Prior to teaching the lesson, I purchase a large plastic egg (the type that has smaller egg hunt eggs inside). I put several items inside the egg to mask the "treasure". Initially, I have a small cloth bag that I put candies inside. I wrap the bag in tissue paper, confetti and sparkly ribbons. I also have a small light that blinks blue and red. It, too, is wrapped in tissue paper. This egg is the focus piece for the hook of this lesson.
Although the words, infer, inferring and inference, are abstract words to kindergarten children, I like to teach them so that they become familiar to the students. Even if the word itself is forgotten, the children will begin to recognize it in later grades. The skill is perfect for kindergarten because the children love guessing games, and guessing the outcome of a story helps to build comprehension.
I have the students gather together on the rug and point out a chart that I have also prepared for this lesson.
Boys and girls, meet me on the rug. I have made the strangest discovery! While you were at lunch, I found this strange-looking egg on my desk. Before we open it, I want us to infer what is inside. Did you hear how I used the word, infer? From the way that I used it in the sentence, what do you think infer means? Inference means reading all the clues and then making your best guess. You might or might not find out if your guess was right when you are inferring. I have a Powerpoint presentation to share with you about inferring and making predictions that I think will help you better understand what I am looking for.
Look at our chart here. It says, INFER--What is in this egg? Then there are three other headings: We See--We Smell--We Hear I am going to pass the egg around for each of you to handle. You may look at it without opening it, smell it, and then shake it so you can hear what it sounds like. After everyone has had a turn to look at the egg, I will give some children a chance to infer what is inside the egg by the clues that they can see through the egg.
The children give several suggestions for each category and I write them on the chart. We review what their ideas were and then I open the egg, carefully unwrapping each piece.
Now that we have enjoyed the contents of the egg, I am going to read to you another story about Horton the Elephant. In this story, Horton helps someone out but the plan changes during the story. As we read through, I will stop at different times to let three children make inferences based on the clues in the story. As we find out other details, we will check our guess to what happens in the story.
Before the section where the egg hatches, I stop reading. I explain to the children that this is the place where everyone in class get to infer what is in the egg. The children get a worksheet that has an egg-shape at the top. I ask the children to draw a picture of what they think is inside the egg using clues from the story to help them create their answers.
On this piece of paper, you are going to use the clues you have heard in the story to draw what you think might be inside the egg. Please write a sentence or two to explain your guess. "I think it might be candy because you get candy in Easter eggs." "I think it is a police car because it was flashing blue light." "I think it is a toy chicken because chickens come from eggs." In ten minutes I will gather you back to the rug to read the last of the story, then you can see if you inferred accurately.
The students gather on the rug after ten minutes where they share their ideas of what might be in the egg. After the students share their answers, I finish reading the story.
Now that you have heard the story of Horton Hatches the Egg, we will be making Horton ears for you to wear. This will help you remember the name of the book and you can retell the story to your families. We will write the name of the book on one side of a sentence strip, and your name on the other side. Then we will glue the ears that you have colored on the strip, too. Come to me and I will staple the bands into a hat for you.
During our literacy station time, as the children work in my small group, they will be playing a game that asks the children to infer to get the correct answer. This is how I will be able to see how much of the inference lesson the children understood. I can sit with the group and listen to the way they think it through. If someone seems to be struggling, I can add them to my list to remediate at another time with them.
Now that we are together at our small group, I would like to introduce you to a game that is going to give you a chance to practice your inference skills. I will read a card to you. On the card are four clues. You will use the clues to infer what type of animal I am talking about. When it is your turn, if you get the answer correct, you get to move your piece on space on the game board. The first one to the beehive is the winner. Here is the first one: "Fluttering here and fluttering there, I dance on dainty wings. I cannot make a sound, but drinking nectar is my thing."
Since this is a game that I purchased from TeachersPayTeachers.com, I can not copy the pages, but I can tell you it was created by AppleJacks Teacher Resources and it is called "Spring Into Inferences". You could create your own game using a copy of a game board, download some clipart pictures of animals or everyday items, and writing some clue cards yourself.
The directions are: 1. Lay the picture cards out, side by side like you would for a memory game. 2. Place the clue cards in a pile face down. 3. Draw a clue card, read it, match it and move ahead on space.