Introducing Inference

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

• Example

Native Americans

Native Americans is one of my favorite topics to teach. It doesn’t matter the grade level; students are fascinated. They become active learners when studying about different tribes, customs, etc.

One great way to begin your exploration is with this Native American chart. Each box contains links to information written by students. The webpages are not only full of great information but student-made dioramas, Native American crafts, and costumes.

Chronological, Sequential, and Consecutive Order

I have found that by teaching my students that they may order nonfiction texts in three different ways – chronological, sequential, and consecutive order – really helps their comprehension of the material. Here is how I cover the three ordering topics:

Chronological Order

Chronological order usually refers to how things happen in order of time. The segments of time may go forward or backward. This pattern works well when telling a story. History is told in chronological order. Also explaining how something happens or works is chronological order. Chronological order may recount a series of events that happened over time. This structure is organized from one point in time to another.

Main Idea Teaching Activities

Teachers should begin main idea lessons by explaining the basic structure of paragraphs.

EXAMPLE –A paragraph consists of a group of sentences that relate to a specific topic called the main idea or central thought. The main idea is expressed in a sentence called the topic sentence. The remaining sentences add details. These are called supporting details. When reading a paragraph look for transition words [but, however, etc.]. These often change the meaning of the paragraph. Readers can look for the main idea by asking ‘Who?‘ or ‘What?‘. Answers to ‘Where?‘ ‘When?‘ and ‘Why?‘ usually provide details to support the main idea.

Gases in the Atmospheric Layers

The next time you empty the punched out circles from your hole punch, save the paper circles for this activity. The punched circles will become gas molecules. (Students will need three colors of punched circles to represent nitrogen, oxygen, and other gases.)

Instructions:

1) Print the organizer [The link for the pdf organizer is found at the bottom of this page.] onto colored paper.

The Story of Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy in 1451. Living by the Mediterranean Sea, he longed to be a sailor. He began sailing on Italian ships at the age of 14. When Columbus was 25, he was sailing on a ship headed for England. A group of French pirates attacked his ship. Columbus was hurt, but managed to grab onto some floating wood and make his way to shore.

Map Maker

Columbus opened a shop that sold maps and books for sailors. There he became a map maker and began reading books. He read a book written by Marco Polo. Columbus was fascinated by Polo’s book. After reading this book, Columbus was sure he could reach the Indies by traveling west. He wanted to go to the Indies to get jewels and spices.