Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog!

Using Books to Teach Inference Skills in Early Grades, Part 4

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on May 24, 2016 9:31:01 PM

GHaggardbiopic

This is a guest blog post by Dr. Geraldine Haggard, who is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. It is the second post in a series of posts on using books for building inference skills. You can see the first post here, the second post here, and the third post here.

In this series of blog posts, I have been looking at the use of guided-reading-leveled books in the early grades to develop problem solving and inference skills in young readers. In the first two posts, we looked at how this can work in kindergarten. In the third post, we started to look at second grade, and today I will finish my thoughts about second grade with one last example of how to use a book to develop these skills. Hopefully, this series of posts and example texts have given you some ideas about how to generalize these strategies with leveled readers in your own classroom. 

Today's example text, at guided reading level F, is written slightly under level for second-graders, which makes it accessible to even those students who might be struggling. However, the inference lessons are on standard level for second grade and could apply to even advanced students. Let's take a look at how we use it.

The-Man-Who-Was-Afraid-of-Ants.jpgBook Two: The Man Who Was Afraid Of Ants

The Man Who Was Afraid of Ants by Heather Goodacre is an excellent choice for introducing unknown words, multiple-meaning words and phrases, and changes in a character. Use the front cover to introduce the character of Jake. Prompt the children as they determine the meaning of “afraid of.”

Page 2:

Ask children to discuss why Jake was a fireman.

  • What clue does the author give?
  • Why would Jake want to 'help people'?

Page 3:

After reading this page to the class, ask them to show in actions what the words “itch,” “twitch,” and the phrase “creepy feeling” mean. As you continue to read the story, the children can use the actions for these words each time you read the words.

Pages 4 and 5:

After reading these two pages, guide and prompt the students as they use clues from the story to discuss whom the friends are, where they are, and what is about to happen.

  • How did the illustrations help answer these questions?

Pages 6 and 7:

Study the illustrations and discuss what the students think is happening to Jake.

  • How do you think his friends felt when they saw him act this way? (Accept any logical response.)

Page 8:

  • How does the boy in the picture feel?
  • What words on the page and the picture help you know how he felt?

Page 9:

Ask for one volunteer student to be Jake and another to be the boy. The two students will speak in the same manner as the two characters.

  • How do they know what the boy may have said?
  • If they drew a speech balloon above the boy, what might be in the balloon?

Pages 10 and 11:

  • How are the two pictures different?
  • Does Jake change how he feels? How do we know?
  • When the students come to “itch” and “twitch,” what do they do, or not do?
  • How can they show “a tiny bit creepy”?
  • Do they think Jake is still afraid of ants? Why?
  • What does Jake mean when he says, "I guess"?

After finishing reading the story, ask the children why they think the home of the ants is called a “farm.” What do they usually think of when they see or hear the word “farm”?

Invite the students to draw pictures of things they are afraid of. If they desire, they can write about how these thing make them feel. Ask volunteers to share their fears. The drawings could be included in a class book titled "Things We Fear" and placed in the class library.

Plenty of other books can be used in this way to model, prompt, and provide opportunities for students to infer. As your students progress to other grades, they will use this strategy, and it is part of each year's standards. It becomes an essential skill needed in all subject areas.

This concludes my series of posts on using books to teach inference skills in early grades. To go back to the first post in the series, click here. If you like what you've read here, you can see an archive of my earlier posts here! I contribute fairly frequently, so subscribe to the blog in the upper right sidebar to get my next series of posts delivered directly to your mailbox!

~~~

Geraldine Haggard is the author of several books from our Kaleidoscope Collection. She spent 37 years in the Plano, TX school system. She currently tutors, chairs a committee that gifts books to low-income students, teaches in her church, and serves as a facilitator in a program for grieving children.

~~~

To download information sheets with key features about the Kaleidoscope Collection, which contains the book mentioned in this post, click the image below.

New Call-to-Action  

 

Read More

Topics: Reading Activities, Kaleidoscope Collection, Geraldine Haggard, Second Grade, Inference Skills

Using Books to Teach Inference Skills in Early Grades, Part 3

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on May 19, 2016 3:30:00 PM

GHaggardbiopic

This is a guest blog post by Dr. Geraldine Haggard, who is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. It is the second post in a series of posts on using books for building inference skills. You can see the first post here and the second post here.

In this series of blog posts, I have been looking at the use of guided-reading-leveled books in the early grades to develop problem solving and inference skills in young readers. In the previous two posts, we looked at how this can work in kindergarten. Today, I will focus on second grade. Let's start by looking at the Common Core Standards for second grade that relate to 

A Look at Grade Two National Standards Connected To Inferences

LITERATURE

  • Ask and answer questions 'who', 'what', 'where', 'when', 'why', and 'how' to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.2.1)
  • Acknowledge the differences in the point of view of characters, including speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialogue. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.6)
  • Use information gathered from illustrations and words in print to demonstrate understanding of characters, setting, and plot. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.7)
  • Determine the meaning of words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade topic or subject area. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.2.4)
  • Identify the main purpose in a text, including what the author wants to answer, explain, or describe. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.2.6)
  • Describe how reasons support specific points the author makes in a text. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.2.8)

Now we’ll take a look at some examples of how to use leveled readers to teach these skills and help your students meet the standards.

Book One: Hurricane Dog

hurricane_dog_400.jpgBook one is Hurricane Dog by Sharon Rasmussen Powell. This book can be used as a read-aloud, a guided reading group book for students reading at the level of the book, and a take-home book for those who read it in a guided reading session.

Before reading, share the front cover and guide the students as they discuss what they think is happening in the illustration.

  • What is the dog wondering?
  • Why is he concerned and maybe worried?
  • What do you know when you study the picture of the tree?
  • What do you think a hurricane might be?
  • Why is the book named Hurricane Dog?

Use page 2 to introduce the character of Odie the dog. Remind students that the author will tell them what happened to Odie and how his life changed.

Page 3 has a balloon that tells what Odie remembers about how his life was changed by the hurricane.

  • What does he remember about what a storm called a hurricane did?

Pages 4 and 5 share what happened to Odie's house and his owners' home. Ask children to share questions that are in their minds. List their questions on the board and tell them that as you read the rest of the story, they can listen for answers to their questions.

Pages 6 and 7 show Odie's new home. After reading, wait for reactions and questions from the students. Ask them to determine if any of their questions were answered.

  • Which of your questions did the story answer?
  • Which questions are still unanswered?

Reread the last two sentences on page 6.

  • Why did the owners say good-bye to Odie?
  • Where is Odie?
  • What do the children know about animal shelters?

Reread page 7.

  • What was Odie's wish or dream?
  • What does the word 'nice' mean on this page?

Pages 8–10. Introduce Odie's new family.

  • Why did Odie jump up?
  • Why did the family smile at Odie?
  • What did the author mean when she said "His stay there was done"? (This activity involves a multiple-meaning word, "stay".)
  • How did the family show Odie they liked him? (Answer: illustration)
  • How did Odie show he liked the family?

Pages 11 and 12 tell us how Odie's dream came true.

  • How did this happen?
  • Why does the author tell us to dream 'big'? (Another multiple-meaning word)

Invite the children to share dreams they have after some discussion. Prompt as the students discuss the idea of "having a dream" (multiple meaning word).

  • How is this meaning different from having a dream as we sleep?

Use a writing activity that can further the idea of “having a dream.” Each child can illustrate his/her dream with pictures in a large bubble like the one in the book on page 3. Share that illustration with the children. Suggest that they draw pictures of themselves and place large bubbles over their heads. The bubbles will share their dreams. They can sit in groups of three and study the drawings of each other and predict what the friends 'dreams are. These drawings could be put into book form and placed in the class library. A bulletin board labeled "OUR DREAMS" might be displayed.

I have one more book example to show you, but I'll leave it for Part 4 so this post doesn't get too long!

To read the next post in this series, please click here. You can subscribe to our blog in the upper right sidebar to get new posts delivered to your inbox.

~~~

Geraldine Haggard is the author of several books from our Kaleidoscope Collection. She spent 37 years in the Plano, TX school system. She currently tutors, chairs a committee that gifts books to low-income students, teaches in her church, and serves as a facilitator in a program for grieving children.

~~~

To download information sheets with key features about the Kaleidoscope Collection, which contains the book mentioned in this post, click the image below.

New Call-to-Action  

 

Read More

Topics: Reading Activities, Kaleidoscope Collection, Geraldine Haggard, Second Grade, Inference Skills

Using Books to Teach Inference Skills in Early Grades, Part 2

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on May 17, 2016 10:27:09 PM

GHaggardbiopic

This is a guest blog post by Dr. Geraldine Haggard, who is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. It is the second post in a series of posts on using books for building inference skills. You can see the first post here.

In this series of blog posts, I have been looking at the use of guided-reading-leveled books in the early grades to develop problem solving and inference skills in young readers. I gave one book as an example in my first post, and today we will look at two more examples. You'll be able to easily generalize from these examples how to apply similar strategies to the books in your classroom library.

knock_knock_400.jpgBook Two: Knock, Knock

The second book that I have chosen as an example of how to teach these inference skills is Knock, Knock by Susan C. Jensen. This book can be used for guided reading and can also be a take-home book to read. Before reading, display the cover page and ask the children how they could get the door to open. Invite them to 'knock' as you open the book to the cover page. Then walk them through the book, inviting them to make inferences along the way.

Cover Page:

Encourage students to ask questions as they study the pages. Prompt questions and answers.

  • Why do you think the picture of the boy and the dinosaur are on this page?

Pages 2 and 3:

  • Why does the boy say, "Who is there?"
  • Where is the dog in the picture? (Answer: outside)
  • Why are the bubbles on the pages needed?

Pages 4 and 5:

  • Where is the dog in these illustrations? (Answer: inside)
  • Where is the cat now? (Answer: inside in both pictures)
  • Were you surprised when you saw the dinosaur? Why?

Last Page:

  • What do you know about dinosaurs?
  • Would you run if you saw one? Why, or why not?

After reading, ask students to draw and write about what they would not want to see if they opened a door and were surprised. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.5)

Book Three: Kit and Henry Like Different Things

Kit and Henry Like Different Things by Miguel Perez-Soler has illustrations that can be used to predict unknown words during shared reading or read aloud from an Elmo. The book could also be used in guided reading with readers who have achieved the instructional level of the book, and it can also be used as a take-home reader. The book is an excellent one to use for modeling cause and effect.

As teacher you can use this book to encourage problem solving of unknown words as students use illustrations and beginning sounds of words.

kit_and_henry_402.jpgBefore reading, introduce the characters of the two brothers using the front cover. Invite the children to talk about what they know about the brothers as they study the front illustration. They might also predict how the brothers are alike and different in what they like.

As you read the book to the students, stop at the words that tell what each brother likes and ask them to predict the words using beginning sounds and illustrations. Use a pointer to help the students identify and use those sounds. Explain that good readers use these two pieces of information to predict unknown words.

The last page shares how the boys are alike. Prompt the students to list other ways that the boys might be alike that are not shared in the story. (Sample answers: they are brothers; they live in the same home; they have the same parents; they probably go to same school, etc.)

Invite the students to sit with a partner. Each writes his/her name at the top of a page and copies the following incomplete sentences from the board:

  • I like to play ___________.
  • I like to eat ____________.
  • I like to ride ___________.

Each child completes the sentences and compares his responses to the other students' responses. After the students have had time to respond, invite the pairs to share how they are like and different.

This concludes part two of my series on teaching inference skills, wrapping up the kindergarten portion. Next time we will look at how similar strategies can be applied at a higher level in grade two.

To read the next post in this series, please click here. You can subscribe to our blog in the upper right sidebar to get new posts delivered to your inbox.

~~~

Geraldine Haggard is the author of several books from our Kaleidoscope Collection. She spent 37 years in the Plano, TX school system. She currently tutors, chairs a committee that gifts books to low-income students, teaches in her church, and serves as a facilitator in a program for grieving children.

~~~

To download information sheets with key features about the Kaleidoscope Collection, which contains the book mentioned in this post, click the image below.

New Call-to-Action  

 

Read More

Topics: Reading Activities, Kaleidoscope Collection, Kindergarten, Geraldine Haggard, Inference Skills

Using Books to Teach Inference Skills in Early Grades, Part 1

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on May 12, 2016 4:56:41 PM

GHaggardbiopic

This is a guest blog post by Dr. Geraldine Haggard, who is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. It is the first post in a series of posts on using books for building inference skills. 

In this series of blog posts, I will look at the use of guided-reading-leveled books and oral language readers in the early grades to develop problem solving and inference skills in young readers. First, let’s look at some definitions for ‘infer’:

in·fer /inˈfər/ verb

  1. to search for a conclusion about something from known facts or evidence
  2. to reach a conclusion about something from known facts
  3. to make an educated guess based on looking carefully at facts and coming to a possible conclusion

How can we teach our students to possess this skill that is so necessary to the rest of their education, and, indeed, their lives?

child_reading_1953537_Arvind_Balaraman-300.jpgWhat Reading Recovery Has Taught Us

Marie Clay, in Reading Recovery: A Guidebook for Teachers in Training, stated her belief that "the child learns to read by attending to many aspects of text (letters, words, pictures, language, and messages).” The young reader responds as he learns these ways for working at problem solving. She stresses the teacher’s role in helping the child learn to search and simplify the complexity of print. Searching is one of the strategies to be modeled and prompted by the teacher as he or she works with emerging readers and writers.

In Becoming Literate, she states that the search for meaning enables the reader to notice new things about words, print, and messages. The children can then link these discoveries to other things they know. This inner control of reading helps the child construct information from the text and what he knows. Clay expressed her belief that every child is “entitled to an introduction to a text before reading.” This introduction can allow the student to connect things he knows and the text as he reads. Searching strategies can lead the young reader from what he knows to something that he hears or reads.

A Look At Common Core Standards Connected To Inferring

First we will explore kindergarten. The following standards are related to inferring at that level. As you study these, you will see the importance of listening and speaking activities.

LITERATURE:

  • With prompting and support ask and answer questions about key details in a text. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.1)
  • With prompting and support describe the relationship between the illustrations and the text in which they appear. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.7)
  • With prompting and support compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.9)

INFORMATIONAL TEXT:

  • With prompting and support identify the main topic and retell key details of a text. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.K.2)
  • With prompting and support describe the connection between individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in the text. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.K.3)
  • With prompting and support ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.K.4)
  • With prompting and support identify the reasons the author gives to support points in a text. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.K.8)

SPEAKING AND LISTENING:

  • Ask and answer questions in order to seek help, get information, or clarify meaning. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.3)
  • Describe familiar people, places, things, or events with prompting and support. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.4)
  • Add drawings or other visual displays to describe and provide additional details. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.5)

I have selected three books that can be used in different ways to help kindergarten children as they receive modeling, prompting, and opportunities to problem-solve by inferring. I’ll introduce the first one today and the others in part two of this series of posts. In part three, we’ll look

Zoozoo_cvr_TheSurprise-300.jpgBook One: The Surprise

The first book I chose is The Surprise by Alan Trussell-Cullen, which is part of the Zoozoo Storytellers series of oral language books for fluency. This book can also be used in guided reading. Before reading, share the cover illustration using an Elmo. Invite the children to study the projected picture and think of questions they might ask based on the picture before they hear the story. Examples of questions might include these:

  • What might the man be writing?
  • Who is the lady in the picture?
  • Why is there a calendar in the picture?

Invite the children to share their additional questions and write the questions on the board. Ask them to think about answers to their questions as they hear the story. Ask for sharing and prompt for replies. 

  • The man is inviting friends to a birthday party for the lady.
  • The date on the calendar is her birthday.
  • The man did not want the lady to know about the party and asked the animals to deliver the note, but to be quiet as they did the deliveries.

As the book is shared the following inferences might be made:

  • On cover page the man is happy. Why?
  • On page two do you think the lady understands what is happening?
  • What do you do if you "pass something along"?
  • On page 8, why is the lady 'up in the tree'?
  • On last page, do you think she was surprised?

Discuss the role of the illustrations as they discuss the questions' answers. The page with the discussion idea can be shared as you invite responses for each question.

This is the end of part one in this series of blog posts on teaching and using leveled books for science in kindergarten. To read the next post in this series, click here. You can subscribe to our blog in the upper right sidebar to get new posts delivered to your inbox.

~~~

Geraldine Haggard is the author of several books from our Kaleidoscope Collection. She spent 37 years in the Plano, TX school system. She currently tutors, chairs a committee that gifts books to low-income students, teaches in her church, and serves as a facilitator in a program for grieving children.

~~~

To download information sheets with key features about the Kaleidoscope Collection, which the post author has written books for, and Zoozoo Storytellers, which contains the book mentioned in this post, click the images below.

New Call-to-Action  New Call-to-Action

 

Read More

Topics: Reading Activities, Kindergarten, Geraldine Haggard, Zoozoo Storytellers, Inference Skills

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all

Follow Me