Material Type:
Lower Elementary
  • Inference
    Creative Commons Attribution
    Media Formats:

    Education Standards




    This lesson is the beginning of a unit about inference. It gives students the opportunity to use context clues and schema to make inferences in their reading. They will listen to a story and make their own inference about the ending. 


    The teacher is going to review what it means to predict.  When we predict, we are able to confirm or contradict our predictions. When we infer, we use our background knowledge (Schema), text and picture clues and discussion to infer answers to our questions that are not explicitly stated in the text.


    Students have already learned about predicting. Today they are going to learn about making an inference in reading by using clues in the text.

    Goals / Outcomes

    Standards:  Common Core #7 Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.

    Learning Intentions:

    By the end of the lesson, students will be able to make inferences based on text, pictures, and their schema. 

    Success Criteria: 

    Students will infer what will happen on the last page based on what they have listened to in the story. They will do this by writing the ending they think.

    Planning Instruction

    Students have already learned about prediction. We are adding to this by learning about inference. ESL students will need more scaffolding during the story. Gifted students can create more in-depth pictures and paragraphs about their inferences. 

    Main Instruction

    Read the story Suddenly! by Colin McNaughton. The teacher will ask students what comes to mind when they think of pigs and wolves. The teacher will make a tree map of student responses on the board:

    what we know about



                                                pigs                                wolves

    Next, ask students if they can tell you what it means to predict something. Accept all responses at this time. Explain that prediction is a good guess about what is going to happen next in a story. Tell the students that they will be predicting what will happen in a story about a pig and a wolf. Show the students the cover of the book. Ask the students to make a prediction, or a good guess, about what will happen in the book.  Begin reading the book and showing the pictures. Stop at the word” Suddenly!" Ask the students:

    1. What do you predict will happen?

    2. What clues helped you decide (student prediction) would happen? Guide the students to realize this author uses the word "Suddenly!" to tell the reader that something is about to happen. Show the students the next page.

    3. Is this what you predicted would happen?

    Continue through the story emphasizing the word "Suddenly!" and asking for predictions. Stop reading the book right before the ending.

    Assessment Section

    Practice:  Tell the students that they are going to have the opportunity to predict what is going to happen in the book.  Give each student one of the “Suddenly” activity pages.  They will draw a detailed picture of what they think could happen next.  Then, they need to write what they think the text in the book would be.  Let the students share as a whole class or in small groups.

    Assessment:  Using the papers the students have drawn, do an informal assessment of whether or not they understand prediction.

    Overview Section

    This lesson plan is an introduction to inference. Students are already familiar with prediction, and this lesson will help them understand what inference is. The teacher will share a story with the students. During the story, the students will use context clues and schema to make inferences about what will happen. The teacher will not read the last page, so the students will make their own inferences based on the story.


    Image Citation:"Reading 20140902" by Pussreboots is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

    Suddenly! By Colin McNaughton