All About Inferences!

So as we wrap up the school year my 5th grade group is working on inferenceing! Let me tell ya, it can be a challenge. BUT....thanks to some awesome teachers who I got some great products from we've had a great time digging deeper into our thinking and using clues to help us infer! Here's what we've been doing.....

First I got this great activity from The Clutter Free Classroom, 
It was so much fun!! My students loved it and most importantly it got them really thinking about good inferences!

I sent out a little packet (all included and explained in the above product) to several other teachers asking them to send us a letter with three clues about them. It was so much fun getting mail! The kids were so excited each day a new envelope arrived!
We have mail!!! Each envelope contained three clues that would help us infer who might have sent the letter to us, and the letter to my students!
Three clues from one of our packages! We had some great inferring going on trying to figure out who the cubs fan that liked fishing and basketball was!!
I put these charts up on the board (there are better charts included in the product but I didn't have time to get them together properly so I just went with these). Then we took out each clue and examined it. We used each clue to make inferences about who we thought sent the package. Our inferences changed as we discovered more about out mystery mailer with each new clue!
Three clues from our Art Teacher!! She is getting married soon, she taught in Africa, and she included a paint set!  They were not sure until they saw the paint! It was great seeing how much they knew about a teacher they have had over several years.
 Three clues from our AP, she gave all the kids gum during ISTEP testing, that was the clue that had them guessing correctly! Again great inferences were being made all along the way and the kids were very excited about it!!
 We used the recording sheet from the packet to record our inferences and make a guess who the letter was from. Then we read the letter and found out if we were right!!
After the first couple of letters I changed up the way we looked at our clues to keep the excitement going and to keep the group on task. One day we played "pass the plate" a game I got from Anne Benninghoff. We sat in a circle, each student was given a dry erase marker, and I showed them one clue. Without talking they were asked to think of some inferences they could make from the clue. Then I started the plate going around the circle. Each person had to write a one word inference and they could not repeat any thing their classmates had already written. It worked great!! The plates wipe off and can be sued over and over again! 

The next day I divided the students into three groups and gave each group one clue they had to make inference about. Then new grips were formed with at least on person from each clue group to shar what their clue was and what the group thought about it. The new groups guessed who they thought wrote the letter before it was read!

We had a wonderful time with this activity! I can see it being adapted format other grade levels and I plan on using it again and again!! I love finding great resources from other great teachers!! 

I'll be back with more on infer envying later this week! Only 7 more days of school here!! The end is near! I am ready for summer!! 


  1. Hi Cathy~Fun lesson. Thanks for sharing. 7 days? I have almost double that...oh well, the end is near! :) Enjoy your time with your kiddos.
    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

  2. I love this lesson! Not only does sound it sound like the kids LOVED it, but it is more real for students because it is dealing with things they are familiar with and they are able to make those connections! Thanks for posting! I want to try this with my third grade kiddos next year!

  3. I love this idea! I think it's great that you changed things up each day to keep it from getting monotonous for the kids. I'll have to remember this for next year.

  4. Great activities to practice inference skills! And it keeps them engaged here at the end of the year. :)
    Conversations in Literacy

  5. What a great lesson... fun and full of learning! Thanks for sharing!

    The Teacher's Desk 6

  6. Summer is nearly approaching! School will end soon! I’m glad that you had those meaningful and fun activities with your students before the school year ends. While reading your blog posts, I was greatly entertained and moved by it. Keep up the good work and I believe your students will really miss you!

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