Dorothy Strickland shares, “For struggling
readers, it is critical that we not only activate
their knowledge of topics they must read about
and study, but also be aware of situations in
which they have little or no background
knowledge so that we can build essential
understandings before they begin reading.”
Predicting is related
to inferring - - -
what’s the difference?
“When you read, you use all your
senses. You see things in your
‘mind’s eye’ and hear the sounds you
connect to that about which you are
~ Guided Reading the Four Blocks Way
“Proficient readers use images to
draw conclusions, to create distinct
and unique interpretations of the
text, to recall details significant to the
text, and to recall a text after it has
~ Ellin Keene
“Inferring is the process of taking
that which is stated in text and
extrapolating it to one’s life to create
a wholly original interpretation that,
in turn, becomes part of one’s beliefs
~ Ellin Keene
they draw and other
beliefs or knowledge.”
~ Ellin Keene
All the processes
Each works in
the others to
aid the reader
in comprehending text.
Step 1 – The teacher explains the strategy
(reading between the lines) using short
scenarios, riddles, or charades that require
students to add up clues and make a
Step 2 – The teacher demonstrates how to
apply the strategy successfully.
Step 3 – The teacher thinks aloud to model
the mental processes he/she uses when
• Do several think alouds for this
• Use picture books for students of all
• Students are only observers at this stage.
• Demonstrate the use of sticky notes to
code connections, questions, predictions,
conclusions, judgments, etc.
• Allow students to discuss what they
observed following the think aloud.
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Use a variety of “lifted text” from different types of
books giving everyone a copy or using the document
Use whole group to small group model.
Use short text such as magazine and newspaper
articles and poetry.
Encourage students to code their inferences with
sticky notes or highlighting.
Use concept maps, two-column notes, and margin
writing to record thinking.
Engage students in conversation about their
inferences with the text with partners or whole group.
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Guide students’ thinking before reading by using
anticipation guides or prediction guides.
Show students how to do a chapter tour or preview
of nonfiction text to help them make predictions
about the chapter.
Point out connections between inference and the
other strategies they’ve learned.
Text sets can be used to have students reflect on
inferences and compare them with different books
within the set.
Use a book that can create an “anchor” experience
for the class.
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The teacher gives the students text that is easy
to read on their own.
Students may practice their strategy alone, in
pairs, or in small groups such as book clubs or
Students can discuss and compare their
inferences with other students.
The teacher confers with the students and
gives them feedback.
Assessing Application of Inference
Keene’s Major Point Interview
Other Written Responses
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Fiction and Poetry:
Allows a variety of interpretation
Nonfiction/Content Area Text:
Permits a narrow range of
Best for drawing conclusions,
predictions, questioning, and
•Meanings of text
•Meanings of larger
themes of texts
•Predicting Words In Text
•Guess the Covered Word
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• Anaphoric Inferences: A pronoun or noun-
phrase that refers to a previous text constituent
or to an entity already introduced in the mental
• Bridging Inferences: These are any inferences that a
reader needs to systematically or conceptually relate the
sentence being read with the previous content. These are
sometimes called backward inferences.
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• Explanation Based Inferences: The event being read
about is explained by a causal chain or network of previous
events. These are sometimes called causal antecedent
• Goal Inferences: The reader infers that an agent has a
motive that explains an intentional action.
• Elaborative Inferences: These are properties of
entities, facts, and other associations that are not explained
by causal mechanisms.
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• Predictive Inferences: The reader forecasts what
events will causally unfold after the current event that is
being read. These are sometimes called causal
consequences or forward references.
• Process Inferences: These inferences specify the
detailed steps, manner, or dynamic characteristics of an
event as it unfolds.