Monday Motivation: An Interactive Inferencing with Pictures Lesson

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Welcome to the first installment of “Monday Motivation!”
I plan to am going to start a weekly blog post series on lesson ideas including freebies, resources, etc.  I am so excited to commit myself to this and continue working on my New Year’s goal of remaining FOCUSED! Anyway, on to the good stuff…
Recently I have been spending so much time focusing on phonemic awareness, decoding skills, letter recognition (for my struggling babies), and general concepts of print that my kiddos are showing a bit of struggle with comprehension.  I finally got my hands on a DRA kit (my entire district has NO reading assessment kits like DRA, F&P, etc.) and have found that even my kids who are above level are really struggling with comprehension.  What good is all of our work on basic reading skills if the kiddos can’t comprehend what they have read??
Cue in today’s lesson on the one and only inferencing.  I hope this inferencing lesson idea will be useful to you!  My kiddos had a blast with it today!
Let’s start off with supplies needed:

  •  Sticky notes (4 per student)
  • 4 pictures to display for Gallery Walk + 2 more for lesson (You can follow links to the pictures I used if you’d like to use the same ones.)
  • Picture book appropriate for inferencing (I used “This Is Not My Hat” by Jon Klassen – it’s an absolute favorite of mine!)
  • Making an Inference Using Pictures [FREEBIE]
I started off the lesson by asking students what they noticed about the picture below. 
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We discussed how the little girls facial expression, hand on head, bath robe, and thermometer all give us clues that she is sick.  That lead right into explaining that the kiddos had just made an inference and spending a few moments talking about what an inference was.
Next up was the read aloud – admittedly my favorite part because of the story chosen!  “This Is Not My Hat” is literally the perfect story for teaching inferences!  The words tell one story (the little fishes thoughts), but the pictures tell an entirely different story.  Throughout the read aloud I stopped to allow students to make inferences as a whole group and with partners.
We practiced making inferences one more time with the following picture – I pushed my kiddos to look as deep as they could.  What happened?  Where is the man looking?  Why is he holding his hand that way?
Finally it was time to see if my little kinder friends could fly solo!  I set up 4 stations around the room for our Gallery Walk.  The pictures are on makeshift trifolds (construction paper and paper clips).  Students spent about 2 minutes at each station discussing what inferences they could make and recording their thoughts.  This was also a great chance to sneak in some writing without the kiddos focusing on only using proper technique – just get those thoughts out!
Below are the 4 pictures I picked to use during the Gallery Walk.  I tried to search for pictures that had a hidden layer of meaning to stretch my kiddos thinking…
Inference: What happened? What makes you think so?
 The ice cream must be melted because it is hot outside.
Inference: What are two things you can say about this little boy?
It’s pretty obvious it’s this kiddos birthday, but looking for clues as to how old he was turning was perfect!
Use photos at beginning of ur unit to develop inferencing skills before moving onto books.  It's easier for the kids to learn with pictures first. 
Kiddos discussed the flooding in the picture and what caused the house to tip over.  They also were very interested in the family trying to get away to safety.
This picture of a puffin with dried grass proved to be the hardest for my kiddos, but so worth scaffolding their thought.  The puffin is most likely getting supplies to build a nest.
We wrapped up by sharing our inferences from each station.  Verdict is… THEY GOT IT!
If you try this lesson out, let me know how it goes!  I’d love to hear about what worked, didn’t work, and how your kiddos responded!

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