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Reintroduce: Making Inferences

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Lesson Type: Reintroduce
Grade: K, 1, 2, 3
Group Size: Small Group, Large Group, Whole Class
Length: 15 minutes
Goal: Given a fiction book, students will be able to make inferences about a character by paying attention to the character’s looks, thoughts, actions, and feelings.

Materials: A fiction book to read out loud, chart paper or board, copies of the Character Web (print here) for each student

What to Do


Choose a book that appeals to early readers and features a round main character. Make copies of the Character Web for each student. Make a large version of the Character Web on the board or chart paper.


1. Review what it means to make inferences.

Who can remember what making an inference is?

2. Record students’ answers on the chart paper or board and clarify the meaning of the term inference as necessary.

Making inferences means reading between the lines. We use information in the book to fill in the missing blanks.

3. Explain why making inferences is useful to readers.

Good readers make inferences when they read. They think about what is written in the book and what they know from their own lives to make inferences. They use the clues from the book to draw conclusions about why characters do what they do. You do this in your own life. You make inferences about the people around you based on their actions. Making inferences helps us understand a book better.

4. Show the cover of the book.

Today we will be reading _________________________ by __________________. We will be making inferences about the main character.

5. Direct students to the large Character Web you drew on the board or chart paper.

In the middle of the web, we will write the main character’s name. In the circle feels, we will write down how the character feels. In the circle looks, we will write down what we find out about how the character looks. In the circle says, we will write down important things the character says. In the circle acts, we will write down what the character does. Then, we will use that information to make inferences about the character.

6. Begin reading the book, pausing to identify the main character.

Who can tell us the main character?

Call on students to answer and write the character’s name in the circle on the web.


7. Direct students to their copies of the Character Web.

Please write the character’s name in the middle circle on your web. I am going to read. I will stop to give you time to fill in the other circles. Pay attention to how the character looks and acts, and what the character feels and says.

8. Read the book, pausing at appropriate places to allow students to complete their Character Webs.

While I read the book, listen carefully for information to complete the circles.

9. Finish completing the Character Web.

On the back of the page, we are going to write down three inferences we can make about the character. Remember to read between the lines. Use the clues in the circles to draw conclusions about the character.

10. Monitor students as they make inferences, offering assistance as needed.

11. Ask students to turn to a partner to share their inferences.

Now we will share with partners. Turn to a partner and take turns telling your partner about your three inferences. Tell your partner the clues you used to make your inferences.

12. Hold a class discussion about how making inferences helps to understand a character better.


For Advanced Students:

Encourage these students to make more than three inferences.

For Struggling Students:

Some students may struggle with making inferences. Encourage these students to focus on the information in one circle at a time. They can ask themselves the following:

  • What the character looks like tells me…
  • What the character says tells me…
  • How the character acts tells me…
  • What the character feels tells me…

For ELL Students:

Before reading the book, explain the meaning of any key vocabulary or concepts. Encourage these students to write one piece of information in each circle, focusing on one circle at a time to make their inferences. Use the prompts above to guide their thinking.

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