Friday, January 28, 2011

Inferencing Activity {First Grade}

We learned about inferencing this week in First Grade and I was determined to find a better way to teach it than complete the ridiculously ineffective {and booooooring} graphic organizer that my reading series issues for this unit.  It was totally BLAH.  Anyway, with snow being so prevalent in our lives right now, it only seemed fitting to find a way to connect inferencing to the ever-present white stuff that is driving me batty.  {This was actually the lesson I taught for my observation.}
So, I decided my students were going to Inference Investigators

 After activating prior knowledge with Snow Day by Barbara Joose, we completed a whole group graphic organizer about snow day activities. 


Next, I read a cute mini-story that I wrote about "Tim", who is at home on a snow day with his grandmother.  When his mom arrives home from work, she has no idea where either Tim or his grandmother are or what they did all day.  So she starts searching the house in search of "Snow Day Evidence."  After reading this story to my students, I told them that their assignment was to be an "Inference Investigator" and to work with their group members to sort through the evidence Tim's mom collected to figure out a) what they did all day and b) where they were when she got home.

I presented the evidence in Snow Day Case Files (laminated manila envelopes) that contained four "pieces of evidence."  They were oh so excited!  I looooove to see my kids get pumped up about learning! I gave them a recording sheet so that they could make inferences based on the objects in their case file.


Here is what one group found...


Thus, they could infer that Tim and his grandma might have eaten at McDonalds and drank hot cocoa. 

Each group had a different set of evidence, and some of the evidence connected to other group's evidence.  For instance, one group had a muffin tin and inferred that they made cupcakes.  However, another group had a recipe for blueberry muffins.  So, at the end of the lesson when we reconvened as a whole group to sort through all of the evidence together, the two groups were able to conclude that they must have made blueberry muffins (though cupcakes was a great inference, too!). 



To finish the lesson, students responded to some questions that I wrote out.  We then extended the lesson by creating a whole-group timeline of what we thought their day might have been like; then, the students chose a time and illustrated Tim and grandma's activity.





{This may seem like a complex activity - and it is detailed - but it isn't easy to teach 6- and 7-year-olds about inferences.   So, this is VERY hands-on, and my students really "got it" when all was said and done.  I heard lots of Aww, now it I get it!  or It all makes sense now!  as they sorted through the evidence - making them detectives was key!} 

I have created a printable of this entire activity that includes the detailed lesson plan, story, case file front/back, graphic organizers (not pictured), and activity sheets (not pictured) - plus, as a bonus, 2 inferencing definition posters, and 5 inferencing pictures and text posters to supplement your reading series or to use with a mini-lesson.  You can buy it at Teachers Pay Teachers by clicking HERE. 

If you click on the picture below, you can download a free printable of one the inferencing pictures/text posters.  The picture of the one in my classroom seen beneath has copyrighted clip art, so I couldn't upload it to TpT.  However, the clip art I used for the printable was much, much, much cuter!  I'm going to reprint them for my room.  Enjoy :)

{FYI: You need the latest download of Adobe Acrobat to clearly view/print the download. MAC users need a special Adobe application.}



What are your ideas for teaching inferencing? 
I'd love, love, love to hear them - and happy Friday!

{PS.  For those of you that asked, I create all the printables in a Word document that I then convert to a PDF.  I share them via Google docs. Would you like a more detailed explanation?  I could write another post about it if you do!  Let me know :)}

30 comments:

traci527 said...

This is incredible. I did an inferencing during my student teaching and it was hard! Very, very clever!

Mrs. McHaffie said...

PLEASE give more details in how to convert the word document into a PDF using google docs. I keep trying but it keeps changing my font!!! Grrr... Sadly, I've JUST started branching out of Word Docs! Thanks so much! I love the"word munchers" by the way...ADORABLE!

Kelly
Beg, Borrow, Steal
www.mchaffiek.blogspot.com

Brandi said...

What a fabulous teacher you are! I can tell that you put a lot of thought and hard work into this lesson. Your school kids are very blessed to have you as their teacher!!!! Happy weekend!!

mikey said...

Looks like a great lesson....you are very thorough. I'm sure whoever observed you had no suggestions :) Hope you have a great weekend!

Erica B said...

You make the cutest learning activities! I'm sure the kiddos love it! PLEASE make a detailed post about how you make them! Like what kind of clipart you use and how you make your dash borders! Thanks :)

Hi, I'm Harmony said...

G-E-N-I-O-U-S! I absolutely {LOVE} this unit! So clever! In fact, it is so clever that I hope I get a teaching job in 1st grade this fall just so I can teach it!

You have inspired me to brainstorm ideas to make a simple unit along the same lines for my kindergartners. I'm thinking about tying it into a Valentine's theme...

You ROCK!

~Mrs. Beck

http://mrsbecksgotclass.blogspot.com/

Elisabeth said...

WOW! I am so amazed! I'm pretty sure you are like a creative genius! haha Inferencing is such a hard concept to teach and I think we have one worksheet in our actual reading book that even covers the concept. These activities are AWESOME!!!!! Thanks for sharing!

Amanda said...

Abby, where did you get the clip art from? I am always searching for cute clip art that can actually be used on TpT in particular. I love your unit! It makes me want to teach first grade!!!

aes17 said...

Love, love, LOVE this! Just downloaded it...can't wait to use it in my room!

Betsy said...

Girl...you are amazing! I LOVE all your ideas! Sooooo cute! :)

Kimber said...

Hi! I just bought your inferencing activity on TPT but a bunch of the documents uploaded with blurry lines and missing font. I have had this problem before with documents (i think it might have something to do with the fact that I am working on a MAC). Is there anyway that I can get the documents in word form so that I can fix them myself???

Team Carroll said...

LOVE IT, my sweet friend!!! This is GENIUS!!! I'm definitely gonna need to grab a copy for my room!!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!!

Jodi said...

You are amazing! What a great way to teach inferencing! Love it!!

Jodi
www.fun-in-first.blogspot.com

LittleMissDreamer said...

This is so fun! You make me wish I was an elementary teacher instead of a middle school teacher!!! You have such cute activities- kids most love having you as a teacher! :)

According to Ashley said...

I teach K but I wish I taught half the stuff you teach so I could use your cute activity sheets and ideas!! I love the idea of having the kids become detectives.....Maybe I could adapt that for some of my objectives....Hmm...

Rachelle said...

SHHHHHHH.....don't tell my husband I'm buying more teacher things! :)
-Rachelle
www.whattheteacherwants.blogspot.com

Lana said...

LOVE this lesson! You are so creative!

Michelle said...

YOU Are a Genius (WITH A BIG FAT CAPITAL G)! Love it! I'm going to have to grab it! So much more fun than my inference lessons! Michelle
fabuluousinfirst.blogspot.com

Sarah Cooley said...

WOW! I am AMAZED. This is such a hard concept, (even for me to try to explain) but this is fantastic!!! I really wish we were doing inferences next week--{our observations start.} Oh well. Have any great ideas for main idea!!??? :) --Sarah

Amy said...

Thank you so much for sharing that wonderful lesson! Could you please do another post on how you create your documents??? Where do you get your clip art and fonts? Thanks SO much for sharing!! --Amy

California Wife said...

You come up with the most creative ideas ever!!!! I love how well all of your lessons come together, and they always look so cute too!

mutchlerj said...

This is amazing! I am teaching inferencing soon...now maybe next week! Have you made up any other reading strategy lessons (schema, determining importance, questioning, etc.) Yours would be way more fun to teach than what I've got going on! Thanks!!

Laura said...

LOVE THIS! I'm so glad I stumbled upon your blog. I teach 2nd, but this will be great for them as well. Many of mine still don't really "get" inferences and I'm sure this hands-on approach will help! Thanks!

kris1582 said...

I did this lesson with my firsties today and we are going to do the whole group part tomorrow to discuss our inferences. OMG - they LOVED it!! They were so into it and they actually did a great job at inferring the correct things based on the evidence. I even made up Inference Investigator badges for them to wear during the afternoon to make it more 'official!' I had a blast watching them come up with inferences. Super excited for tomorrow's whole group activity...if we go to school - looking at a HUGE snowstorm/ice storm heading my way!

Janae said...

I LOVE IT! We just so happen to be starting drawing conclusions/inferences. I was so happy to find this, because I had no idea how to teach that very well. Thank you so so much!!! :)

beckylynn said...

Hey there! Love all your ideas! I was just wondering where you get your font and images for these activities/pages. I feel like I see these ones lots of places and would love to use them too! :) Thanks!

SunnyDays said...

You are a serious lifesaver! I just blabbed on and on at your tpt store, but it bears repeating. I have an observation coming up and after 17 years of teaching our evaluations are so completely new and different that I was kind of freaked about it. I had a general idea of what I wanted to do but I purchased this unit - and HOLY COW! It's freakin amazing! Now instead of being uneasy about my observation, I'm excited for it.
Thank you, thank you!!
Denise
Sunny Days In Second Grade

Anonymous said...

Just did this with my class yesterday and it was a huge hit. They are begging me to do another one!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the wonderful ideas!!!

Jenna said...

I just came across this, and I absolutely love it! I sent you an email!