Inferring Key Points in the Story

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SWBAT retell the story by describing the characters, setting and major events using key details.

Big Idea

Today we are going to be inferring in order to answer questions about the major events in the story.

Teacher Background Knowledge and Preparation

     Today the students are going to be doing quite a bit of inferring.  The students have to infer why the girl didn't want to know what was behind the trees and why someone needs to be brave when you go owling.  Readers, both young and old bring their experiences to the text. If students haven't had experiences being afraid or haven't had to show bravery before, talking to a partner and group conversations will be beneficial.  This is why you'll see my students talking to each other throughout this lesson.  When students infer today, they will be engaging with standards RL1.2 and RL1.3 because they are using text evidence to back up ideas about the events in the text.

       For today's lesson, you will need the Smartboard Owl Moon.notebook or Activboard Owl Moon.flipchart board lesson, the book "Owl Moon" and the students will need their student work packet from the last few days.

Inferring Why You Have to Be Quiet - Guided Practice

10 minutes

     Again, I wanted my students to work with a different partner today.  It's important for me to have my students get used to working with every one of their classmates - not just their good friends.  I have some resources for you to creatively come up with different student groupings.  Just click here The GrouperPartner Picking Cards, and sorting sticks.

     I had my students turn to the bottom of page  14 in their student packets.  I said, " Today we are going to infer.  Author's don't tell readers every single little detail in the story because that would make the story boring for a reader.  The author leaves clues for the reader to figure out the events from the story.  What we need to do as readers is think about what the text says, think about similar experiences we've had in our own lives and combine those two things to make an inference about what is going on in the story I am going to help you with the first few events in our story, and then you will have to do some inferring on your own. "

     I read to page 6.  After reading the page I went to slide 29 on the Smartboard lesson.  I read the question.  I said, " The question says, why are you supposed to be quiet when you go owling?  We are going to have to infer here so let's think about this.  I'm going to read this page again.  I want you to listen for any clues in the story that might help us."  I read the page and after discussing as a class the students We talked about how the only thing the text said is "when you go owling you need to be quiet. " We wrote this in the first box of our graphic organizer at the top of page 5.

     Living in Knoxville and being so close to the Smoky mountains, many of my students have had the experience of camping. So I brought those experiences into our inferring.  I said, " I know many of you have been camping before.  Think about what you already know about wild animals.  Why would you need to be quiet in a forest? Talk to your partner about this."  After having our partner discussion, we had a whole class discussion.  My students told me that the reason you have to be quiet is so you don't scare the animals away.  Wild animals are afraid of humans so you need to be quiet.  I said, "Let's record that in the middle box of our graphic organizer.

     Once we recorded that I said, "You know the text, and you know that you have to be quiet in the forest so we don't scare animals.  What can you infer about why the little girl needs to be quiet?" My students only needed a short time to discuss this.  They said that the girl and Pa wanted to see an owl, so they needed to be quiet so they wouldn't scare the owl away.  Then we recorded this in the last box on the graphic organizer. After filling out the graphic organizer, I made the students answer the text dependent question at the top of page1 5. I said, "Use your graphic organizer to help you answer the question.  Make sure you are answering in complete sentences and using evidence to support your answer."




Inferring Why You Have to Make Your Own Heat - Guided Practice

10 minutes

  I read page 13.  After reading I turned to slide 30 on the Smartboard lesson.  I said, "The questions says Why do you have to make your own heat when you go owling?  The text doesn't tell us much.  It says, "When you go owling, you have to make your own heat. Let's record that in our first box at the bottom of page 15." 

     After recording that I said,  "Why do you suppose you would have to make your own heat?  Why wouldn't you build a fire?"  Again we had a partner discussion. After discussing as partners, the class told me that if the animals saw a camp fire, they would know humans were around and wild animals are afraid of humans.  We recorded this in our second box on the graphic organizer.  

     Then I said, "So if we know that the text says that you have to make your own heat when you go owling, and that if animals are afraid of camp fires because they know humans are around, what can we infer why the little girl would say she would need to make her own heat?"  I gave partners time to talk, and then in our class discussion the children told me that they inferred that the little girl needs to make her own heat because if she made a camp fire, the owl would be scared and fly away, and they would never be able to see an owl.  I gave the kids about 3 minutes to finish recording this in the last box and then answering the question at the top of page 16 on the student packet.  You can see this portion of the lesson by watching the video Discussing and Writing Our Inferences - Day Three Owl Moon.mp4

Inferring What Was Behind the Trees- Guided Practice

10 minutes

   I read page 13 again.  After reading, I said, "Let's think about this.  Why wouldn't the girl ask what was hiding behind the trees?  It doesn't tell us much does it?  Let's write down what the text says in the first box on the bottom of page 16."   After we recorded in the first box I said, "Let's talk to our partners, what do we know about the forest, especially at night time?"  Partners talked and then we had a class discussion.  The students who camped a lot knew exactly what to say.  They told me the forest can be a spooky place at night and that that's when wild animals can go out and hunt.  I said, "That's awesome information.  Let's record that in our middle box on our student packet."

Once we recorded this I said, "Now I want you to talk to your partner.  What can we now infer about why the little girl didn't ask what was behind the trees?"  My students are really getting better with inferring.  In our class conversation many students agreed that the little girl knew there were wild animals in the forest, and she didn't want to know what was behind the trees because she didn't want to freak herself out.  We recorded this in our last box on the graphic organizer.  Then I had the students turn to the top of page 17.  We read the question together and then I said, "The whole point of making the graphic organizer is for you to use it as a tool when answering this question.  Remember to answer in a complete sentence."  Then I gave students about 3 minutes to write their answers.  You can see how my students did this part of the lesson by watching the videoDiscussing.... Behind the Trees - Day Four Owl Moon.mp4

Inferring Why You Have to Be Brave - Independent Practice

10 minutes

Then I turned to slide 32 on the Smartboard lesson. I said, "We've had time to practice together.  Now I want to see how well you can infer on your own.  You will not talk or help your partner this time. I'm going to read page 13 again.  Then I will read the question on page 32.  You will fill out the graphic organizer, then make your inference.  Finally, you will answer the question on your own. Listen carefully. "  I reread part of page 13 where it says you have to be brave when you go owling.  I said, "  Write down what the text says in the first box, the experiences you've had in your life in the second box, and your inference in you last box at the bottom of page 17.  Then you may answer the questions when you are done filling out your graphic organizer.  Remember to use your graphic organizer as a tool to help you answer your question. The question is at the top of page 18." 

     Since students were on their own, it really required them to think.  It took them longer than I originally thought, but that was OK with me because they were really trying.Inferring Why You Have to Be Brave......mp4

Inferring How Long They Watched the Owl

10 minutes

  I read page 26 of the book where the author really uses some interesting language about how long Pa and the little girl stare at the owl.  After reading the page, I made students stand up.  I said, "I am going to set the timer and we are going to stand up quietly for 1 minute so you really have a good feeling about what 1 minute feels like." After standing for a minute I had the students sit back down.  I went to slide 33 on the Smartboard lesson and reread the paragraph.  I said, "We just felt what 1 minute felt like.  Would you want to stand up for 100 times that amount?  Why would the author write that ? I want you to write down what the text said, what experiences you've had in your life an the inference you've made in your graphic organizer at the bottom of page 18."  I gave students abou3-5 minutes to do this.  

     We then turned our attention to the top of page 19 and read the question together.  Before I let the students start working on their question I said, " Look at what the question is asking you.  It is asking you how long YOU think they stared at the owl.  I think they are asking for your opinion. Remember to include vocabulary that shows you are stating your opinion.  The question is also asking you for evidence from the story to support your answer so you need to be sure to include that as well." Then I let my students get to work on answering their questions.  I gave them a good 3-4 minutes so they had time to reread their answer and make sure they included their evidence.  You can see how my students answered this question by viewing How Long... Owl - Day Five Owl Moon.mp4

Our Closure

5 minutes

     I was going to have students post and use our Facebook closure because I didn't want them to get burned out on any one particular closure.  They all started saying "No, no we want to do Koosh ball closure!" So I just rolled with it and we did our koosh ball closure. 

     I explained in great detail what we do in our Day 3 lesson of this unit so I will just tell you the questions we answered during the closure.  They were:

  • Why didn't the girl ask what was hiding behind the trees?
  • Why do you have to be brave when you go owling?
  • Why do you have to make your own heat when you go owling?
  • How long do you think they were standing and staring at the owl?