Lesson Plan


How to use context clues to make inferences about what may happen next in the story
Dena Z.
Special education instructor
Cedar Hill Elementary School
Basking Ridge, NJ
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My Grades 4
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math

Students will be able to use context clues, and their own schema to infer what the author is talking about. 

English Language Arts
reading comprehension
Grades 3 - 4
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 The hook

Direct Instruction:  I will be introducing February’s reading strategy, “making inferences.” Since this will be the first lesson my students have had using this strategy, I will start off with a mini lesson. In order to get the students involved and engaged right away, I will read a short passage, from which the students will have to infer what the children in the text are doing. I will then ask each student what he or she believes is occurring in the passage. I will then ask the students what were the clues in the text that helped them decipher what the children were doing in the passage. I will inform the students that, by using their prior knowledge and the evidence from the passage, they made an inference. I will then explain to the students that when you make an inference, you are interpreting something the author did not explicitly say. In order to decipher what the author is trying to portray, you must use your schema (your own knowledge) and text evidence. Students will then watch a short video on Brainpopjr about making an inference. Throughout the video, I will stop and reinforce what an inference is.


Guided Practice:  Then, together as a class, we will read the book called Two Bad Ants, by Chris Van Allsburg. Throughout the reading, the students will practice making inferences about the story and the ant’s journey. I will model the first two inferences to demonstrate an example. Next, I will ask each student to pair and share with a classmate to practice inferring where the ants are. Each pair will then share where they believe the ants are with the rest of the class and provide the evidence that allowed them to make that inference. Next, I will give the students two worksheets to work on making inferences independently. Once the students make their inferences, the students will report back as a group, and we will discuss what they inferred.


Closure: I will reiterate to the students that today we learned how to make an inference. I will also reiterate that making inferences can help us in understanding a story better, especially when the author doesn’t provide all of the information. I will inform the students that, on Monday, we will practice this reading strategy with another book. At that time, they will act more independently in making inferences throughout the story.