Reading strategies was one of my favorite things to teach with both my younger and my older students. One concept that I found was particularly difficult with my younger kiddos was inferencing. I've found that students are typically more comfortable when asked questions where they can go back in the text and find concrete answers. Inferencing requires some higher level thinking that pushes some students just a little bit out of their comfort zone. Perfect, right? ... As long as you find a fun activity to ease the discomfort. This is one my kiddos loved and it's easy to do in your classroom, too!
Using the graphic organizer you can snag for free from my Teachers Pay Teachers store, project the image so you can use your graphic organizer. I liked using my document camera to project the image so I could write on it and my students could see my writing and I didn't waste a bunch of paper making copies for each student.
Plop your purse on a table or desk in the front of the room and pull out a few items. I chose my car keys, a gift card to Sephora, and a library card.
In the "items in the bag" column, write the items you pulled out of your purse.
Now, pick up one item at a time and ask the students what they think that item says about you. My students picked up on it right away. For my keys they came up with ideas like "she has a car," "she can drive," "her car is a Toyota," (because of the symbol on the key.)
Once you have written their inferences, discuss how the items in the bag are like clues in a text. When students find clues in a text, they can easily make appropriate inferences, too.
We read our weekly story from the Imagine-It curriculum we were using at the time directly after this lesson and the students were making much better inferences!
Although I used this activity with a second grade classroom, I would have no qualms about using it in a secondary setting either, depending on the ability of the students.
Let me know if you use it in your room and how it works for you!
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