Making Inferences in a Story
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Basics on the topic Making Inferences in a Story
Let's make inferences in a story with Zayd, Ari, and Hewie!
Transcript Making Inferences in a Story
Making Inferences in a Story When writing a story, author's don't always directly state the meaning in their writing. Readers can discover meaning in a narrative text by making INFERENCES based on what actions and words... reveal more about characters, the events of a story, and the message an author is trying to send. To make an inference, use what you already KNOW and what you READ in the text to make an educated guess. Let's use our inferencing skills on the following stories. Zayd is baking a cake when he gets a call from his old friend, Maurice. A smile spread across his face at the sound of his voice. They were so busy catching up that he didn't realize it was time to go. "Look at this frosting job, and now I'm going to be late. I might miss the sunset!" Zayd sighed. How did Zayd feel after he realized it was time to go? (...) When he said, 'Now I'm going to be late. I might miss the sunset', and sighed, we know that Zayd was disappointed. The answer choice 'nervous' is a distractor choice, which is designed to trick the reader but... we know the correct answer is 'disappointed' because Zayd doesn't want to miss the sunset that it seems he was looking forward to seeing. How did Zayd feel when his friend Maurice called him? (...) Zayd felt excited to talk to his friend. Which statement from the text supports this inference? (...) A smile spread across his face' shows that Zayd was excited. Let's make inferences about the next story. Ari just arrived at the beach when they realized they forgot their sunscreen. Ari looked up and shrugged. The sun was hot and high in the sky which made them feel very tired. Ari laid down and began to close their eyes. Based on what's happened, what can you infer about what will happen next, and which statement supports your inference? (...) We can predict that Ari will fall asleep in the sun and maybe get sunburned because the text says, 'the sun was hot and high in the sky which made them feel very tired'... and it was mentioned earlier that they forgot their sunscreen. How did Ari feel when they realized they forgot their sunscreen? (...) Ari felt unconcerned. Which statement from the text supports this inference? (...) Ari looked up and shrugged,' shows that they weren't worried about it. Let's read one more passage and make some inferences. Hewie got on the bus and saw his classmate Peyton wave to him and smile. "I saved this seat just for you," she declared. "Thanks," Hewie said as Peyton handed him his favorite type of cookie. Hewie looked down as he smiled and blushed. What can we infer about Peyton? (...) We can infer she likes Hewie because the text says she saved him a seat on the bus. What can we infer about Hewie? (...) We can infer Hewie is flattered or feels pleased because he smiled and blushed. Before we see where all our characters ended up, let's summarize. Remember, (...) readers can discover meaning in a narrative text by making an INFERENCE about... what actions and words reveal about characters, the events of a story, and the message an author is trying to send. To make an inference, use what you already know and what you read in the text to make an educated guess. Ah, what a beautiful sunset!
Making Inferences in a Story exercise
Find clues to make inferences.Hints
A character's words are marked by "quotation marks," which makes them easier to find and recognize.
Only search for words and actions that support: Peyton likes Hewie and Hewie is flattered and pleased.
There are three options to highlight in green and two in violet.Solution
These actions and words support the inference that Peyton likes Hewie, and Hewie in return is flattered and pleased.
Words in violet:
- "I saved this seat just for you"
- Peyton wave to him and smile
- Peyton handed him his favorite type of cookie
- Hewie looked down as he smiled and blushed
Link evidence and inferences.Hints
What emotion is Zayd feeling when he realizes he may miss the sunset? Is this emotion mentioned on the right?
If you run for the door, are you taking your time or trying to get someplace faster?
Why does Zayd say "Look at this frosting job" before he mentions missing the sunset? Is it because it went well or came out badly?Solution
- A smile spread across his face at the sound of his voice. This shows us that Zayd was excited to talk with Maurice.
- When Zayd says "Look at this frosting job" it suggests Zayd made a mistake making his cake because he was distracted.
- "Now I'm going to be late. I might miss the sunset!" Zayd sighed. This indicates that Zayd felt disappointed.
- Zayd reached for the keys to his bicycle lock and ran for the door. This shows us that Zayd will ride his bike to the beach to try to get there faster.
Make inferences about the text.Hints
Text that is bolded is evidence to give you hints.
If Ari is already late, is there any evidence to suggest they are saving time and will catch up?
What does the evidence, they did not see the toys left out on the floor, and their feet suddenly flew up suggest happened?
Do you wear a jacket when it is warm or hot outside?
There are three correct choices and three incorrect.Solution
- From the text, "one arm pulling the other into a jacket", we can infer that it is cold outside.
- From the text, "they did not see the toys left out on the floor" and "Owwww!" Ari yelled", and "their feet suddenly flew up", we can infer that Ari slipped and fell on some toys.
- Since Ari was already late, and we believe they also had a small accident, we can infer that Ari will be late for school.
Link evidence and inferences.Hints
From the text we know the grass was wet and it was sunny. What is something that sometimes occurs with this type of weather?
What emotion are people feeling when they sigh? Are any of these emotions mentioned on the right?
Is there any mention of hail, lightning, or thunder to indicate a storm?
Why did the drumming noise on the roof stop?Solution
- From the text, "as he looked out the window and sighed, he couldn't imagine it would ever end" we can infer that Zayd was in a melancholy mood.
- From the text, "the drumming sound on the roof had only been getting louder for the last hour" we can infer that it was raining heavily.
- From the text, "suddenly, the noise stopped" we can infer that it stopped raining.
- From the text, "sun was shining over the fresh wet grass, and Zayd could see something beautiful in the sky" we can infer that Zayd saw a rainbow.
Use the text to make an inference.Hints
Look in the text for clues. Is the sun strong enough to give someone a sunburn?
Does Ari do or say anything to suggest they will go for a swim or play volleyball? Is there any mention of a ball, the water, or a net?Solution
We know from the text that Ari forgot their sunscreen.
We also know that they looked up and shrugged, which suggests Ari was not going to worry about it.
We know from the text that the sun was hot and high in the sky, so we can assume it is strong enough to give someone a sunburn.
We know from the text that Ari laid down and began to close their eyes, which suggests they will probably fall asleep in the strong sun.
All of this supports the inference that Ari will get a sunburn.
Make inferences from evidence.Hints
After being outside on a very hot day, do you feel more hungry or thirsty?
If Hewie is lactose intolerant, would he choose to drink milk?
If there are cookies at the bottom of the cookie jar, will it make a 'clink' sound when Hewie puts his hand in?
If you had an afternoon like Hewie, how would you feel?Solution
- Using the text, "scorching hot summer day" and "made his way to the refrigerator" we can infer that Hewie is thirsty.
- Using the text, "Ewww!" Hewie howled" and "spitting the milk back out" we can infer that the milk is sour.
- Using the text, "he heard only a 'clink'" and "he groaned" we can infer that the cookie jar is empty.
- Since we have gathered that Hewie is thirsty, the milk is sour, and the cookie jar is empty, we can make a last inference that Hewie is in a very bad mood.