Teaching Inferences To Students of All Levels While Having Fun

Posted by Erica Warren on

Implied meaning can be a tricky concept to master when students move from concrete to abstract ways of thinking.  However, learning implied meaning does not have to be difficult.  In fact, it can be joyful and memorable!

Two students smiling next to working inferences workbook

What is an Inference?

Inferences are a common literary device that requires the reader or listener to imply meaning from evidence or known facts. It is a higher-order thinking skill that enables conclusions to be drawn or implied from hidden messages.  

When Do Students First Come Across Inferential Thinking?

Children passively learn about or make inferential leaps when they draw conclusions from the world around them.  For example, toddlers quickly understand that when they hear their parents grab the car keys, they will be going for a ride in the car.  Later, they may begin to ponder or make guesses about the end of a story that a parent may be reading.  Finally, when entering school kids are exposed to inferential thinking with the academic content.  

An Inference Can Be Quite Complex:

As kids learn to read text that is more advanced, they will have to improve their inferring skills and develop strategies so their imaginations can begin to access background knowledge, predict outcomes, and use evidence to see all the essential possibilities. It's a wonderful skill to develop as it helps kids make observations and discover clues about the setting, characters, and plot.  All in all, it improves reading comprehension.

Teaching the skill to infer is also vital in other academic subjects.  In social studies, making inferences is key as history is known to repeat. In addition, inference skills are important to exhibit in writing.  Therefore, language arts curriculums should help students integrate implied meanings into their own written language.  What's more, science also uses these inferring skills to create hypotheses.  Clearly, teachers, tutors, and parents may need to be more mindful to teach inferences.

What's the Secret to Making Inferences the Fun and Easy Way?

Teaching inferences can be truly enjoyable and engaging instruction.  Getting creative with an implied meaning activity or lesson and playing games can help students practice and develop this needed skill. 

If you are looking for ready-made materials, I would love to help.  This colorful workbook, available as a digital download, uses a number of innovative techniques to introduce and teach this concept to students.  Integrate the many ways of teaching inferring presented in this publication in your lesson day after day.  In fact, the whole publication made its own inference or hidden message that will guide and help students make socially conscious decisions.  This workbook offers:

  • advertisements from around the world that all offer implied meaning 
  • activities that explore the hidden meanings in product names
  • inference word games
  • activities that investigate inferences in metaphors
  • sentences with embedded inferences

If you would like to learn more about this product, click on the image or CLICK HERE.

If Rapunzel smoked cartoon image shows inferences on workbook cover
I hope you found this blog to be helpful.  

Cheers, Dr. Erica Warren
Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator, and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials. She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Learning Specialist Courses.


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