Making Inferences and Drawing Conclusions are similar. This can be one of the trickiest lessons in reading. We are using Benchmark Universe in my school system and we are asked to teach both skills to primary students.
Inferences is taught before drawing conclusions, so we wanted to make sure the distinction was clear. Most definitions of inferences uses the word “clues,” but using “clues” when you are drawing con”clue”sions, made more sense to us.
We decided using the word “clues” in both definitions could muddy the water.
We decided to use the “in” in inferences to start the process.
When students are making an inference they are using what is IN the text and what is IN their brain (schema) to determine what the author is trying to tell us without actually telling us.
We also designed an anchor chart to incorporate math symbols because we wanted students to understand you couldn’t make an inference without using both skills: using the story and your brain.
Of course, the anchor chart in the classroom is created with the students and incorporates interactive writing.
(The anchor chart in the picture is put in a 8 1/2 x 11 sheet protector and kept at the small group table for quick reference.)
We practiced with short reading passages as a whole group and then in independent centers in the following weeks.
If you are interested in my Making Inferences set, click the link or the picture to the right.
For another post on Inferences, check out Making Inferences: A Step-by-Step Approach to Teaching Early Readers.
During planning for drawing conclusions, we decided to “double down” on the “clue” part of the definition.
We also needed to make sure the students understood that a conclusion is the “next logical step.”
We pulled clues from the story and practiced making the next logical step.
We designed an anchor chart using footprints for the kindergarten students and magnifying glasses for first and second grade.
As before, the anchor charts are created with student help and the anchor pictured is used in small group instruction.
We practiced this in whole, before putting it in independent centers. If you are interested in my Drawing Conclusion set, click the link or the picture to the right.
Once the content has been introduced and practiced in whole group, they can be moved to independent practice in a literacy center.
Students can practice making inferences by matching the written word with the pictures the author is inferring.
This task can be differentiated, students can be asked to highlight or color the details in the writing that helped them infer.
Students can also be asked to write what the author tells us and what they know to built their inference.
In the picture to the left a student might write, “The writing mentions a grill so I know the pizza can’t be a choice. It also mentions food that is long and skinny.
I know the shape of a hot dog is long and skinny, so I can infer we will eat hot dogs for dinner.”
The independent drawing conclusion activities can be used at a variety of levels.
Students can be asked to highlight or color the clues in the story that helped them draw conclusions.
Writing the clues and justifying their conclusion can provide students with valuable practice.
In the example to the right a student might write,
“I will put my lunch in a basket. I carry the basket to the park. When we get to the park, I lay out a blanket and eat a picnic.”
I hope these activities help your early learners with making inferences and drawing conclusions. If you would like a Making Inferences and Drawing Conclusions Sample Set of these activities, fill out the form below, download and enjoy.
Both making Iferecnes and Drawing Conclusion Sets are in cluded in the Reading Comprehension BIG BUNDLE at a considerable discount.