Grade Levels: K-3

This page provides information to support educators and families in teaching K-3 students about making inferences. It is designed to complement the Make Inferences topic page on BrainPOP Jr.

This page contains information to support educators and families in teaching K-3 students about making inferences The information is designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. movie Make Inferences. It explains the type of content covered in the movie, provides ideas for how teachers and parents can develop related understandings, and suggests how other BrainPOP Jr. resources can be used to scaffold and extend student learning.

Writers often do not state the way a character feels explicitly. Instead, writers will include details about how a character acts and readers must use these details to make inferences about the character’s emotions. When you infer, you use observations, prior knowledge and experiences, and details from the text to make connections and come up with ideas.

Many children may have difficulties making inferences from texts, but you should point out that they make inferences constantly. For example, they may know that they have a cavity because they have not been brushing properly and have a pain in their tooth. Explain to your children that making inferences is like being a detective; you must look at all the details and put them together to come up with an idea and make an educated assessment of a situation.

Active readers take details from a piece of writing and apply their own knowledge and experiences to develop ideas and make inferences as they read. Active readers also take notes and jot down these big ideas as they read. Encourage your children to be active readers and analyze details in everything they read. What does each detail say about the story or topic? How does the detail support or contradict information they already know? What personal experiences help them understand the text better? Encourage your children to keep notebooks and pencils close to them whenever they read. KWL charts are great ways for children to organize their ideas.

Inference skills develop over time, and the best way to develop them from an early age is to read a variety of texts together and discuss them. Children can read fairy tales and short stories and look for details that show how the characters feel. Children can also compare and contrast characters in different stories. How is the wicked stepmother in “Cinderella” different from the wicked witch in “Sleeping Beauty”? Children can find different details that all point to the characters’ wicked personalities. We recommend watching the Character movie together as a review. When working with nonfiction texts, encourage students to draw upon prior knowledge and their own experiences to make connections as they read.