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How do you draw the Silhouette Head on chart paper?

february 11, 2020

When teaching students how to use their Reading and Thinking Voices to generate inferences, I find that Roz Linder’s Silhouette Head is the perfect lesson tool.

Infer in 5 Steps

I first saw this visual within Linder’s book, Chart Sense and later featured the idea in a subsequent video and article, “Follow 5 Steps to Make an Inference.”

The visual provides a powerful image that reveals the process that occurs inside and outside a reader’s head when inferring a thought based on reading. Students see how text clues (outside the head) are put together with background knowledge (inside the head) in order to make an inference. Modeling this on chart paper for the whole class to see is essential.

Main-Idea Silhouette Head

Draw the Silhouette Head

As simple as this line art is, drawing the Silhouette Head can be tricky—especially for those of us who aren’t artists! If you want to create your own class-size Silhouette Head on chart paper, here’s a simple 3-step process.

1. Project the Silhouette Head onto your whiteboard.
2. Place a piece of chart paper over the image, minimizing it to fit.
3. Trace the projected outline.

Draw the Silhouette Head or purchase the Smekens oversized Inference poster to show your Reading Voice and Thinking Voice thoughts.

Smekens Inference Poster
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2022 Smekens summer workshops
Follow 5 Steps to Make an Inference


Follow 5 Steps to Make an Inference

Tie Every Comprehension Lesson to the Inference Silhouette


Tie Every Comprehension Lesson to the Inference Silhouette

Activate background knowledge when inferring


Activate Background Knowledge