Both the grade fours and fives are learning about inferring while reading. Ms. Schinkel has started to teach them about this critical reading strategy.
She began by having the students read short vignettes that were one side of a telephone conversation. The class had to infer what the conversation was about using the clues in the text and their background knowledge. In one conversation they were going to McDonald’s for lunch and a big clue was “Big Mac” so we discussed how that might not be in some people’s background knowledge and if you didn’t know that a Big Mac came from McDonald’s you wouldn’t be able to infer what the they were talking about.
The next day Ms. Schinkel read them the book “Fly Away Home” by Eve Bunting. It is a story about a boy and his dad who live in an airport. She stopped to ask the class what they were inferring as she read. You can see she used pink sticky notes to record her own inferences. Going forward, the class will be using pink sticky notes to note inferences they make in their own reading.
At the end of the story the students recognized the symbolism of the bird representing freedom and hope for the boy and his dad and use inferring to predict that they would find a home.