Group Size: Any
Time Required: 60 - 90 minutes
Learning Objectives: Students will be able to...
Make inferences about the text
Code the text with an "I" and jot down inferences as they read
Student Worksheet (attached)
Overhead transparency of reading passages (attached)
Post-it notes to code the text
Do Now: (Add a Do Now to the Student Notes so that students have something to complete upon entering the room. I like to use this opportunity to spiral skills from prior lessons or to ask students to journal about a life experience that might help them to make a connection with today's lesson.)
Connection: We've been working on making inferences with that pesky graphic organizer all week. It's time we move away from using the graphic organizer because you're not always going to be toting a graphic organizer around with you when you read...
Direct Instruction/Guided Practice: What have we already learned to code? (Take responses and review symbols. If you are following this unit plan in its entirety, students should at the very least know how to code questions with a "Q.")
Logically, then, what is the code for making an inference? (Target response: "I")
Whenever you catch yourself making an inference, you want to write an "I," circle it, and explain what your inference was. Let's check out how that works. Follow along on today's notes as I read aloud.
(T will place overhead transparency of the passage on the overhead projector and read and think aloud as follows.)
Spark sat in the window. Hmm.... Spark. That doesn't sound like a human name.
She was staring at a small bird outside. The bird kept chirping and hopping around in the bushes. Right now I'm thinking about how my cat used to do this. That's my prior knowledge, what I already know about animals that sit at windows and watch birds.
This hopping and chirping made the tip of Spark's tail twist and turn. Yes, this has got to be a cat, especially if it has a twisting, turning tail. I'm going to finish reading the passage just to make sure that I don't disconfirm my inference.
The rest of her kept still. If the window had not been in the way, Spark would have jumped right out with the bird. Spark is definitely a cat. Now I'm going to write "I" in the margin, circle and jot my inference: "Spark is a cat." (T will complete this task on the overhead transparency and will direct S to do the same in their notes.)
The challenging part about moving from the graphic organizer to the text is that no one is asking me leading questions. I didn't go into this passage with the question, "What creature is Spark?" already dictated for me. I had to be extremely metacognitive as I read. I had to notice that my brain was asking a question in order to think through the answer. I had to notice that the answer wasn't a right-there answer, that it would require inferential thinking. This will be your challenge today. Your goal is to be a good enough listener to your own thinking that you will be able to hear the inferences you are making as you read.
Now I want you to try to make an inference or two about the next passage. You can read it by yourself or with a partner. After three minutes, you should be prepared to share out an inference or two. (T will allow time.)
(T will then facilitate a share-out and code logical inferences on the overhead. T will encourage students to add these inferences to their papers if they didn't have them already. T must ensure that they differentiate between what they already know and what the passage is telling them as they explain their inferences. Additionally, T should remind students to differentiate between inferences and predictions.)
Link: Now it's your turn. As you read today, what will you be doing? (Have students read through the directions in the "Link" section of the notes. If your students also complete an assignment for their literature circles during this time--such as a role sheet--you should add this task to the "Link" section as well.)
Independent Practice: (S will read silently and code the text with post-it notes. Since all S should have selected literature circle novels and scheduled meetings with their literature circle groups for this week, small groups of S may be meeting at this time. T should be free to hold Reader's Workshop conferences with individual students and/or pull small groups guided reading or other interventions.)
Share: Our time for today is up. Please feel free to turn to your partner or move to meet with your literature circle so that you can share your work for today. Go over the inferences you made as you read, and critique each others' thinking. (T will allow time for sharing and circulate to check for understanding.)
Closing:Today we discussed one more symbol you can use when you code the text, the "I" to signify that you have made an inference!
It's time for million dollar question!
1. How do you code an inference? (Write an "I," circle it, and explain your inference.)
2. Why do we ask questions (To become better critical thinkers, to practice being envelope-pushers, etc.)
3. Note to the Instructor: Insert your own question here based upon objectives your students have mastered up until this point in the year.
4. Why do we make inferences? (We come to grips with the "bigger ideas" in what we read, we get a better understanding of what the author is really trying to say, etc.)
Differentiation: Novels are differentiated by reading level and by choice. Active reading strategy: coding the text. Pair/Share during Direct Instruction/Guided Practice. Reader's Workshop conferences with students to encourage individualized goal-setting.