EL Support Lesson

Inference Making

Use this lesson to help your ELs understand inference, evidence, and schema. They'll analyze sentences to make inferences using evidence. It can be a stand-alone lesson or a support lesson to the Inferring With Pictures lesson plan.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Inferring With Pictures lesson plan.
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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Inferring With Pictures lesson plan.

Students will be able to make inferences using schema and textual evidence.


Students will be able to use schema and evidence from a text or illustration to make inferences.

(3 minutes)
  • Tell students that today they will use text and and illustrations, along with the things they already know, to make inferences, or guesses.
  • Complete a Frayer Model with the students for the term inference and check student comprehension throughout by asking them to orally repeat the definition or provide examples.
(9 minutes)
  • Present the tiered vocabulary. Use visuals as you define each word and allow students to discuss how the visual relates to the new word.
  • Define all words with the help of the visuals.
  • Distribute copies of the Frayer Model worksheet to students.
  • Assign each vocabulary word to small groups of students to complete a Frayer Model for that word.
  • Have groups share out their word and corresponding Frayer Model on the projector/document camera.
(8 minutes)
  • Display the Evidence, Schema, and Inference worksheet and read the instructions to the students.
  • Invite students to examine the illustration carefully, then have them work in small groups to discuss what they see for one minute before sharing with the whole group. Record student answers on your projected copy, allowing for variation in answers. Then ask questions about the word evidence. For example:
    • What does the word mean?
    • When might you use the word?
    • Can you use the word in a new sentence?
  • Repeat the above process for the remaining two sentence stems: I already know... (schema) and I can infer.
  • Ask students to share which sentence they thought was most challenging to reword and explain why.
(5 minutes)
  • Distribute the Adding Up Inferences worksheet, read instructions to the students, and ask them to circle the new vocabulary words.
  • Have a volunteer explain the components of the given example to the class based on their understanding of the vocabulary.
  • Have students turn and talk to their partners about the evidence, schema, and inferences that can be made for the first question.
(3 minutes)
  • Have students work independently to complete questions two and three on the Adding Up Inferences worksheet.
  • Use their responses on the worksheet to assess students' understanding of textual evidence, schema, and making inferences.
(2 minutes)
  • Ask a student to define evidence, schema and inference once more.
  • Distribute index cards or sticky notes to students and ask them to answer one of the following sentence starters using at least three of the vocabulary words from the lesson today:
    • I understand ____.
    • I don't understand ____.
    • I need more information about ____.
  • Allow students to volunteer their responses and use them as an assessment of how to continue with your teaching of main ideas and supporting details.

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