Making Inferences in Information Texts
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Basics on the topic Making Inferences in Information Texts
Join Pearl and Otis and learn how to make inferences from information texts.
Transcript Making Inferences in Information Texts
Making inferences in information texts. “Look at this!” "It makes you wonder about life back then." "Let's read the information cards on these artefacts and make some inferences." Authors of information writing do not always state their ideas directly. As readers, we must infer meaning by looking beyond the text's words. Inferences are when we take text evidence, add background knowledge and make a logical assumption or form an opinion. We use inferences to make educated guesses, determine the author’s point of view, work out details that weren't fully explained or draw conclusions. To make inferences while reading, first, look at the text evidence and think, 'what does the text say?'. Then, apply your background knowledge by thinking about what you already know about the topic. Finally, make an inference that will help you understand the information on a deeper level. We can use graphic organisers to collect information. Let's read about the Antikythera mechanism's time span and draw some inferences. The Antikythera mechanism was a calculation machine used in Ancient Greece, similar to an analogue computer. It is thought to have been invented around sixty BC and used to predict astronomical data. The device was made of bronze and had a number of gears that worked together, much like a mechanical clock. It was a calendar that could track days, months and eclipse cycles. It also indicated the years in which Olympic games would be held. This piece of the mechanism was discovered in a shipwreck in 1901. First, let's look at what the text says about the Antikythera mechanism. It was an 'Ancient Greek machine used to calculate, like an analogue computer.' It was 'made of bronze and had gears like a mechanical clock'. It was 'used as a calendar'. Now, think about your background knowledge about machines like this. We all have different levels of background knowledge about topics, but here we can say that we know Ancient Greek astronomers were fascinated by space. What inference can we make about the time period based on this information? One inference is that the Ancient Greeks' fascination with space caused them to invent a machine that could track time on Earth. Let's read about another historical invention. The printing press was invented in Europe during the Renaissance period. Prior to its invention, during a period known as the Dark Ages, all printed material was copied by hand. This was a time-consuming and costly process, so only the wealthy could afford to buy books. Johannes Gutenberg of Germany is credited with inventing the printing press in 1455. The printing press made it possible to print books and other types of texts quickly, cheaply and in large quantities. What does the text say about the invention of the printing press? Before the printing press was invented all printed material was created individually by hand. Printing was time consuming and expensive. Only wealthy people could afford books. The invention of the printing press made it possible to print materials quickly, cheaply and in large quantities. What do we already know about this time period? During the Dark Ages, people did not have access to information. What can you infer about how the technology of the printing press changed life during this time period? In the comment section, share your inference based on this information. Whilst Pearl and Otis wrap up their museum visit, let's review. Remember, inferences are when we take text evidence, add background knowledge and make a logical assumption or form an opinion. To make inferences while reading, first, look at the text evidence and think, 'what does the text say?', then, apply background knowledge by thinking about what you already know about the topic. Now, make an inference that will help you understand the information on a deeper level. "We've come so far!" "Mmmm, what do you think about that?"
Making Inferences in Information Texts exercise
What is an inference?Hints
An inference is not a statement that is explicitly stated in the text. Think carefully about each answer choice and eliminate any choices that are direct statements made by the author.
When making an inference, you use information from the text along with your own knowledge to form a conclusion.
Which answer choice describes this process?
Making an inference involves combining clues from the text with what you already know to form a logical conclusion.Solution
An inference is a logical assumption or opinion made by the reader based on text evidence and background knowledge.
What have you learnt about making inferences whilst reading?Hints
Which term refers to prior knowledge a reader has before reading?
Which term refers to the logical conclusions readers make based on text evidence and background knowledge?
An opinion is somebody's own thoughts on something and can be agreed or disagreed with.Solution
- Inference: a conclusion based on text and background knowledge.
- Background knowledge: a reader's prior knowledge used to understand text.
- Text evidence: details in a text that support an inference.
- Opinion: personal beliefs about a topic.
- Main idea: the central idea of a text.
Can you identify the text evidence?Hints
Consider how the Antikythera mechanism worked and what it was capable of doing.
Consider how predicting astronomical data could be related to tracking time on Earth.
You will only highlight two lines.
Look for details in the text that mention the device's ability to track time or calendar functions.Solution
Inference: Ancient Greeks' fascination with space caused them to invent a machine that could track time on Earth.
- "It was a calendar that could track days, months, and eclipse cycles."
- "used to predict astronomical data"
What can you infer about how the technology of the printing press changed life during the "Dark Ages"?Hints
"The printing press made it possible to print books and other types of texts quickly, cheaply and in large quantities."
Does it suggest that the printing press made printing materials more or less expensive?
What was the problem with printing books before the printing press was invented? Think about the problem the printing press was designed to solve.Solution
The text states that before the invention of the printing press, printed material was created individually by hand, which was time-consuming and expensive and only wealthy people could afford books.
The printing press made it possible to print books quickly, cheaply and in large quantities, which would have made them more affordable and accessible to a wider range of people.
Therefore, we can infer that the technology of the printing press changed life during the Dark Ages by making it possible for more people to afford books.
What are the three steps to making inferences whilst reading information texts?Hints
When making logical assumptions about a text, use context from the reading and your prior knowledge.
To make logical assumptions, examine the evidence, connect it to your prior knowledge and make an assumption to further your understanding.Solution
To make inferences whilst reading information texts, there are three important steps that you should follow.
- First, look at the text evidence and think, "What does the text say?"
- Next, apply your background knowledge by thinking about what you already know about the topic.
- Finally, make an inference that will help you understand the information on a deeper level.
Help Otis and Pearl make an inference.Hints
Consider your background knowledge about ancient cities and natural disasters. Then, use it to help you make an inference about the impact the volcanic eruption described in the text would have had on the city of Pompeii and its residents.
How did the eruption of Mount Vesuvius affect the people who lived in the Pompeii?
To make an inference, you need to find clues in the text that support it. Your inference must be connected to text evidence.
There are three pieces of text evidence to highlight to support the inference.Solution
Option 4 is the correct answer: "The eruption of Mount Vesuvius had a major effect on the city of Pompeii."
This inference can be made by identifying the text evidence found in the passage (these three sentences should be highlighted in violet):
- "Pompeii was an ancient Roman city that was buried under ash and pumice when the nearby volcano Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD."
- "The eruption of Mount Vesuvius lasted for two days, covering the city and its surrounding areas up to 20 feet of volcanic debris."
- "However, the eruption also caused significant damage to the city of Pompeii. It hurt many people, broke buildings and wiped out entire villages."
Option 1 is incorrect as there is no information given in the paragraph about whether the residents of Pompeii were caught by surprise or not.
Option 2 is also incorrect as there is no information given in the paragraph about the city's trade and commerce.
Option 3 is incorrect as the paragraph does not provide information on whether some of the residents of Pompeii were able to escape or not.
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