Making Inferences in a Story
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Basics on the topic Making Inferences in a Story
Join Ari and Zayd and learn how to make inferences from characters' words and actions.
Transcript Making Inferences in a Story
Making Inferences in a Story. When writing a story, authors don't always directly state the meaning in their writing. Readers can discover meaning in a narrative text by making inferences based on what actions and words reveal about characters, the events of a story and the message an author is trying to send. To make an inference, use what you already know and what you read in the text to make an educated guess. Let's use our inferencing skills on the following stories. Zayd is baking a cake when he gets a call from his old friend, Maurice. A smile spread across his face at the sound of his voice. They were so busy catching up that he didn't realise it was time to go. "Look at this icing job, and now I'm going to be late. I might miss the sunset!" Zayd sighed. How did Zayd feel after he realised it was time to go? When he said, 'Now I'm going to be late. I might miss the sunset', and sighed, we know that Zayd was disappointed. The answer choice 'nervous' is a distractor choice, which is designed to trick the reader but we know the correct answer is 'disappointed' because Zayd doesn't want to miss the sunset that it seems he was looking forward to seeing. How did Zayd feel when his friend Maurice called him? Zayd felt excited to talk to his friend. Which statement from the text supports this inference? A smile spread across his face' shows that Zayd was excited. Let's make inferences about the next story. Ari just arrived at the beach when they realised they forgot their sun cream. Ari looked up and shrugged. The sun was hot and high in the sky which made them feel very tired. Ari laid down and began to close their eyes. Based on what's happened, what can you infer about what will happen next, and which statement supports your inference? We can predict that Ari will fall asleep in the sun and maybe get sunburnt because the text says, 'the sun was hot and high in the sky which made them feel very tired' and it was mentioned earlier that they forgot their sun cream. How did Ari feel when they realised they forgot their sun cream? Ari felt unconcerned. Which statement from the text supports this inference? Ari looked up and shrugged,' shows that they weren't worried about it. Let's read one more passage and make some inferences. Hewie got on the bus and saw his classmate Peyton wave to him and smile. "I saved this seat just for you," she declared. "Thanks," Hewie said as Peyton handed him his favourite type of cookie. Hewie looked down as he smiled and blushed. What can we infer about Peyton? We can infer she likes Hewie because the text says she saved him a seat on the bus. What can we infer about Hewie? We can infer Hewie is flattered or feels pleased because he smiled and blushed. Before we see where all our characters ended up, let's summarise. Remember, readers can discover meaning in a narrative text by making an inference about what actions and words reveal about characters, the events of a story and the message an author is trying to send. To make an inference, use what you already know and what you read in the text to make an educated guess. Ah, what a beautiful sunset!
Making Inferences in a Story exercise
Find clues to make inferences.Hints
A character's words are marked by inverted commas like in this example:
"Hello," said Sam.
Actions are things that we do such as waving, smiling or giving something to someone.
There are three options to highlight in green and two in violet.Solution
These actions and words support the inference that Peyton likes Hewie and Hewie in return is flattered and pleased.
Words in violet:
- "I saved this seat just for you"
- Peyton waved to Hewie and smiled.
- Peyton handed Hewis his favourite type of cookie.
- Hewie looked down as he smiled and blushed.
Link evidence and inferences.Hints
What emotion is Zayd feeling when he realises he may miss the sunset? Is this emotion mentioned on the right?
If you run for the door, are you taking your time or trying to get somewhere faster?
Why does Zayd say "Look at this icing job" before he mentions missing the sunset? Is it because it went well or turned out badly?Solution
- A smile spread across his face at the sound of his voice. This shows us that Zayd was excited to talk to Maurice.
- When Zayd says "Look at this icing job" it suggests Zayd made a mistake making his cake because he was distracted.
- "Now I'm going to be late. I might miss the sunset!" Zayd sighed. This indicates that Zayd felt disappointed.
- Zayd reached for the keys to his bicycle lock and ran for the door. This shows us that Zayd will ride his bike to the beach to try to get there faster.
Make inferences about the text.Hints
Text in bold is evidence to give you hints.
If Ari is already late, is there any evidence to suggest they are saving time and will catch up?
What does the evidence, they did not see the toys left out on the floor and their feet suddenly flew up suggest happened?
Do you wear a coat when it is warm or hot outside?
There are three correct choices and three incorrect.Solution
- From the text, "one arm pulling the other into a coat", we can infer that it is cold outside.
- From the text, "they did not see the toys left out on the floor", "Owwww!" Ari yelled", and "their feet suddenly flew up", we can infer that Ari slipped and fell on some toys.
- Since Ari was already late, and we believe they also had a small accident, we can infer that Ari will be late for school.
Link evidence and inferences.Hints
What emotion are people feeling when they sigh? Are any of these emotions mentioned on the right?
Melancholy means feeling a little down and sad.
Is there any mention of hail, lightning or thunder to indicate a storm?
Why did the drumming noise on the roof stop?
From the text we know the grass was wet and it was sunny. What is something that sometimes occurs with this type of weather?Solution
- From the text, "as he looked out of the window and sighed, he couldn't imagine it would ever end" we can infer that Zayd was in a melancholy mood.
- From the text, "the drumming sound on the roof had only been getting louder for the last hour" we can infer that it was raining heavily.
- From the text, "suddenly, the noise stopped" we can infer that it stopped raining.
- From the text, "sun was shining over the fresh wet grass, and Zayd could see something beautiful in the sky" we can infer that Zayd saw a rainbow.
Use the text to make an inference.Hints
Look in the text for clues. Is the sun strong enough to give someone sunburn?
Does Ari do or say anything to suggest they will go for a swim or play volleyball? Is there any mention of a ball, the water or a net?Solution
The correct answer is Ari will get sunburnt.
We know from the text that Ari forgot their sun cream.
We also know that they looked up and shrugged, which suggests Ari was not going to worry about it.
We know from the text that the sun was hot and high in the sky, so we can assume it is strong enough to give someone sunburn.
We know from the text that Ari laid down and began to close their eyes, which suggests they will probably fall asleep in the strong sun.
All of this supports the inference that Ari will get sunburnt.
Make inferences from evidence.Hints
After being outside on a very hot day, do you feel more hungry or thirsty?
If Hewie is lactose intolerant, would he choose to drink milk?
If there are biscuits at the bottom of the biscuit tin, will it make a 'clink' sound when Hewie puts his hand in?
If you had an afternoon like Hewie, how would you feel?Solution
- Using the text, "scorching hot summer day" and "made his way to the fridge" we can infer that Hewie is thirsty.
- Using the text, "Ewww!" Hewie howled" and "spitting the milk back out" we can infer that the milk is sour.
- Using the text, "he heard only a 'clink'" and "he groaned" we can infer that the biscuit tin is empty.
- Since we have gathered that Hewie is thirsty, the milk is sour and the biscuit tin is empty, we can make a last inference that Hewie is in a very bad mood.
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Identifying Characters & Setting— Let's Practise!
What are Settings?
Pictures Add Information!
Understanding Setting From Illustrations and Words
Using Context Clues and Illustrations to Find Meaning
Understanding Story Plots from Actions and Dialogue
Character Points of View
How Characters Respond to Events
How Characters' Actions Affect a Story
Compare and Contrast: Themes
Illustrations: Mood, Characters and Setting
Understanding Characters from Actions and Dialogue
A Character's Thoughts, Words and Actions
Making Inferences in a Story
Making Inferences from a Narrative Text
Functions of Adjectives
Finding the Main Idea Using Key Details
Strategies to Determine the Main Idea in an Informational Text
Types of Figurative Language
Finding Evidence in Information Texts
Supporting the Author's Reasons
Making Inferences in Information Texts
Context Clues: Definitions, Examples or Restatements
What is an Idiom?—Let's Practise
Similes and Metaphors
Comparing Two Sources on the Same Topic
Author's Point of View
Whose point of view? — Let's Practise!
Identifying Text Features
Making Predictions About a Story
Greek Mythology and Allusions
Adages and Proverbs
Third Person Point of View: Limited, Omniscient, and Objective