Did you know there are two type of clues when working on inferencing? Story clues and background clues!
Yes, there are two types of clues. We often find ourselves working on inferencing in speech. Our students will struggle with inferencing if they do not understand the language of the question, the language of how to respond, the language within a text, or how to make connections with the information! That is where we come in! There are so many ways we can tackle this tricky skill. It is important to go back and determine where are they breaking down. Is it understanding the question, the vocabulary in the picture or story, or how to generate a response? I like to use graphic organizers to teach students how to organize all of the language involved!
I often find myself starting with pictures since it takes away the reading comprehension piece and we can truly work on language first. Click HERE to learn more about my inferencing pictures product on TPT.
I often find students really get tripped up on the the “What do you know” piece. I find it is important for students to realize that their life experiences help them answer higher level thinking questions! They are amazed to realize they can use it!
We make background knowledge bags.
Students have fun coming up with different experiences in their lives that matter and make up who they are. We put them in a bag, pull them out and discuss what things they might have seen, heard, or even felt there.
We keep these bags in our speech folders and can always refer to them when students struggle to come up with “I know this because ____.” Then, I take a storybook and demonstrate how they can use their background knowledge to make statements while they read.
As we read, we talking about what we know from the book and what we know from our own experience.
It was so important for students to recognize just HOW they know the answers! It also helped them make more elaborate responses to their inferencing questions. They didn't just say “I know because I know!” OR “I know because it said it in the story.” They were truly able to identify WHAT did they know and HOW!
Once my students understood the different types of clues, we are able to work on our responding to questions. I like to use wordless picture books to elicit responses in a fun and motivating way. My students love these types of books since it allows me to use books with pictures and they don't think it is too babyish! Click HERE to read my blog post about wordless picture books and learn more about my favorites!
I created a cheat sheet with inferences prepared! Having cheat sheets ready to go, I am always prepared with the statements needed to target my skill in mind. I don't have to think on the spot and I can take advantage of the short time I am with my students! I came up with statements for each page, the cover before reading the story, and for once the story was finished. I used all “I think…” statements to be consistent but you can change it up to include the other inferencing vocabulary once your students are ready for that!
As we “read” the wordless picture book, I expressed an inference and students had to agree and disagree with the statements. They were all provided with a handheld visual to just hold up the correct side based on their answer. We discussed opinions and how everyone CAN have a different answer as long as they were able to verbally express their REASON or their CLUE (experience or story).
My students LOVED this book and being able to all participate evenly without one student dominating the group (you know that tends to happen!).
Once my students understood background knowledge and inferencing statements, we were able to move onto the inferencing vocabulary!
We had fun making these fun DIY puzzles using our inferencing vocabulary just to give bombardment and to have so creative fun! I also have this no prep craft as a FREEBIE in my TpT store which you can grab HERE!
Want to learn how you can grab my Inferencing Discussion Visuals On A Stick FREEBIE (yes FREE!) click the button below!