Teaching Tips: Steps in Modeling Inference Skills
- You infer by drawing a conclusion that combines information you already know with information in the text.
- You must be able to provide evidence from the text to support your inference.
- The explicit instruction of inference must include:
- specific examples of how the teacher looks at a text
- what the teacher is thinking during the process of inferring
- explicit teaching of the variations of the term
- the process used to infer
Inference vs. Prediction: Explain to students the difference between prediction and inference.
- A prediction is simply a guess at what is to come based on a pattern or sequence.
- An inference is drawing a conclusion through the use of inductive or deductive reasoning. An inference is supported with evidence from the text.
Concrete examples: Demonstrate for the class a clear example of drawing an inference through a map, graph, or artwork. Put it on the overhead, TV monitor, or refer to a page in their textbook.
Think aloud: Using the same examples above, “think aloud” for students as you make a statement about the result or situation of the example.
- It is important there be careful and specific explanation by the teacher about the mental process which occurs when choosing evidence from the example and combining it with prior knowledge.
Students practice with text: Begin the process of having students look at the title, headings, bold print, and pictures to make a prediction (guess) about the text. As students read the text one paragraph at a time, they systematically pull concrete details to support or refute their prediction. From here, students infer the author’s purpose for writing the text using both background knowledge and evidence from the text to support.
Students will not master inference the first time! The teacher must constantly be doing “think alouds” by modeling the process of reading between the lines, inserting prior knowledge, and making connections with information in the text which the author has not made. Students need lots of practice and modeling by the teacher!
Use the chart below to make an inference or draw a conclusion about a piece of artwork, a chart, graph, or map provided by your teacher or in the textbook. Use specific details from the text to support your conclusion.
|Text or Graphic Used||Evidence|
|Title and page number||This reminds me of .... |
This connects to what I already know about ....
|Direct quotes or paraphrase from text or graphic. Include the page number.|
|Based on the evidence above, I infer the following:|