Lesson: Making Inferences based off Prior Story Knowledge

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Lesson Objective

Students will be able to make inference about characters and events in the story.

Lesson Plan

Objective:  Students will be able to make inferences/draw conclusions about characters and events in the story.

Lesson Plan

Standard/Code/Name:   Making inferences/Drawing conclusions

Do Now:  (see attached file) Post a picture of a building on the board:


What do we know?  What clues does the building site give us?  How do we know?  After finishing; read Chapter 24.     

Opening:  Writers often tell you more than they say directly. They give you hints or clues that help you "read between the lines." Using these clues to give you a deeper understanding of your reading is called inferring. When you infer, you go beyond the surface details to see other meanings that the details suggest or imply (not stated). When the meanings of words are not stated clearly in the context of the text, they may be implied - that is, suggested or hinted at. When meanings are implied, you may infer about them.

Direct Instruction (I DO): 

Inference is just a big word that means a conclusion or judgement. If you infer that something has happened, you do not see, hear, feel, smell, or taste the actual event. But from what you know, it makes sense to think that it has happened. You make inferences everyday; most of the time, you do so without thinking about it. Suppose you are sitting in your car stopped at a red signal light. You hear screeching tires, then a loud crash and breaking glass. You see nothing, but you infer that there has been a car accident. We all know the sounds of screeching tires and a crash. We know that these sounds almost always mean a car accident. But there could be some other reason, and therefore another explanation, for the sounds. Perhaps it was not an accident involving two moving vehicles. Maybe an angry driver rammed a parked car. Or maybe someone played the sound of a car crash from a recording. Making inferences means choosing the most likely explanation from the facts at hand.

Proficient readers:

·        Draw conclusions about their reading by connecting the text with their background knowledge.

·        Synthesize/come up with new ideas and information

·        Create unique understandings of the text they are reading

·        Make predictions about the text, confirm or disconfirm those predictions based on textual information, and text their developing comprehension of the text as they read.

·        Extend their comprehension beyond literal understandings of the printed page.

In drawing conclusions (making inferences), you are really getting at the ultimate meaning of things - what is important, why it is important, how one event influences another, how one happening leads to another. Simply getting the facts in reading is not enough - you must think about what those facts mean to you.

Explain to student that they are NOT GUESSING! – instead they are taking what they know from background knowledge and from the story (evidence) to draw conclusions about what is going on.

Model inferencing by reading “The Blue and the Grey”, stopping and marking with post-it notes when you inferred what was going on in the story.  You don’t have to read the whole book in order to model making inferences.  Make 3-5 inferences and explain your thinking out-loud. 

Make a list of things you are inferring about in the story:

·        The character

·        The characters’ emotions

·        The problem

·        Why an event is happening

·        What was going on

·        Etc.




Students can use the following sentence started to help them to make their inferences:

·        The clues are telling me that…

·        When I see ______________, it makes me think__________...

·        I am noticing…

·        This makes me conclude that…

·        When the author said ________________, I thought…

·        This clue is important because…

·        This makes me wonder if…

·        When I read this, it reminded me of…

·        I believe _______ means ______ because…

·        This part leads me to believe that…

·        When I read “________,” it makes me think that…

Model using the Inference Record, or the “Making Inferences” sheet while doing this.  The “Making Inferences” sheet may be better for using the post-it notes in the lesson. (see attached files).


Guided Practice (WE DO): 

You did some inferencing during your DO NOW…you looked at that photo of a building and tried to draw some conclusions about it.

Facilitate a small discussion about the DO NOW in order to show the class that they have already tried this comprehension strategy out.

Let’s take a look at Chapter 24 and 25, we have already started reading or finished reading.  Lets see what we can find in terms of inferencing.

Hand out post-it notes to students and allow them to figure out various parts of the chapter where they can make inferences.

·        Students will have their own copy to mark these parts with their own post-its.

Allow students to share after reading the chapter

Students should post their notes on a “Making Inferences” chart on chart paper

·        Students will tell you the quote from the book and the will post their inference.

·        Facilitate a discussion about these inferences.

After discussion allow students to play the “Making Inferences Card Game” – no more than three students in a group. (see attached files)

  • All the materials and boards need to be prepared ahead of time.

Students should be able to play the game for 15 minutes.

Independent Practice (YOU DO): 

Students will read Chapters 26-27. 

After Chapter 26 – complete 3 inferences on the graphic organizer (see attached file)

After Chapter 27 – complete 3 inferences on the graphic organizer

Homework: Students will read Chapters 28-30 and answer questions (see attached file)

Lesson Resources

Lesson 41 Making Inferences   Classwork
Lesson 41 DO NOW   Starter / Do Now
Lesson 41   Lesson Plan
Lesson 41Inference Record GP   Classwork
Lesson 41Inference Record GP   Classwork
Lesson 41 Infering Card Game CARDS   Activity
Lesson 41inferencing card game   Activity


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