When beginning the lesson, I want students to try and recall what they remember about inferencing. I bring up a book we are reading about Columbus. I prompt students to recall the times we have brought up inferencing as being the hidden stuff the author wants us to discover. The hidden ideas are covered in clues and as a good reader we have to use these clues to understand more of what the author is trying to tell us. Students finds it more fun when they are looking for clues.
I ask my class to not act like fourth graders. Instead I want them to be detectives. I ask them to explain what the role of a detective is. Once we have established what a detective does, we then begin practicing. We go over that we can use context clues to determine the meanings of words or to come up with a reasonable scenario for what happens next.
To do practice with them I looked on the internet for various worksheets that include doing both of these using context clues. I do not copy them for students but instead use them for me to read and show under the document camera. This way the class can practice together.
The activity to practice context clues is going to be centered around two words, probably and reasonable. In math we talk about reasonable all the time and now I am going to transcend subjects to use the word in another context. I will even bring that to my students attention and say it similar to that; changing the context.
I hand out a recycled piece of paper to use the back for our activity. I ask them to fold the paper to create four boxes. In each box they will write the word probably. I will then give a scenario for each box and they will finish it using reasoning. I read each scenario twice and then have students write what might happen next using the context clues to make a reasonable guess. I have students use probably to remind them that this is an educated guess not an answer. If we were going to get an answer we would have to read further to discover if we were correct.
For fun I have a bought a context clue BINGO game. There are nine squares and we play blackout. If you are short on time, you could have students win by getting a regular bingo on three in a row. This games is great because it fits in perfectly with how we were using probably and reason to determine what is happening.