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Making inferences

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An informational text with embedded questions to help students make inferences.

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Making inferences

  1. 1. E. Kissner 2015 For classroom use only Antarctica has always been cold and isolated. In ancient times, the Greeks thought that a huge southern land mass must exist. They believed in symmetry and thought that the Earth needed something in the south to balance all of the land in the north. In the Age of Exploration, many sailors tried to find a southern land mass. They found islands off the coast of Antarctica, but icebergs and sea ice kept them from finding the continent. Visualize: How did people try to find a southern land mass? Underline words from the text that you included in your picture. Making Inferences: Antarctic History
  2. 2. E. Kissner 2015 For classroom use only Hunters looking for seals and whales sailed in the Southern Ocean in the early 1800s. They found—and killed—thousands of fur seals, elephant seals and southern right whales. People used the whale oil for lamps, soap, and margarine. People used sealskins for coats and jackets. On February 7, 1821, men from an American sealing ship landed on Antarctica. They were the first people to ever set foot on the continent. They stayed for only an hour before they sailed away. Think: What were the men from the ship probably looking for? Why did they probably leave so quickly? The men who hunted seals often kept careful notes. Some of them were scientists. Nathaniel Palmer, the captain of a sealing ship, explored the area around the Antarctic Peninsula. Today, one of the three research stations operated by the United States is named for him. Circle the word “him” in the sentence above. Draw an area to show the antecedent to this pronoun. (The antecedent is the person to whom this word refers). Think: What is the name of one of the three research stations?
  3. 3. E. Kissner 2015 For classroom use only James Weddell was another famous sailor and scientist. In 1823, his ship sailed farther south than any other up to that time. Weddell brought back six samples of skins from a kind of seal that no one had ever seen before. Although they searched for land— and more of the new seals—they had to return north before they could succeed. Weddell’s name is still given to the Antarctic seal he discovered. The sealers and whalers explored the Southern Ocean and found many new islands. However, they also caused great harm to the animals of the area. By 1825, seal populations had crashed. Think: The seals that James Weddell found are now called seals. Why did the seal populations crash? For several decades, many sealers and whalers found their prey in other places. Not as many ships made the trip to the waters around Antarctica. A few expeditions tried to find the magnetic South Pole. However, the magnetic South Pole is far inland. Sailors abandoned the search. Why did sealers and whalers stop visiting Antarctica? Why did sailors stop looking for the magnetic South Pole?
  4. 4. E. Kissner 2015 For classroom use only Teacher Notes For more on how I used this resource in the classroom, visit the post on my blog. More on Making Inferences Making Inferences with Transitional Readers: Teaching resources for helping readers in grades 2-3 make inferences. Text-Based Inferences and More: Resources for helping readers to make text-based inferences. Texts and assessments ready to go! Character Traits and Emotions: Making Inferences: Resources to help readers make inferences about character traits and inferences. Stories and lesson plans included. Permission granted for classroom use only. All other rights reserved.

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