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Build Mastery: Making Inferences

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Lesson Type: Build Mastery
Grade: K, 1, 2, 3
Group Size: Individual, Pair, Small Group
Length: 15 minutes
Goal: Given a book, students will use context clues and their own knowledge to make inferences about it.

Materials: Fictional leveled readers, Making Inferences graphic organizer (print here)

What to Do


Make copies of the Making Inferences graphic organizer for each student.


1. Explain the lesson.

Today we will apply what we have learned about making inferences. You will choose a leveled reader and complete a chart while you read.

2. Review how to complete the Making Inferences graphic organizer.

In the first column of the inference chart you will write a context clue. This could be something a character thinks, does, or says. In the second column, you will write down something you already know about this. In the third column, you will use the context clue and what you already know to make an inference. Let’s try.

The character in my book makes herself a sandwich. I will write that in the first column. I know that sandwiches are quick and easy to make. I will write that in the What I Know box. I will use this information to make an inference. My inference is that the character is really hungry. She makes a sandwich because it is quick and she can eat it right away.


3. Students read the book and complete the Making Inferences graphic organizer.

4. Make sure that students have chosen appropriately leveled books and monitor their completion of the charts.

5. Make sure students consistently use context clues and personal knowledge to make their inferences. Ask students questions like:

What does the character do? How does the character feel? What does the character say? What do you know about this? What does this information tell you? What conclusions can you make from this information?


For Advanced Students:

Encourage these students to make inferences that have to do with story elements besides character traits.

For Struggling Students:

Some students may struggle with making inferences independently. In this case, it is helpful to choose the same leveled reader for all students and read it together in a small group.

For ELL Students:

Make sure these students know the meaning of any key vocabulary or concepts.

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