Inferences? Seriously? In Kindergarten? Absolutely.
It’s just a matter of making it meaningful to five-year-olds…and you can. Look at the picture above. Did it snow last night? How do we know? Is there snow on the branches? Even if we didn’t SEE it snow, we see the snow on the ground and feel the snow. When we infer, we use what we know and what we see and put them together to make an inference. It’s that easy.
Inferences: Use Mentor Texts
I’ll be the first to admit I use Magic Tree House books a lot. I mean, like A LOT. I know. I think they are the best books.
That being said, the first time I thought about teaching my kindergartners about inferencing, it was completely by accident.
That’s right…by accident. We were reading The Knight at Dawn and Jack has hanging from the castle precipice and the students were hanging on every word.
An excerpt is in the picture. That was the end of the chapter. I said, “Oh, no! What happened to Jack?” “He fell in the moat!” a chorus of kindergartners yelled. “How do you know?” I asked again. “The book said, splash,” answered a student. I continued, “What if it said “THUNK” instead of “SPLASH?” Another student chimed in, “Then he would have fallen on the ground.” Yep, that’s what it’s all about.
INFERENCES: LOOK AT A LITTLE
Let’s look at he pictures first…no text. When the students were listening to the story, they weren’t focusing on the text, they were focusing on the story.
Likewise, using pictures is an easy way to include all students in a lesson about inferences. Using only a portion of the picture, ask what they see, know, feel, about the picture.
What can they KNOW about the picture. This is using what we know and we can learn from the picture, we make inferences about the pictures.
In the picture, a boy has on a helmet and he’s smiling. Because he has on a helmet, maybe he is doing something dangerous.
Inferences: Look at a Lot
Now, show them the WHOLE picture. Ask them the same questions again. Ask if they could tell a better story.
Using several sets of pictures and LOTS of oral practice, the students will be be making inferences all over the place.
Inferences are all about putting together what we know (in our brains) about something and what is see (either with pictures or text) about something and then making an inference about what is happening.
INFERENCES: WHAT ARE THE CLUES IN THE TEXT?
Finally, introduce students to making inferences using text. Using 2 sets of clues and 3 pictures, students can use the text to help decide which picture the text is describing.
Each of the hats can be used in the winter. Each of the hats could be used to keep your head warm. BUT, if the hat is the dame color as the snowman’s nose…there is only one choice.
The words don’t say it, but the inference does.
If you’d like a FREE sample set of Inferences for Primary Students, check out the form below.