Games are fun to play and they raise the level of student engagement within the classroom. Sometimes calling an activity or introduction to a lesson a game is enough to have most of your students buy into the lesson.
The game we are playing is an inferencing game. They will need a white board and marker. I will read a brief clue and then ask them to infer something from the clue. I will then ask them to tell me how they know their answer is correct. We will play this a few times to get them thinking about what the author is not saying explicitly and how they know it.
My students are bummed that I am ending the game, but I explain to them that we will continue to practice this skill in the future. They are reassured when I confirm that we will play this particular game. Which might come in handy when we have to have an indoor recess.
They need to keep their white boards out. I am going to read them a story and I will ask them questions that they will need to infer as I read. When I do ask the question, they will write their answer on the white board using bullets. We need to move fast to get through the book so bullets work best so they are not trying to write sentences.
The book I am reading is How Many Days to America: A Thanksgiving Story by Eve Bunting. Many of her books are wonderful to read and include great opportunities to practice inferring. As I read, I stop and ask questions often. I also make sure to have them include how or why they think they are correct.
When we get to the end of the book I ask them to walk me through the inferences they made and how they came up with them. I allow students to share and debate as we go back through the book. It is important to allow them room to sort out their reasoning and ideas. They own their learning more this way. I just act as guide and make sure they are headed in the right direction.