Strategies for Teaching Inference

Introducing Inference

One great way to teach inference is to use pictures. National Geographic is a great source for finding photos.

  • ExampleDuck and Turtles Photo - Great for an Inference Lesson

    Photo Credits

  • Questions you might ask about photos include . .

  • What can you conclude?

  • What most likely caused ——?

  • How do you know ——?

  • What can you generalize about ——?

  • What might happen ——?

  • How does ——feel?

  • What conclusions can you draw?

  • What clues lead you to believe ——?

Finding inferences in text is a bit more difficult. Often students need to look for signal words that show an inference is coming up. Signal words for inferences include:

  • infer
  • believe
  • guess
  • probably
  • generalize
  • think
  • assume
  • conclusion
  • clues

Anchor Chart

This anchor chart contains a flow chart. Students decide if the inference they made is valid by following the steps on the flowchart. Some students may need this concrete series of steps to determine if their abstract reasoning is correct.

Anchor Chart for Inferences

Stem Questions for Making Inferences in Text

Here are a series of questions you might ask students to help them make inferences with text:

  • What is the main idea of the passage?
  • What clues lead you to believe —–?
  • From the title of the article, you can predict —-?
  • What conclusions can be made from —–?
  • Which details from the passage helped the reader to know —-?

Inference on Pinterest

This Pinterest board is dedicated to pins to help teach reading skills. Just click on the image to visit the board. Inference Board on Pinterest

Free Printable Graphic Organizer

Inferences are not only determined by facts in the photo or text, but also from the knowledge and experiences of the reader. This simple graphic organizer helps students understand that inferences are made by assessing a combination of these two.

Free Printable Graphic OrganizerInference Unit on Teachers Pay Teachers

If you are looking for additional materials to teach inference, you may wish to take a look at this unit on Teachers Pay Teachers. Mini posters, Lap Book, BINGO, Games, and Printables are just some of the activities your students will enjoy in this Inference Pack.

Inference Unit on Teachers Pay Teachers

Gay Miller


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