Trading Spaces Tuesday ~ Inferences with Jessica from Literacy Spark

Hi everyone!  This is Jessica from Literacy Spark.  I'm visiting Reading Toward the Stars today to share some resources on making inferences.  Andrea is posting about Reader's Theater over at Comprehension Connection  and Carla is is visiting my blog to talk about nonfiction text features.  
I teach second grade and making inferences is probably THE most difficult skill for my students year after year.  Every upper grade teacher I speak to says the same thing.  It's all about thinking and how do you control what someone is thinking? Well, I model, model, model and we practice, practice, practice.  

One of the most helpful ways I have found to get my students to understand making inferences is to connect them to real life.  We all love the activity where we let students go through a pretend "bag of trash" or go through their teacher's purse right?  I love it even more when I hear my students making inferences during everyday activities.  For example, the cafeteria door is still closed (well, we must be early), there is tape around the outside of the music door (so we don't get hit with it if it opens we when walk by), or everyone is coming in early from recess (it must be raining).  
I also love using photographs.  These are great because the kids learn that sometimes they will never know if their inferences are right or wrong.  Rachel Lynette has a Pinterest board with photographs (and questions!) that can be used, but a quick google search always works too.

Commercials are fun to use too!  They help the kids realize that they make inferences all the time without even knowing it.  Here is an example:

You can find some more commercial ideas over at Classroom Magic.

And of course, I use picture books.  Here are some of my favorite books for teaching inferences.  Click on the books to be taken to the Amazon links.
I have a blog post on this book here.
Whenever we are making inferences, I have my students use the following sentence stems:  The text says...  I know...  I can infer...  Below are a couple of graphic organizers.  You can download them for free by clicking on one of the images.  The first is a foldable in itself, the second has three (we all need to save paper, right?).  Students can glue it in a notebook and record the answers underneath the flap.
Also, the Florida Center for Reading Research has two great free games for practicing the skill of making inferences.  Click the images below to download them.  Often, I'll just use the paragraphs for practice.

I hope you have found something you can use.  If you are not a follower of mine, please stop by and check out my blog by clicking the button below.  Thank you to Andrea for having me and thanks for reading!

Thanks, Jessica for such fun ways to learn to make inferences!  It was fun to have you here on my blog!

If you haven't heard that Teachers Pay Teachers is having a big sale on February 27-28, you are hearing it now!  I am participating in the sale and will have my store 20% off, so start filling your shopping cart now!  {Thanks, Jessica from Hanging Out in First for the great graphic!}


  1. I have gotten so much mileage out of the great resources at Thanks for reminding me about them!
    Reading and Writing Redhead

    1. Bex, I agree! Though I tend to forget to go look there, so I welcome the reminder every chance I get!


  2. I love all of the picture ideas. That's such a great way to introduce inferences to young readers. I never thought about commercials. Doritos always have great ones too! I bet my olders would love them.

    1. I was excited to think about using commercials for making inferences too! The older kids would definitely think they are fun to use.



Leave a comment, tell me your thoughts!