Making Inferences

In reading we have been working on making inferences. An inference is an idea that is not explicitly stated in the text by the author. You have to use your background knowledge (what you already know about the topic based on your own experiences) and the text clues (titles, pictures, text, dialogue between characters, punctuation) to make an inference.

In our Mystery Bag session (see our previous blog posts) we had to use our senses and the written clues to infer what was in each Mystery Bag.

We made inferences about photos and pictures.

For example, when looking at the photo of birthday cupcakes, we inferred that a girl named Kate was turning four. We inferred she liked pink and that the cupcakes were homemade. Our background knowledge was that people usually had a candles in a birthday cake to represent how old they were turning, and that homemade cakes look different to the ones you buy in the shop. The text clues we found in the picture were the four candles, pink icing on the cupcakes, the letters ‘K’, ‘A’, ‘T’ and ‘E’ on the cupcakes and the patty pans that were used.

Next, we used ‘Infer and Predict strips’ to create short comics. We discussed how inferences and predictions were similar, because to make inferences and predictions you need to use clues in the text. Here are some of our Infer and Predict strips below:

One of our homework tasks was to create a ‘Me Bag’. Inside the bag were five items that allowed us to make inferences about who each bag might belong to. For example, inside some ‘Me Bags’ were:
…books – we inferred the person might like to read
…chocolate – we inferred the person like sweet food and desserts
…computer games – we inferred the person might prefer to play indoors rather than outside
medals or trophies – we inferred the person was fair, a team player, and good at sport
….and many, many more things!

After pulling out the five items and making inferences, we used all the clues to make an inference about who the bag belonged to! Some were easy, and some really made us think!

Some photos from the ‘Me Bags’ we have already unpacked…

Today we worked on making inferences about written texts. We used the formula BK+TC=I (Background Knowledge and Text Clues equals Inference). Can you make inferences about some of the inference cards below?

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