Saturday, August 30, 2014

Making Inferences Using Mentor Texts

This week, we continued working on making inferences.  All of the lessons and activities prior to this week, were to build our understanding of making inferences.  This week, we took our understanding to the next level and applied it mentor texts.

I started the week out using the book, Miss Nelson is Missing by Harry G. Allard.  With this book, "I" modeled and "We" practiced using the text to make inferences.  I had the students complete this handout that I created to use what the text says to make inferences about Miss Nelson and Miss Viola Swamp.  The kids really enjoyed the book and it was an easy text to use to model the process.




Then, we used the book, The Stranger by Chris Van Allsburg.  This is the first year I have ever used this book to teach making inferences.  Let me just say, if you haven't used this book as a mentor text for this skill, YOU NEED TO ADD IT to your lesson plans immediately!  My kids fell in love with this book and were DYING to know who "the stranger" was.  I read the story as a read aloud.  Then, I put the students with "talk partners" to complete text dependent questions that really required the kids to analyze the text.  


I found the wonderful text dependent questions from the website, Achieve the Core.  I took the questions that I found and retyped them, so the students would have room to respond.  You can download my copy of the questions here.  Even though I don't use a basal for reading, I have a handful of old textbooks, and they happened to have The Stranger in it.  I was able to provide each pair a copy of the story to answer the questions.  It took the kids a couple of days to work through the story.

As I mentioned before, the kids LOVED this story!  One of my students told me that he thought had a difficult time going to sleep the day we read this book in class.  He said it was KILLING him not to be able to figure out the story.  I was SO excited to hear that the kids were thinking about reading class at home.  :)  In fact, my kids have asked that I find more books like this one for them to read.  They really enjoyed trying to interpret the story.  So, that is my mission right now......finding more books like this one.

If you have mentor texts that you love to use for teaching inferences, I would love to know the titles.  Also, if you have any recommendations for similar titles to The Stranger, please share the titles.  My students would be forever grateful!  :)


6 comments:

  1. Chris Van Allsburg's The Wretched Stone is another good one like The Stranger. The stone is really a television!

    Krazy Town

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    1. Thank you so much! I just ordered The Wretched Stone and Probuditi! from Amazon.

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  2. Thanks for the reminder about AchievetheCore! I just moved grade levels and it's been a LONG LONG time since I read Romeo and Juliet! ha!

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  3. The Stranger is my FAVORITE book to teach inferences! :) So fun! :)

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  4. would these books be appropriate for a 3rd grade inferenc lesson?

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    1. Yes, but I would probably wait later in the school year to use The Stranger. It definitely requires the students to think. :)

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