Saturday, October 13, 2012

Inferences and Puppets

This week in Reading class, we have been working on making inferences.  I have purchased some fabulous activities from fellow bloggers/TpT sellers. 

The first part of the week, I introduced making inferences using Babbling Abby's mystery box activity.  The students had to figure out/make inferences about what was in the box based on the information that I gave them on clue cards. 
The students learned that the object in the box from these clues:
1) I am round.
2) I am made of copper. 
3) My favorite number is one. 
4) I am often thrown in fountains. 

Can you guess what was in the box?  If you said a penny, you were right!  :) 

This activity was a lot of fun and it really got the kids engaged in the unit.  Along with this lesson, I also showed a Brainpop, Jr. on making inferences. 

Babbling Abby was popular in my classroom this week because I followed up the Mystery Box lesson with her Inferencing Investigation lesson.  The kids were really excited to using their inferring skills to determine what Grandma Sue and Tim did on their snow day.  :) 

At the end of the week, the students worked in small groups to practice making inferences using Rachel Lynette's Inference Task Cards.  Her task cards are WONDERFUL and they have become a staple in my classroom.  The kids love them!  The cheer every time I mention using the task cards. 

You are probably wondering who the cute fellow is holding a task card.  This adorable guy, better known as Snickers, is a puppet I have had since before I started teaching (over 10 years ago).  My mother-in-law actually found him on clearance at a toy store that was going out of business. I found him tucked away in a box that I had in my classroom last year.  Well, I decided to introduce him to my fourth graders.  To my surprise, the kids LOVED him!  I really thought they would think he was "too babyish," but boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!  The kids really responded to him, so I often invited him to "guest teach" or "co-teach" with me.  His presence was requested often.  And of course, since his name is "Snickers," he often brought mini-Snickers for the kids as a treat.  

Well, I pulled out Snickers for the first time this year.  Like the kids last year, my students LOVE him!  He helped me teach inferences and edited student writing in my writing class.  If you have never used a puppet with your students, I would certainly encourage you to do so.  I think you will be amazed at how your students respond to it.  Using Snickers has allowed me to take topics that are not necessarily the most engaging and turn it into a lesson the kids don't forget.  They often will say, "Oh yeah, Snickers taught us about that. He said....."  I am all about engaging the students. 

I am thinking about purchasing more puppets and letting the students use them to engage in conversations about content with each other.  I am just going to have to find some cute ones.  Do you all have any suggestions for where to purchase cute and reasonably priced puppets? Do you use puppets in your classrooom?  If so, how so?  I would love to hear all about.  I am always open to new ideas. 

Have a great weekend!  :)


  1. Hey Nicole- I sent you an email but am not sure if it actually went through because I did it in reply to a comment. I created a turkey treat writing activity modeled after your owl s'mores and was hoping you wouldn't mind if I listed it for sale. I am more than happy to include a link to your owl s'more activity and am also willing to send you a copy if you would like. Please let me know because I have it all ready to go but don't want to post until you give me the ok. Thanks!
    Third Grade Tidbits