Making Inferences

11 January 2012
Well, I survived my first days back.  Actually, Monday and Tuesday went extremely well.  Today felt a little ... long ... (to be diplomatic) ;).  Sticking to my motto - kill 'em with kindness and routine ... wow - sounds  little harsh, but you know what I mean.

I'm VERY excited to start our new reading unit for the month - it's one of my absolute favourites!!!  We're going to spend the next five weeks making inferences using Chris Van Allsburg books.  LOVE!  We've just started The Wretched Stone, and we will spend a full week on each book in this unit.  I made this unit in my pre-document camera days, so I had scanned all the pages from the book and made a slideshow of the book for our shared reading.  The kids really enjoyed the slideshow - just that little bit of extra technology hooked them.  And, boy are they hooked.  Today they were supposed to find out what "the rock" really is ... but I wasn't a fan of their behaviour by the end of the day (again, being diplomatic), so I left them hanging and we went on to another subject.  Their disappointment was palpable, and their behaviour improved drastically.  Can't wait for tomorrow!

When we are studying inferences, I use a chart very similar to the K-W-L chart.  This is our O-Q-I chart (I call it our "okee" chart).  When we are reading a text for the first time, I hand out three stickies to each student.  They must make an observation (I know that ...), a question (I wonder what/why ...), and an inference (I think ...).  We then post the stickies on the chart at the end of the lesson (kind of like their exit slip, only they don't get to 'exit'), and then we revisit the chart the next day before we start our new lesson.

If  you are interested in previewing this unit, click here.  I also have a little freebie for The Sweetest Fig, which I have used as a diagnostic, or summative assessment for this unit.  Click here to download a copy.

Be sure to check back on Friday - I've got a FANTASTIC Friday Art Feature to share with you - we're just about finished and I can't wait to show them off!

Happy Wednesday!!!


  1. Why can't you just schedule an inservice in California?!
    We have a little less snow than you do and we'd promise to be great listeners...
    I LOVE the way you teach!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  2. so cool! We are doing an author study on Chris Van Allsburg at the end of the year and I will definitely be revisiting this post. Thank you very much for sharing your fantastic methods!

  3. Love your O Q I chart! Thanks for showing that! I'm now following you.

  4. Kim - I would do it in a heartbeat ... how 'bout tomorrow - we're expecting a HUGE storm that I'd rather not drive home from school in.
    Thanks, Kristen! Chris Van Allsburg is one of my absolute favourites! And I can't wait to include my new Chronicles of Harris Burdick into the unit the year!
    Thanks, Lori! Welcome!!!

  5. What a great lesson! I LOVE Chris Van Allsburg. I used to do a whole storytelling/inference unit with The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. Love it. Thank you for sharing.

    Teaching in Room 6

  6. I bought this unit from your TpT store a few weeks ago. I am using The Sweetest Fig book with my 5th graders. We are loving it!

  7. Love the "okee" chart. I'm going to use it tomorrow! I'll definitely be checking out your inferencing unit! I'm a new follower!

  8. Also love the 'okee' chart- it would work really well for my art classes in terms of discussing and interpreting a work of art- something I need to do more of with my kids. I also like the simplicity of using Post-it notes. Thanks for sharing!

  9. I like your teaching style. That would be fun and the students may enjoy the learning too. But may I know what is the level of your students? Thank you~

    1. Sarah, I teach grade 5/6. Thanks for you comment!

  10. I have been asked to present a short lesson on making inferences as I interview for a 6th grade position (1st year teacher here!) later this week. I am student teaching little guys in 2nd grade so I was glad to see that the ideas I had for the lesson are in line for 5th/6th grade. I'm using The Sweetest Fig and I think I will steal your chart idea :) Thanks!

  11. Did you remove this from Teachers Pay Teachers? I can't find it.