I'm linking up with Amanda from The Teaching Thief for another Fiction Friday! My picks are all centered around teaching making inferences.
Ruby Holler is a novel about “trouble twins” named Dallas and Florida, who have grown up living in orphanages and with foster families their entire lives. An older couple invites them to go on an amazing adventure with them and to live at their cottage in Ruby Holler. Since the twins are very mistrusting of people, it takes them awhile to warm up to the Moreys. However, this adventure ends up changing all of their lives forever. This book has great character development and sparks many great discussion questions. It’s a perfect book to model and practice making inferences, especially about what the characters are thinking and feeling.
I feel that almost any Chris Van Allsburg book lends itself to teaching making inferences. “The Mysteries of Harris Burdick” is a series of peculiar pictures with captions at the bottom that make you wonder what is happening. I photocopy and number the pictures on each page and spread them around the classroom. Then I have students walk around with a clipboard and paper and record what they can infer from each picture.
Another great Chris Van Allsburg book I use to teach making inferences is “Just a Dream.” It’s about a boy who travels to different places around the world in his dream and sees what it would be like if we didn’t take care of our environment. The students really have to think about what’s going on in each of the pictures.
My all-time favorite book for teaching primary students to make inferences is “No David” by David Shannon. Since it’s an (almost) wordless picture book, the students have to figure out what happened in each picture. For example, when they see David with a bat and then see a broken vase, they need to put two and two together. We made a class book after reading “No David” this year for which my first graders drew a picture of themselves doing something bad and their parents saying, “No _____!” Then we shared and practiced inferring what happened in each student’s picture. They LOVED it and I had never heard them laugh so loud.
“Tuesday” by David Wiesner is another good one for primary because it’s a wordless picture book and students have to try to put together what has happened in sequence from the pictures alone.
Here is a fun website that has inference riddles that kids love trying to solve. You could show it on the SMARTboard or simply read them out loud to your students while they guess what object is being described. I had my students do an extension activity by making their own inference riddles to share with one another.
Here is a great primary website called “What’s in the Bag.” Students are given three words that describe an object that’s in the mystery bag. They are then given a picture of three choices of what it could be and they click on their answer.
What are your favorite stories or activities you use to teach making inferences?