Lesson Plan

Evidence + Background Knowledge = Inference

In this inference lesson plan, your students will use evidence and background knowledge to make inferences in a variety of media including artwork, fictional stories, and even a short film.
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Learning Objectives

Students will be able to make inferences using evidence and background knowledge.


(10 minutes)
Reading Between the LinesMore Reading Between the LinesMaking Inferences in a Fictional TextMaking Inferences to Interpret FictionInference Task CardsX Marks the Inference
  • Use "Visual Thinking Strategies" to examine an image that tells a story (see related media).
  • Show the image on a large screen and give students a few minutes to look at it quietly. (Note: do not give students context prior to this activity.)
  • Then ask:
    • What is going on here?
    • What do you see that makes you say that?
    • What else do you notice?
  • Give several students the chance to share observations they have in response to each question. Prompt students with the three questions, but do not validate any observations as correct or incorrect.
  • Explain to students that when they use clues from the picture and their own background knowledge to figure out what is going on, it is called an inference.
  • Tell students that an inference is different than a guess because, in order to make an inference, you must use evidence to come to a reasonable conclusion.
  • Explain that today we will be making inferences in fictional texts.