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Inferencing: To guess, or surmise what is meant To take into account factors other than the words that make up the sentences in a statement, or the images.

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Presentation on theme: "Inferencing: To guess, or surmise what is meant To take into account factors other than the words that make up the sentences in a statement, or the images."— Presentation transcript:

1 Inferencing: To guess, or surmise what is meant To take into account factors other than the words that make up the sentences in a statement, or the images in a picture To read between the lines

2 Inferencing is a Thinking Skill Bloom et al (1956) classified thinking skills in the following hierarchical manner: knowledge; comprehension; application; analysis; synthesis; and evaluation.

3 Thinking Skills Knowledge - recalling bits of information Comprehension - understanding information, but not relating it to other material Application - using what is previously known to figure out problems under new circumstances

4 Thinking Skills (cont.) Analysis - b reaking a whole into its parts Synthesis - putting parts together to create a new whole; and Evaluation - stating opinions and giving reasons; explaining why; inferring

5 Populations who often need to improve their inferencing skills Have a language disorder or language-based learning disability Have a reading disability Are learning English as a foreign language Have incurred brain injuries Have impaired hearing Have a mild form of autism or a related disability Possess typical learning and achievement but want to improve their ability to understand inferences in spoken and written language

6 How can we assist the individual in making the appropriate inferential connections? Fill in background information Provide opportunities to discuss prior experiences that pertain to that information

7 How can we assist the individual? (cont) Examine vocabulary in conversation or text for terms that may be abstract or may have subtle shades of meaning Provide alternate concrete terms that can lend contextual support for comprehension

8 How can we assist the individual? (cont) Review conversation or text for figurative language (e.g., idioms or proverbs) that may be unknown to the individual Teach the individual to restate the meaning of the text (or conversation) using the inferred information

9 Types of Inferences Location (deciding place from clues given) Agent (deciding occupation or role) Time (deciding when things occurred) Action (deciding activity) Instrument (deciding tool or device) Category (deciding category or group)

10 Types of Inferences (cont) Object (deciding item being talked about) Cause-effect (deciding reason something happened or deciding the outcome) Problem-solution (deciding how to solve a problem) Feelings-attitudes (deciding how/why characters are reacting/acting in certain ways)

11 Inferences from Visual Evidence facial expressions, gestures, body language, appearance physical phenomenon (e.g., cloudy sky) cartoons and comic strips

12 Context Clues Key words that help decipher the meaning that is implicit in a statement. Example: Burt and Ernie were flopping around on the floor in a pool of water. Broken glass was all around them. 1.Who are Burt and Ernie? 2.What happened to them? 3.Which words or phrases give you clues?

13 Using Ones Own Experiences to Make Inferences When your mom is mad at your dad, dont let her brush your hair. Never ask your three year old brother to hold a tomato.

14 Location inferences Example: Cathy put a towel over her wet bathing suit, and brushed the sand off her feet before putting on her sandals. Where is Cathy? Which words or phrases give you clues?

15 Agent Inferences Example: June had to order more roses and irises before she could arrange the flowers for the wedding bouquets and table centerpieces. What is Junes occupation? Which words or phrases give you clues?

16 Time Inferences Example: Ralph needed a flashlight to make his way from the tent to the outhouse. When did this occur? Which words or phrases give you clues?

17 Action Inferences Example: Shelby ran the bow over the strings to create a beautiful sound. What is Shelby doing? Which words or phrases give you clues?

18 Instrument Inferences Example: Just two or three more blows and the tree would fall. What tool was being used? Which words or phrases give you clues?

19 Category Inferences Example: I love Monopoly, but my brother prefers Checkers or Scrabble. The italicized words are members of what category?

20 Object Inferences Example: The cover and spine were in good condition, but many of the pages were dog-eared. What is being talked about? Which words give you clues?

21 Cause-effect Inferences Example: In the morning, we woke to find the trees striped bare of their leaves and many broken branches strewn across the yard. What cause this to happen? Which words or phrases give you clues?

22 Problem-solution Inferences Example: Helene had an earache but she was unable to reach her doctor. What should Helene do about this problem? Which words or phrases give you clues? What would you do?

23 Feelings-attitudes Inferences Example: This was the first time Rowans paintings were on exhibition at the art gallery. The gallery owner informed him that many people praised his work, and several of them asked if the paintings were for sale. What feeling(s) was Rowan experiencing? Which words or phrases give you clues?

24 Making Inferences about Proverbs Example: Dont hang out with Tina and Rochelle. They never study and frequently cut classes. Remember, people think Birds of a feather flock together. A. Select the statement(s) which best illustrates the meaning of the proverb. 1. All the brains joined the chess club. 2. Bernies reputation suffered when he became friendly with the boys who pushed other kids around. 3.You can often find all of the birds in one section of the zoo. B) Taking the statement(s) selected into consideration, what does the proverb mean?

25 Paragraph Analysis Example: Find the sentence that doesnt belong. Underline the sentence, and then replace it with a more appropriate sentence. Stephanie wanted a dog. She begged her mother to allow her to take a puppy from her neighbors dogs litter. Her mom was reluctant because she didnt know if Stephanie would take all responsibility for the dogs care. Rachel and Sarah had dogs. Finally, mom, who really liked dogs, decided to allow Stephanie to have a puppy.

26 Visual Humor What is the basis of the humor in this cartoon? What do you see in the cartoon that gives you clues?

27 Completing Because Statements Children should never go into a pool alone….. *I never ate green eggs and ham…..

28 Facilitator Techniques Verbal Mediation Brainstorming Thinking aloud Vocabulary World Knowledge Discourse skills Visual Clues Referencing Texts

29 Additional Activities for Improving Inferencing Skills Explore newspapers and magazines for statements that require inferencing. Example: Unless the Black Hawks win today, Coach Thompson may be job hunting.

30 Additional Activities (cont) Make individuals aware of how to draw inferences between new information and the background knowledge they already have. Example: 1.Idea– There are reasons why people cry. 2.Personal experience question: Tell us about something that made you cry? 3.Lets put our answers together and see which appears to be the most likely reason the girl in this passage cried.

31 Additional Activities (cont) Have the individual examine the comics section of the daily and weekend newspapers. Discuss the clues that help you determine (infer) the basis of the humor of a cartoon or comic strip.

32 Sources for Inferencing Items Spector, C. C. (1997). Saying one thing, meaning another: Activities for clarifying ambiguous language. Eau Claire, WI: Thinking Publications. Spector, C. C. (1999). Sound effects: Activities for improving phonological awareness. Eau Claire, WI: Thinking Publications.

33 Sources for Inferencing Items (cont) Spector, C. C. (2002). As far as words go: Unraveling the complexities of ambiguous language and humor. Eau Claire, WI: Thinking Publications. Spector, C. C. (In Press). Between the lines: Enhancing inferencing skills. Eau Claire, WI: Thinking Publications

34 References Bloom, B. S., Engelhart, M. D., Furst, E. J., Hill, W. H., and Krathwohl, D. R. (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals. Handbook 1: Cognitive Domain. New York, NY: David McKay. Johnson, D. D., and von Hoff Johnson, B. (1986). Highlighting vocabulary in inferential comprehension. Journal of Reading, 29,


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