Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Teaching Inference-Activities and Links

I am so excited to share with you two amazing books I have recently shared with my students while teaching Inference. I find skill-based work difficult to contextualize with my students, but I feel these two hit the nail on the head! I will also share a link to a video of one of the books that I had the students watch prior to reading the book.

An inference is a conclusion reached on the basis of evidence and reasoning.

First, I have my students watch this 15 minute video on The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. 

The best part of this movie is that there are NO WORDS, so the students must use their inferential skills to deduct what is happening in the movie. I caution you to watch it first, because I cried the first time I watched it. 

Next, I had a conversation with them about what happened in the movie. Here are some sentence starters I used-
  • When the question mark appears on the book, and the rest of the pages are blank, what does the author infer is happening in Moriss' life?
  • What happens when Morris hands a book to someone? What can you conclude about the author's feeling toward books?
  • When the book is being fixed by Morris, what is the only way the book is saved? Use two specific pieces of evidence that support your conclusion.
  • What happens at the end of the story? How do you know what happens to Morris? What clues does the author give you? Did your prior knowledge help you come up with this conclusion? 
  • Whose picture will end up next to Moriss' on the library wall? 
 Then, I read the book to them. 
Discussion points were found here.
Discussion Points-
Why were books so important to Morris? Do you love books as much as Morris?
How did this book make you feel?
Describe how color is used to change the feeling of the book.
How does this book mirror life? Find examples of multiple meanings.
What examples are there in the book about being positive and negative? Explore the idea of how positive thinking can effect how we react to situations.
“Everyone’s story matters”. Explain what this means.
When Morris flew away, why do you think he changed back to the way he used to be?
“Sometimes Morris would become lost in a book and scarcely emerge for days”. Describe what this means to you. Have you ever felt ‘lost’ in a book? If so, which book?

Every student in your class will love this book. It is phenomenal! If you are a reader, it holds even more power to change you. Encourage your students to see books to have the power to change their life, and their "life" stories, just as Mr. Morris Lessmore did!

The other book is Grandpa Green and you can find all of the information for that book  here.

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