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Inferences

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  • We can infer that they are probably married (first two sentences), that if Marjorie had expressed her wish more clearly, Ken would have agreed (he readily agreed), and that all couples can have communication problems (first sentence). Which of these is the central point that is implied here?
    All couples can have communication problems.
  • Slept in two nights? – mites probably keeping her up – also pain
    She doesn’t have the ability to wash her bedding – no access to sanitary needs
    She doesn’t eat regularly
    Sweeper of the stairwell gives her some dignity
    She feels the stairs getting steeper – she’s been doing this a long time
    She lives under the letter boxes
    She’s not going to meet a happy end
  • Transcript

    • 1. Reading ComprehensionReading Comprehension Strategy:Strategy: Making InferencesMaking Inferences Name : ____________________ ( ) Class : _____ Date : _________ Readers need to find the meaningReaders need to find the meaning behind the words.behind the words. Catherine M. Wishart, Literacy CoachCatherine M. Wishart, Literacy Coach Copyright © 2009. All rights reserved.Copyright © 2009. All rights reserved.
    • 2. What Are Inferences?What Are Inferences?  Inferences are often referred to as whatInferences are often referred to as what you “read between the lines.”you “read between the lines.”  The meaning is really found “between yourThe meaning is really found “between your ears.”ears.”  Inferences are what the author implies orInferences are what the author implies or suggests.suggests.  The author wants you, the reader, toThe author wants you, the reader, to make the jump to the same conclusion themake the jump to the same conclusion the author has made.author has made.  When the authorWhen the author impliesimplies something, thesomething, the reader has toreader has to infer.infer. (Zimmermann and Hutchins, 2003, p. 97).(Zimmermann and Hutchins, 2003, p. 97).
    • 3. What Happens When You Read?What Happens When You Read?  While you read, your inside voice:While you read, your inside voice: – Makes guessesMakes guesses – Finds connecting pointsFinds connecting points – Asks questionsAsks questions – Makes predictionsMakes predictions – Personalizes the readingPersonalizes the reading – Uses background knowledge to interpretUses background knowledge to interpret Zimmerman and Hutchins, 2003, p. 97.
    • 4. The Game ofThe Game of ClueClue  The game ofThe game of ClueClue is an inference game.is an inference game.  You are never told who killed Mr. Boddy,You are never told who killed Mr. Boddy, but you may be told who did not kill him.but you may be told who did not kill him.  You gather clues so you canYou gather clues so you can inferinfer whowho really killed Mr. Boddy.really killed Mr. Boddy.  All mystery shows are based on inference:All mystery shows are based on inference: – Murder, She WroteMurder, She Wrote – CSICSI – NCISNCIS – Law and OrderLaw and Order – Scooby DooScooby Doo
    • 5. Let’s PlayLet’s Play Clue!Clue!  Based on the following clues, decide:Based on the following clues, decide: – Who killed Mr. BoddyWho killed Mr. Boddy – Where Mr. Boddy was killedWhere Mr. Boddy was killed – With what weapon Mr. Boddy was killedWith what weapon Mr. Boddy was killed  The usual suspects are: Mrs. Peacock,The usual suspects are: Mrs. Peacock, Colonel Mustard, Miss Scarlet, Mr. Green,Colonel Mustard, Miss Scarlet, Mr. Green, Mrs. White, and Professor PlumMrs. White, and Professor Plum  The rooms are: the kitchen, the ballroom,The rooms are: the kitchen, the ballroom, the library, the study, the conservatory,the library, the study, the conservatory, and the game roomand the game room  The weapons are: the candlestick, theThe weapons are: the candlestick, the knife, the revolver, the rope, the wrench,knife, the revolver, the rope, the wrench, and the lead pipeand the lead pipe
    • 6. The RulesThe Rules  You have each been given one card.You have each been given one card.  Whatever is on your card wasWhatever is on your card was notnot involvedinvolved in killing Mr. Boddy.in killing Mr. Boddy.  You each will be able to ask one classmateYou each will be able to ask one classmate to reveal his or her card to the entire class.to reveal his or her card to the entire class.  You may make a guess at any time.You may make a guess at any time.  Your guess must include all three: theYour guess must include all three: the murderer, the weapon, and the room.murderer, the weapon, and the room.  Once you guess, you cannot guess again.Once you guess, you cannot guess again.
    • 7. Let’s BeginLet’s Begin
    • 8. The Solution Is…The Solution Is…
    • 9. So, How Did You Infer TheSo, How Did You Infer The Solution?Solution?  You used background knowledge:You used background knowledge: – You knew who the suspects wereYou knew who the suspects were – You knew the rooms involvedYou knew the rooms involved – You knew the possible weaponsYou knew the possible weapons  You asked questions of classmatesYou asked questions of classmates  You made predictions based onYou made predictions based on changing informationchanging information – Your predictions changed as youYour predictions changed as you continued to gain informationcontinued to gain information
    • 10. When Do We Infer?When Do We Infer?  We infer all the time.We infer all the time.  ““Feeling empathy for characters,Feeling empathy for characters, laughing at a joke, discovering anlaughing at a joke, discovering an answer to a riddle, getting a senseanswer to a riddle, getting a sense about the setting of a story, reactingabout the setting of a story, reacting to facts, and solving a mystery areto facts, and solving a mystery are all part of inferential thinking.”all part of inferential thinking.” (Zimmerman and Hutchins, 2003, p. 115).(Zimmerman and Hutchins, 2003, p. 115).
    • 11. A Simple InferenceA Simple Inference  If the skies suddenly grow veryIf the skies suddenly grow very cloudy and the wind begins to whipcloudy and the wind begins to whip around your legs, how do you infer?around your legs, how do you infer? – You have seen this weather patternYou have seen this weather pattern before.before. – You have background knowledge aboutYou have background knowledge about storms.storms. – You make connections between yourYou make connections between your background knowledge and the currentbackground knowledge and the current weather pattern.weather pattern. – Based on these connections, you makeBased on these connections, you make a prediction.a prediction.
    • 12. Let’s Use Background KnowledgeLet’s Use Background Knowledge Even couples with only mild difficulties inEven couples with only mild difficulties in communicating can have importantcommunicating can have important misunderstandings. Marjorie, for example, wantedmisunderstandings. Marjorie, for example, wanted Ken to invite her to a favorite cocktail loungeKen to invite her to a favorite cocktail lounge overlooking a bay to celebrate their anniversary.overlooking a bay to celebrate their anniversary. She archly asked him, “Ken, do you feel like goingShe archly asked him, “Ken, do you feel like going out for a drink tonight?” Ken, who was feelingout for a drink tonight?” Ken, who was feeling tired, missed the hidden message contained in hertired, missed the hidden message contained in her question. He responded, “No, I’m too tired.”question. He responded, “No, I’m too tired.” Marjorie was extremely disappointed. Only afterMarjorie was extremely disappointed. Only after feeling hurt and sorry for herself did she realizefeeling hurt and sorry for herself did she realize that she had not communicated to Ken her realthat she had not communicated to Ken her real desire – to celebrate their anniversary. When shedesire – to celebrate their anniversary. When she later made clear her true wish, he readily agreedlater made clear her true wish, he readily agreed to celebrate.to celebrate. Beck,Beck, Love is Never EnoughLove is Never Enough
    • 13. What Can You Infer?What Can You Infer?  Marjorie and Ken are probably married?Marjorie and Ken are probably married?  Marjorie and Ken have been married for aMarjorie and Ken have been married for a long time?long time?  Ken does not enjoy going out for drinksKen does not enjoy going out for drinks with his wife?with his wife?  If Marjorie had expressed her wish moreIf Marjorie had expressed her wish more clearly, Ken would have probably agreed?clearly, Ken would have probably agreed?  All couples can have communicationAll couples can have communication problems?problems? Which of the assumptions listed below can be inferred from the text?
    • 14. You Used Your BackgroundYou Used Your Background KnowledgeKnowledge  Married couples have anniversaries.Married couples have anniversaries.  Couples married both a short timeCouples married both a short time and a long time have anniversaries.and a long time have anniversaries.  Married couples you know have hadMarried couples you know have had misunderstandings and hurt feelings.misunderstandings and hurt feelings.
    • 15. You Used Hints in the Text andYou Used Hints in the Text and Asked Yourself QuestionsAsked Yourself Questions  Ken “readily agreed” is a clue. You askedKen “readily agreed” is a clue. You asked yourself, “Does this mean he didn’tyourself, “Does this mean he didn’t understand at first?”understand at first?”  ““No, I’m too tired,” is a clue. You made aNo, I’m too tired,” is a clue. You made a connection to this statement andconnection to this statement and Marjorie’s hurt feelings.Marjorie’s hurt feelings.  ““For example” is a clue that a story isFor example” is a clue that a story is coming. You could predict that the authorcoming. You could predict that the author was going to give a specific example, orwas going to give a specific example, or story, to illustrate the point.story, to illustrate the point.
    • 16. Let’s Look At Another StoryLet’s Look At Another Story Boori Ma, sweeper of the stairwell, had not slept in two nights. So the morning before the third night she shook the mites out of her bedding. She shook the quilts once underneath the letter boxes where she lived, then once again at the mouth of the alley, causing the crows who were feeding on vegetable peels to scatter in several directions. As she started up the four flights to the roof, Boori Ma kept one hand placed over the knee that swelled at the start of every rainy season. That meant that her bucket, quilts, and the bundle of reeds which served as her broom all had to be braced under one arm. Lately Boori Ma had been thinking that the stairs were getting steeper; climbing them felt more like climbing a ladder than a staircase. She was sixty-four years old, with hair in a knot no larger than a walnut, and she looked almost as narrow from the front as she did from the side. Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies, as printed in Zimmerman and Hutchins, 2003, pp. 95-96.
    • 17. Questions And Observations YouQuestions And Observations You Can Make About This PassageCan Make About This Passage  Why hasn’t Boori Ma slept in two nights?Why hasn’t Boori Ma slept in two nights?  Why doesn’t she wash her bedding to get rid of theWhy doesn’t she wash her bedding to get rid of the mites?mites?  Why is she so thin?Why is she so thin?  Why does she have such as formal title – “sweeperWhy does she have such as formal title – “sweeper of the stairwell”?of the stairwell”?  How long has she been doing this?How long has she been doing this?  Your background knowledge tells you that she isYour background knowledge tells you that she is very poor (her living conditions).very poor (her living conditions).  Your background knowledge may also tell you howYour background knowledge may also tell you how it feels to be infested by pests like mites or liceit feels to be infested by pests like mites or lice  What will happen to this woman?What will happen to this woman? Zimmerman and Hutchins, 2003, pp. 96-97.Zimmerman and Hutchins, 2003, pp. 96-97.
    • 18. Guiding Questions To Help WithGuiding Questions To Help With InferencesInferences  The author gave me a gift in the title.The author gave me a gift in the title. What prediction popped into my head fromWhat prediction popped into my head from it? How does it help me?it? How does it help me?  Now that I’ve almost finished thisNow that I’ve almost finished this passage, can I confirm my predictions?passage, can I confirm my predictions?  What message do I think the writer wantsWhat message do I think the writer wants me to understand? How will this help meme to understand? How will this help me remember the reading?remember the reading?  What words helped me reach myWhat words helped me reach my conclusions?conclusions?  How can I explain my inference toHow can I explain my inference to somebody else?somebody else? Zimmerman and Hutchins, 2003, pp. 116-117Zimmerman and Hutchins, 2003, pp. 116-117
    • 19. Mr. PerfectMr. Perfect The minister asked for anyone who knew a truly perfect person to stand up. After a long pause, a meek-looking fellow in the back stood. “Do you really know a perfect person?” he was asked. “Yes, Sir, I do,” answered the little man. “Would you please tell the congregation who this rare, perfect person is?” pursued the preacher. “Yes, Sir, my wife’s first husband.” Bonham, The Treasury of Clean Jokes
    • 20. Questions and Observations forQuestions and Observations for “Mr. Perfect”“Mr. Perfect”  How did the title help you?How did the title help you?  Did your prediction of who the perfectDid your prediction of who the perfect person was hold true?person was hold true?  What message is the author conveying?What message is the author conveying?  How did your background knowledge helpHow did your background knowledge help you interpret the message?you interpret the message?  What do you think the little man’s wifeWhat do you think the little man’s wife does to him at home?does to him at home?  Why did the author decide to make theWhy did the author decide to make the man “little”?man “little”?  How can you explain your inferences toHow can you explain your inferences to somebody else?somebody else?
    • 21. What Statements Can be LogicallyWhat Statements Can be Logically Inferred?Inferred? 1.1. The minister is surprised when the manThe minister is surprised when the man stands up.stands up. 2.2. The minister is doubtful that the manThe minister is doubtful that the man really knows a perfect person.really knows a perfect person. 3.3. The man believes that his wife’s firstThe man believes that his wife’s first husband is perfect.husband is perfect. 4.4. The wife believes that her first husbandThe wife believes that her first husband is perfect.is perfect. 5.5. The man’s wife has been comparing himThe man’s wife has been comparing him unfavorably with her first husband.unfavorably with her first husband.
    • 22. The Rallying Power of Recorded MusicThe Rallying Power of Recorded Music Released in 1984, “We Are the World” right away was the fastest- climbing record of the decade. 4 million copies were sold within six weeks. Profits from the record, produced by big-name entertainers who volunteered, went to the USA for Africa project. The marketplace success paled, however, next to the social impact. The record’s message of the oneness of humankind inspired one of the most massive outpouring of donations to date. Americans pumped $20 million into USA for Africa in the first six weeks the record was out. Within months, $50 million in medical and financial support was en route to drought-stricken parts of Africa. “We Are the World,” a single song, directly saved lives. The power of recorded music is not a recent phenomenon. In World War I, “Over There” and other records reflected an enthusiasm for American involvement in the war. Composers who felt strongly about the Vietnam War wrote songs put their views on vinyl. “The Ballad of the Green Berets” cast American soldiers in a heroic vein, “An Okie from Muskogee” glorified blind patriotism, and there were antiwar songs, dozens of them. Vivan, The Media
    • 23. Internal QuestionsInternal Questions  What does the title tell me?What does the title tell me?  What background knowledge can IWhat background knowledge can I draw on to understand this passage?draw on to understand this passage?  What message does the author wantWhat message does the author want me to understand?me to understand?  What words helped me reach theseWhat words helped me reach these conclusions?conclusions?  How can I explain these inferencesHow can I explain these inferences to somebody else?to somebody else?
    • 24. What Can We Correctly Infer?What Can We Correctly Infer? 1.1. ““We Are the World” was the best-sellingWe Are the World” was the best-selling song of all time.song of all time. 2.2. ““We Are the World” would not have beenWe Are the World” would not have been a popular song if the profits had not gonea popular song if the profits had not gone to a charitable cause.to a charitable cause. 3.3. Americans would not have contributed asAmericans would not have contributed as much to USA for Africa had “We Are themuch to USA for Africa had “We Are the World” not been recorded.World” not been recorded. 4.4. ““Over There” was a patriotic song,Over There” was a patriotic song, supporting US involvement in WW I.supporting US involvement in WW I. 5.5. During the Vietnam War, patriotic songsDuring the Vietnam War, patriotic songs were more popular than antiwar songs.were more popular than antiwar songs.
    • 25. Practicing This StrategyPracticing This Strategy  The short story, “The Puzzle,” isThe short story, “The Puzzle,” is continued on the next slide.continued on the next slide.  Read this portion of the storyRead this portion of the story carefully. You may also decide tocarefully. You may also decide to review previous portions of the storyreview previous portions of the story to assure you recall the highlights ofto assure you recall the highlights of the characters and the plot.the characters and the plot.
    • 26. “The Puzzle” by Anonymous “Pugh, what I hear is the reverberation of some machinery.” “Do you think so?” “I’m sure of it.” “What have you done?” “Broken something, I fancy.” He listened intently, with his ear to the box. “No – it seems all right. And yet I could have sworn I had damaged something; I heard it smash.” “Give me the box.” He gave it to me. In my turn, I listened. I shook the box. Pugh must have been mistaken. Nothing rattled; there was no wound; the box was as empty as before. I gave a smart tap with the hammer, as Pugh had done. Then there certainly was a curious sound. To my ear, it sounded like the smashing of glass. “I wonder if there is anything fragile inside your precious puzzle, Pugh, and, if so, if we are shivering it by degrees?” II “What IS that noise?” I lay in bed in that curious condition which is between sleep and waking. When, at last, I KNEW that I was awake, I asked myself what it was that had woke me. Suddenly I became conscious that something was making itself audible in the silence of the night. For some seconds I lay and listened. Then I sat up in bed. “What IS that noise?” It was like the tick, tick of some large and unusually clear-toned clock. It might have been a clock, had it not been that the sound was varied, every half dozen ticks or so, by a sort of stifled screech, such as might have been uttered by some small creature in an extremity of anguish. I struck a light. The sound seemed to come from the neighborhood of my dressing- table. I went to the dressing-table, the lighted match in my hand, and, as I did so, my eyes fell upon Pugh’s mysterious box. That same instant there issued, from the bowels of the box, a more uncomfortable screech than any I had previously heard. It took me so completely by surprise that I let the match fall from my hand to the floor. The room was in darkness. I stood, I will not say trembling, listening – considering their volume – to the EERIEST shrieks I ever heard. All at once they ceased. Then came the tick, tick, tick again. I struck another match and lit the gas.
    • 27. What Inferences Can YouWhat Inferences Can You Make?Make?  Reread this portion of “The Puzzle” toReread this portion of “The Puzzle” to yourself.yourself.  Think about the inferences you have madeThink about the inferences you have made about parts of the story.about parts of the story.  Complete the double-entry journal page.Complete the double-entry journal page. Choose your own quotes from the story onChoose your own quotes from the story on which to make inferences.which to make inferences.  Be prepared to discuss your connectionsBe prepared to discuss your connections with this part of the story in class.with this part of the story in class.
    • 28. So, When We Infer, We…So, When We Infer, We…  Make inferences based on soundMake inferences based on sound reasoning.reasoning.  Use background knowledge to makeUse background knowledge to make connections and personalize the reading.connections and personalize the reading.  Ask internal questions while reading.Ask internal questions while reading.  Make predictions and confirm or discardMake predictions and confirm or discard them as we continue reading.them as we continue reading.  Try to recognize the author’s purpose andTry to recognize the author’s purpose and message.message.  Make inferences using what is “betweenMake inferences using what is “between our ears.”our ears.”
    • 29. “Writers give clues, but readers have to amass the evidence and draw conclusions for themselves.“ Zimmerman and Hutchins, 2003, p. 106
    • 30. ReferencesReferences  Anonymous. “The Puzzle.”Anonymous. “The Puzzle.” http://www.classicreader.com/book/1409/1/http://www.classicreader.com/book/1409/1/..  Beck, Aaron.Beck, Aaron. Love is Never Enough.Love is Never Enough. NY:NY: HarperCollins, 1988.HarperCollins, 1988.  Bonham, Tal D.Bonham, Tal D. The Treasury of Clean Jokes.The Treasury of Clean Jokes. Nashville, Broadman Press, 1981.Nashville, Broadman Press, 1981.  Pratt, Anthony E.Pratt, Anthony E. Clue.Clue. NY: Parker Brothers,NY: Parker Brothers, 1944.1944.  Vivian, John.Vivian, John. The Media of Mass Communications.The Media of Mass Communications. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1997.Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1997.  Wintner, Gene.Wintner, Gene. The Reading Quest.The Reading Quest. Boston: AllynBoston: Allyn and Bacon, 2000.and Bacon, 2000.  Zimmerman, Susan, and Hutchins, Chryse.Zimmerman, Susan, and Hutchins, Chryse. 77 Keys to Comprehension.Keys to Comprehension. NY: Three Rivers Press,NY: Three Rivers Press, 2003.2003.