Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Making Inferences

I'm teaching a summer school class right now and this is one of the skills we are working on. Here in Texas we refer to this objective as Fig. 19-it's on the STAAR test questions and it's something we are reminded in almost every meeting that the kids have difficulty with it. I have to admit-sometimes I do too! :) You can ask my sister who was with me when I first saw the Sixth Sense at the movie theater and when they started to reveal the fact that Bruce Willis' character was really a ghost-I didn't get it. I think part of my issue is when I read or watch a movie I am just getting lost in it, not really thinking about where it's going. I think that's why so many mystery books are ruined for me when I figure out who did it before it's revealed-I like to be surprised!

One way I think you can work on this is with stories where the ending particularly isn't really spelled out. We can discuss how we think through that reveal, how we get to the point of understanding. These are some books I think are great for those lessons:

I really love Neville! It's a story about a boy who moves to a new town, depressed that he has no friends. So he goes out on the street and just starts yelling "Neville". Many kids come to help him find Neville and only at the end do we discover that he is actually Neville. The kids usually figure it out before the end so we can discuss how they came to that conclusion.

Jon Klassen is really the king of making us think about what the meaning of the book really is. This one included.

A bear asks many creatures in the woods if they have seen his hat-they have not. Again you really have to pay attention to the illustrations to figure out what happened. The ending was a little bit shocking to me the first time I read it-especially for a children's book.

An oldie, but a goodie. I can remember reading this book as a child. It's only $3.00 right now on Amazon. The inference the kiddos have to make is that Grover is actually the monster waiting at the end of the book. I love reading this one aloud and doing the different voices.

Of course, any wordless book will do, but this one a recent favorite of mine. Daisy loves her ball and then one day something happens to make her sad. There is a happy ending though. You really have to infer what happens in the end.

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  1. I need to go and buy the book Neville! It sounds like such a wonderful story, plus, I love the name Neville! Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. I think you will like it-and isn't that a cute name! Thanks for stopping by! :)

  2. Wordless books! Oh I agree. I have just discovered my love for them after many years of fear :) Red Sled and Red Hat are my two favorites right now!

  3. I had the same reaction to I Want My Hat Back. I didn't think my kids would even like it. Surprisingly, they did!

    1. We had football players from Houston's team come read at our school once and that was the book the student he asked to hand him a book chose. I cringed a bit and the football player was a little confused about the story-but yes, the kids loved it!