notebooks to the carpet).  Students can be individually dismissed to their seats to complete the rest of the story.


When you are finished I will read your response.  Once you return to your seats, you may read the rest of the story on your own.  As you read fill out the graphic organizer for making inferences.  I have already provided the evidence from the text for you.  Your job is to include your background knowledge and put it all together to make an inference.  Off you go.



Active Engagement (15-20 mins): Students should return to their seats.  During this time they will continue to read the selection independently.  As they read they are expected to complete the character trait inference form.  Teacher should circulate to help students and interrupt workshop time when necessary to remind students of the expectations. 


Exit Slip/Share (3-5 mins): Teacher should collect worksheets to access student mastery.  Those students who need additional support can be pulled for a conference on the following day.


Reflection: This lesson went much better than the first lesson on inferences.  I suggest teaching this lesson more than once or modeling with several different stories to ensure students master the concept.

Lesson Resources

Wailing Well Reading.pdf  
Active Engagement Activity.doc  


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