Storybooks for Working on Inferencing

Do you find that your students have a tough time when it comes to inferencing? Me too! Inferencing is a hard skill for a lot of students. But fortunately, there are some great storybooks out that can help your students hone this skill! Storybooks are perfect for working on inferencing because they contain pictures, which can really help students figure out things that aren’t explicitly said in the text. 

Two Bad Ants 

Two Bad Ants, by Chris Van Allsburg, is a great book for inferencing. Van Allsburg uses vivid descriptions to help kids guess where the ants might be and what they are doing as they set off on their adventure to find sugar crystals. During Two Bad Ants, you can ask questions like: 

  • What are the ants doing?
  • Where are the ants?
  • Why are the ants leaving their hole?
  • Why do you think the ants are scared?

The Memory String

The Memory String, by Eve Bunting, is a beautifully written story that can help students infer the feelings of the characters in the book. The girl in the book, Laura, accidentally breaks the string she has that holds buttons from different family members- including a button from her late mother’s wedding dress. Laura’s stepmother, Jane, tries to comfort Laura. While reading The Memory String, you can discuss questions like: 

  • How do you think Laura feels about the memory string/it breaking/her mother’s death?
  • Why was it important to Laura to have the memory string?
  • Why do you think Laura feels sad?
  • What do you think Laura and Jane’s relationship is like?


A 2012 Caldecott Honor Book, Blackout was written by John Rocco. This book describes what happens in an apartment building one night when there is a power outage. There are a lot of inferences that can be made in this book, from the effects of the blackout on the night’s activities to the relationships among the neighbors prior to and during the blackout. While reading Blackout, you and your students can discuss the following:

  • Why was it too hot to stay inside? 
  • Why did everyone go up on the roof? 
  • How did the girl feel before the blackout? How about after the blackout? 
  • Why did the family turn the lights back out after the blackout? 
  • What was their relationship with the neighbors like before and after the blackout? 

This is Not My Hat

This is Not My Hat, by Jon Klassen, uses illustrations to give clues that help kids infer. When reading This is Not My Hat, students can consider the following questions:

  • Why do you think the little fish took the hat? 
  • What do you think the big fish did at the end? Why do you think that?
  • What can you infer from the illustrations?
  • Why did the author choose the title?


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