Making Stronger Predictions, Inferences, and Conclusions

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SWBAT make logical predictions, inferences, and conclusions and be able to explain why their predictions, inferences, and conclusions could work with the story.

Big Idea

Your students will conclude that this is a wonderful, delightful, worthy, very reputable day with this lesson.


Common Core Connection:

The stories in the anthology we use are usually very predictable and very easy for my students to be able to predict and infer using.  However, Common Core goes much deeper than asking students to regurgitate known material using low level texts. The CCRA.R.1 requires students to read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it: cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.  I realized I needed to supplement with a rigorous text to challenge my students.

Lesson Overview:

In today’s lesson I wanted my students to be able to independently demonstrate that they could make reasonable predictions, inferences, and conclusions from a text by reading closely and basing these on text evidence.  I purposely did not read the story before giving my students their activity sheets, because I wanted to see if they could or would make logical predictions, and informed inferences and conclusions.



5 minutes

To review what are predictions and inferences, I began the lesson asking my students to partner share with their rug partner.  When my students were finished sharing I used the magic cup (Demonstration: Magic Cup) to select two student pairs to tell the class what a prediction is and what is making a prediction.  These students shared that a prediction is making a good guess based on what we already know from the text about what a book is or what will happen next in a story.  And that making an inference is when you (the reader) use picture clues and what they already know to figure out what might happen next in the story, or to figure out a word you don’t know.  As these students shared these answers, the rest of the class showed me they agreed by showing a thumb up (Demonstration: Thumb Up, Thumb Down).

I agreed and told my students today we were going to mix it up a bit.  This brought on cheers of excitement.  Once they were settled down I explained today they would start off working with a friend to read parts of a story and make their own predictions and, or, inferences.  Then when they were finished with this activity I would read the story so they could see if their predictions or inferences were close or made sense based the passage they read.

With that I had them stand up, find their partner and sit at the desk of whose partner they were closer to.

Collaborative Activity

20 minutes

Once they were settled at their desks, I displayed the Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day Predict/Infer activity sheet on the Promethean board.  I explained that the sentences and passages were from the story Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, and pointed out that some of the words were missing.  I told my students they were to read these sentences or passages with their partners and decide together what would be a good prediction or inference.  I further told my little ones that there were no right or wrong answers, as long as their answer made sense and was based on evidence.

Before passing out their copies of the Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day Activity Sheet, I used the magic cup to select a student to repeat the directions to the class.  Once I was satisfied that my students understood what they were to do, I passed out their copies of the activity sheet, reminding them that their answers had to make sense.

As my students started to read and work, I met with each partner group to monitor their progress and answer any questions they had.  In this video clip, Making their Predictions, both girls informed they had gone to sleep with gum in their hair at one point and made they predictions based on their prior experiences.  At the end of 15 minutes I stopped the class to see if more time was needed.  Noting that just about everyone was finished I collected the activity sheets to check over my students predictions and inferences.  I read some of them out loud for the whole class to hear. 

Before reading I asked my students:

  • How did you figure out what a word meant as you read your sentences or passages?
  • From the sentences and passages you had, how did you make inferences or predictions about the characters, plot, or setting?

I gave my students a moment to think about these questions, I then used the magic cup to choose students to answer these questions.  The students I called on reported that they used what they knew could happen when someone goes to sleep with gum in their hair, and that they guessed that something bad happened to the copy machine and that tomorrow would be a better day.  They were not sure about finding treats in the cereal box.  That was something new to them, so the other boys found a toy, they decided Alexander did too.  I told my students that was a good conclusion, however I pointed to the words that said, ‘all I found was ...,' after reading it to my students they realized there was only cereal in the box.

When we finished our discussion about how they came to their answers I read their answers and quickly wrote them on the displayed copy of the activity sheet on the Promethean board, as seen in this picture Student Predictions.

When all the student predictions and inferences were on the Promethean board I had the class read each one.  After reading the prediction/inference/conclusion I asked: Does this make sense based on the text you were given?  Just about all of them did!

Guided Practice

15 minutes

When I finished reading all of my students papers, I introduced Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by holding up the book and telling them that as I read, they were to listen to what the story said compare to what they predicted or inferred.  I then proceeded to read, when I came to one of the sentences or passages that corresponded to their activity sheet I pointed to the displayed activity sheet on the Promethean board as I read that passage.  I would then stop and either note that their predictions/inferences/conclusion were close to what the text actually said, or comment on how their prediction or inference could work better by basing it on evidence.

At the end of this activity I had my students regroup in their leveled reading groups so that we could continue the morning in our leveled reading group rotation.

Independent Practice

15 minutes

While my students are in their leveled reading groups they rotate every 15 to 20 minutes through different activity areas.  One area I always include is journal writing.  Journal writing is different from our regular writing block.  I use journal writing to help my students remember, understand, and apply what we did during the guided practice and collaborative activities of the lesson.

The prompt I put on the board:  Explain why it is important to make good predictions, inferences, and conclusions when reading.

As each group rotated to my differentiated reading group I quickly checked all their journals for completeness and understanding of the prompt.

Ticket Out the Door

5 minutes

I gave my students a sticker when they were able to tell me one important thing to use when making a prediction, making an inference, or drawing a conclusion (text evidence).