September 19, 2015
by Dee Mulhern
Lesson Plan:

Mysterious Inferences

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Students will be able to make inferences.

(5 minutes)
  • Explain to your students that they will be helping to solve a mystery. Tell students that there are three mystery bags that belong to three different people.
  • Inform your students that their goal is to decide which bag belongs to which person. Explain that when they do this, they are using their schema, or what is already known in their minds, to make inferences, or guesses based on clues.
(15 minutes)
  • Show students the first bag. Pull out each object one at a time. Think aloud about using your schema to make inferences about the objects and the bag’s owner. For example, out of bag 1, you might pull out a dolphin key chain. A potential thought process might be: I've seen pictures of ocean animals in Mrs. Smith's classroom. I can infer that this bag might belong to her.
  • Alternatively, make the mystery bags belong to characters from familiar stories rather than people the students may know.
  • Invite students to help make inferences based on the clues in the bags to determine the owners of the bags. Emphasize using the key terms to describe their thinking.
(15 minutes)
  • Tell students that now they will need to make inferences about some of the characters from different stories. Show students pictures of two characters from stories that have been read in class or familiar fairy tales.
  • Explain that with their partners, the students will draw the objects that these characters might have in their mystery bags on a blank sheet of paper. For example, Little Red Riding Hood might have a red cape in her bag.
  • After fifteen minutes, have several pairs of students share one of their drawings. Have other students make inferences about the bag owners using their schema.
(15 minutes)
  • Tell students that they will now use their new inference and schema skills to solve another mystery.
  • Instruct them to use the clues in the picture on the What Happened? worksheet to explain what is happening in the picture.
  • Have them write their inferences on the page.
  • Ask them to explain what clues in the picture helped them make their inferences.
  • Enrichment: Direct your students to create mystery bag drawings for characters from their independent reading books.
  • Support: For the independent practice portion of the lesson, discuss and help students identify which clues in the picture will be the most helpful for making an inference. Discuss with these students the possible inferences that could be made from this picture.
(15 minutes)
  • Collect the What Happened? worksheet to check that your students identified clues from the picture to make an inference supported by their schema.
  • Circulate and question students' thinking as they work.
(10 minutes)
  • Gather students together to share their inferences. Emphasize that even though the inferences they made may be different, they are all valid because they were based on clues that were present.
  • Review the key terms.

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