Cynthia Barney
Secondary English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
High School
  • Lesson Plan
  • Making Inferences
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Media Formats:

    Education Standards

    Making Inferences

    Making Inferences


    This is a comprehensive lesson plan to teach 9-10 grade students about making  inferences and gives them practical practice. It also includes formative and summative assessments. 

    Preview image is "thinking cap" by Joe in DC


    Making inferences is an extremely important reading strategy for students, and many struggle to make correct inferences. This lesson will teach them the concept and give them practice in making inferences.  

    • Time frame: 1-2 class periods
    • Format: mostly synchronous, face-to-face. Can be adapted and put on Canvas for virtual learning


    Background for Teachers

    • To teach this lesson, you will need an understanding of inferences and why they are important for reading comprehension.
    • You will need knowledge about schema, context, and drawing valid conclusions before teaching this lesson. It is also important to build student background knowledge so they can make better inferences. 
    • The following resources can help you teach this topic: Learn How to Make Inferences by mistersato411

    Reading: Literature Standard 1
    Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

    Educational Links related to Standard

    Step 1 - Goals and Outcomes

    Step 1 Goals and Outcomes

    Reading: Literature Standard 1
    Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

    Learning Intentions:

    • Students will be able to understand what an inference is and be able to draw correct conclusions by drawing on personal background knowledge, and identifying contextual details.

    Success Criteria:

    • Students will make correct inferences in texts and explain how they came to their conclusions.


    Step 2 - Planning Instruction

    Step 2 Planning Instruction

    Student Background Knowledge

    • Prior to this lesson, students will need to have an understanding of how to notice details and connect those details to their prior knowledge.
    • To activate their background knowledge, I will show students a picture and as small groups, they will discuss what is going on in the picture. Then as a class, we will discuss if their inferences are correct and why or why not. 

    Strategies for Diverse Learners

    Discussing the picture in a small group helps to meet the needs of those that can benefit from seeing and hearing the process of how others see details and make inferences. The whole class discussion adds to that by students seeing how others see things they didn't, or have more schema to draw from. 

    Step 3 - Instruction

    Step 3 Instruction


    Step 4 - Assessments

    Step 4 Assessments

    In this section, include a description of how you will assess student learning. This plan can include pre-assessments, formative assessment practices, student self-monitoring/self-assessment, and summative assessments as appropriate for your lesson. Assessment strategies and resources should tie to your lesson's learning intentions and success criteria. Remember that assessment of student learning and mastery can be conducted in a variety of ways, including:

    • Preassessment:  have students make inferences of a picture in groups 
    • Formative assessment practices: 2 videos and questions
    • Student self-reflection on 2nd video
    • Formative assessment practice: "Black Cat" poem
    • Summative assessment: Making Inferences within the story of "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson


    Assessment files: