When reviewing data with teachers, we often discover that students stumble on inference-type questions (I bet that comes as no surprise to all reading teachers out there!). Below, you will find several inference resources I discovered as I researched strategies, tools, and resources that could be used to help students understand and develop inference skills.
So what is inference? Below, you will find several of my favorite definitions:
- Inference is a judgement based on reasoning rather than on direct or explicit statement. A conclusion based on facts or circumstances. For example, advised not to travel alone in temperatures exceeding fifty degrees below zero, the man in Jack London’s “To Build a Fire” sets out anyway. (Dictionary of Literary Terms)
- Inference is a logical guess based on evidence based on evidence in the text.
- Inference involves making conclusions about a piece of literature when the connection is not provided in a piece of literature.
The following resources may be helpful as you teach the skill of inference…
- Practice Making Inferences and Drawing Conclusions – good material to use with elementary students
- Brain Pop Jr. Make Inferences – excellent information that includes a link to a great little (free) Brain Pop Jr. video
- Inference Riddles – an interactive resource
- Teaching Tips: Inference – a portal of additional links relating to Inference
- Teaching Inference, Interpretation and Analysis with New (and Old) Technologies
- Critical Thinking: Distinguishing Between Inferences and Assumptions – an excellent article adapted from the book, Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Learning and Your Life, by Richard Paul and Linda Elder
- Teaching Students to Make Inferences – a Bright Hub! article written by Keren Perles
Graphic Organizers that can be used to help students:
- ereading worksheets (scroll down for download links)
- Have Fun Teaching (several downloads)
- Inference or Prediction? (.pdf file)
PowerPoints that help teach inference:
- Making Inferences Graphic Organizer (pdf file)
- Making Inferences – Reading Between the Lines (pdf file) Graphic organizer
- Inference Record Form (doc file)
- Inferences SMARTboard Activity (notebook file) You need to have SMART Notebook 10 software loaded on your computer to view and use this file. I discovered this marvelous activity at the SMART Exchange site. It was shared by Angela Johnson-Drummond, a 5th grade teacher.