Apply inference in every comprehension lesson

When we read any type of text or media and make conclusions about ideas that are not literally stated, we make an inference.

An inference isn’t a unique skill taught in a single lesson. Instead, it’s a fundamental reading process that is part of every comprehension standard.

The process of making an inference can be broken down into five steps:

Step 1: Read the text.

Step 2: Read and understand the inferential question.

Step 3: List the relevant details.

Step 4: Put thoughts together.

Step 5: Determine what they mean.

5-Step Process to Make an Inference

An effective way to execute this five-step process during daily comprehension instruction is with Roz Linder’s Silhouette Head.

This simple graphic organizer represents what occurs within the reader’s head. It reveals how he first thinks about the literal text details and then thinks beyond them to make an inference.

After reading a passage and its question (Steps 1-2), a student uses his Reading Voice to identify relevant details from the text. Each text detail noted outside of the Silhouette Head includes an individual thought noted inside the Silhouette Head. This is thinking about the text.

Then the reader continues to use his Thinking Voice to think beyond the text (Step 4). The reader reviews the individual details & thoughts collected and considers what they imply. This leads to the inference or the answer (Step 5)– written in the “neck” of the Silhouette Head.

Use the Silhouette Head during every comprehension mini-lesson to reinforce the application of the inference process. Ultimately, the goal is for students to execute an inference independently, automatically, and without the graphic organizer.

CompCON: a comprehension conference for K-12 educators

Can you imagine starting next school year with a ready-to-go framework for teaching the essential comprehension standards?

That’s exactly what you’ll get when you attend CompCON!

CompCON reading comprehension conference

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