Draw the Dot-Draw the Conclusion

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SWBAT use evidence from the text and schema to make inferences and draw conclusions.

Big Idea

An Interactive Conclusion Graph? Instant Student Engagement!



I chose this book because it's one of the newer favorites that 2nd graders love. Peter Reynolds is a great author and there are LOTS of inferences to make in this story. Since the plot is clearly outlined, this is a great book to demonstrate and work with the kids on conclusions, our last idea in the inferring unit.

We'll be using a interactive organizer for making conclusions. My plan is to demonstrate quite a bit in this lesson and then let the kids be more independent with another book and create the organizer with much less help.

Let's Get Excited!

5 minutes

Underlined words below are lesson vocabulary words that are emphasized and written on sentence strips for my Reading & Writing word wall. I pull off the words off the wall for each lesson, helping students understand this key 'reading and writing' vocabulary can be generalized across texts and topics.  The focus on acquiring and using these words is part of a shift in the Common Core Standards towards building students’ academic vocabulary.  My words are color coded ‘pink’ for literature/’blue’ for reading strategies/’orange’ for informational text/'yellow' for writing/’green’ for all other words)


Common starting point

  • "We have been talking about inferring and you have all done a GREAT job learning how make some wonderful inferences using what the author gives us in the text and illustrations."
  • "When we infer as we read, we understand the text better. We are active readers who infer, read, infer, and read."
  • "Today I brought a great literature book! We are going to make inferences and then put them all together into one big conclusion at the end. The conclusion is the 'big inference' that we take away from the book. It's different than the inferences that we make along the way. The conclusion is the end of the story that really wraps up the plot."
  • Here's what my introduction sounded like.

Introduce and Model

15 minutes

Give the purpose of the lesson

  • "We are going to make inferences as we read this story. We'll use the evidence from the text and illustrations and our own schema to make these inferences. You can help me in the beginning of the story and then make a few of your own."
  • "Since the boy is 'drawing a dot' in the book, we'll 'draw a conclusion' about the plot of the story."
  • Pull up the website. "Here's an 'interactive graphic organizer'.  Tell me what you see...."  Take ideas (4 places for evidence... conclusion at the bottom...lots of room for the evidence.)
  • "We'll write 4 inferences that we make and then 'draw a conclusion' based on the inferences. Our inferences should start with an 'inference starter' (reference the poster - see materials)


Introduce strategy - teacher models

  • "I'll read the beginning of the book and then look at the evidence and the schema. Then I'll make an inference about what is happening, using my inference starter chart."
  • "We are focusing on the plot so let's try to make inferences about what is happening in the story." This is how I explained about that focus.
  • Read to the page that starts with 'Vashti's teacher leaned over...' and stop.  "My evidence is that 'Vashti says she can't draw.'  My schema is that I can't draw well either and I get frustrated so 'I'll infer that Vashti is frustrated because she can't draw'."   I'll type that on the first evidence box.
  • I brought some extra vocabulary in our discussion about the autograph.
  • The kids quickly realized that typing on the computer was cool because of spellcheck.  Here's an example of our discussion about spellcheck on the computer.

There is so much discussion in our inferences about how the 
characters respond to challenges and events in this story. (RL.2.3) This creates a great opportunity for students to examine the text and authors' intent-Why is the girl sad? Who can help her?  Encouraging students to examine and make inferences about the characters and plot allows them to delve deeper into the txt, looking for evidence in the text and illustrations and using those with their schema to deepen comprehension of the text.

Let's Work Together

20 minutes

Guided Practice

If students have their own computers, they can type. If not, I would suggest just having them give you suggestions and you type. Second graders typically do not type fast, so I like to put the focus on inferring and drawing conclusions and do the typing myself.

  • "Help me with some other good inferences. I'll read more and then take your ideas."
  • Read to the page that says, 'Vashti thought....'
  • "What is my evidence?  What schema do I have?  Help me make an inference about that."
    • My students suggested: "I think Vashti can sign her name and draw a dot but she still doesn't think she can draw."
  • Continue with 2 more inferences in the book. I stopped at the pages that started with 'Hmmph!' and 'At the school art show...'  Prompt as necessary - here's how I prompted one of my students.
  • My students are still learning how to make inferences instead of predictions. I remind them that 'inferences are about what is happening now' and 'predictions are about what will happen'. I'm happy that they're predicting, but for now, we're trying to do only inferences. This is an example of that confusion about inferences and predictions.
  • This is the picture of the screen when we were done with the inferences.
  • Take a look at the completed chart that we created.

Don't finish the book - stop at the page that says 'at the school'.  Save the last few pages for the project.


Teach about the Conclusion

  • "I'll take all of my inferences and make a great conclusion."
  • Use ideas from each inference and show the kids how to write a conclusion.
  • Here's what that explanation sounded like. 


My goal in this lesson is to encourage the students to use the evidence from the text - the words and illustrations - and their schema to demonstrate an understanding of the text. (RL.2.7) By creating inferences about what happened in the plot, they are showing that they understand the events based on the pictures and what they've read.

Share What You've Learned

15 minutes

Share what you know

  • "Let's finish reading the book and see what happened."  
  • Read the rest and talk about what will happen. I referenced the idea of a 'cyclical story' that we discussed in other stories.
  • "Now you get a chance to be the artist. I'm passing out and you need to use your art materials (crayons or watercolors) to create a picture from a line, instead of a dot (like the book). Don't worry if you're not an artist - just create some kind of line, just like the girl created."
  • Give the kids time to work. 
  • Here is some of the artwork that my kids painted:  student work 1 and student work 2.


Scaffolding and Special Education: This lesson could be easily scaffolded up or down, depending on student ability.

Since this is group lesson and everyone is working together, it's an excellent opportunity to model, model, model for your lower language students and pull some higher vocabulary from your student with more ability.

Use formative assessment in your discussion. Are the kids able to inference? Is there evidence provided? Can they inference and not predict?  This will give you feedback for future lessons.