Sunday, September 1, 2013

Reading Mentor Texts

Making inferences...ahh, what a delightful skill to teach. I was a little surprised that this was one of the first reading skills introduced in our kindergarten reading curriculum. However, my kiddos really seemed to get it! I started with a mini-lesson that I totally stole from another blogger (I hate that I can't remember who!) I found her! It's our dear friend over at the Inspired Apple!

I got my purse and pulled out one item at a time. I asked my kids what they could guess about me based on these items.

1. car keys--I own a car, specifically a Toyota
2. Zaxby's gift card--I like Zaxby's and chicken
3. cold medicine--I've been sick

I asked my students if I had told them any of this information about myself. Nope! So how did they know it? They used clues from my purse and knowledge they already had (like 'you need keys to drive a car' or 'you take medicine when you're sick').

Anchor Chart:
We then made an anchor chart. Disclaimer: This is not the actual anchor chart, but a charming representation of it  =)
Click the pic to get this freebie

Read Alouds:
Then we read this book: Animals Should Definitely Not Wearing Clothing
This book is super simple and has very few words, but that's why it's so great for teaching inferring. The author doesn't tell you much with her words, so we have to use the pictures (and other clues) and what we know about animals to figure what she means.

The next day, we reviewed our anchor chart and read No, David
This is another great inferring book.

After reading, we played an emotions inferring game. This is important since emotions are something we have to infer a lot when we read. I told the kids short stories using them as examples (because who doesn't love to be made into an example?!). I said things like "Bartholomew went into the dark basement. He heard a loud creak. He started to shake." The kids could easily infer how ol' Barty felt, but then they had to tell me HOW they knew. I didn't tell them the emotion, so they must have used clues. What clues?? They had to give me specific examples. Dark places are scary. Hearing noises is scary. Shaking often means you're scared. By the end of the game, they were really getting how to cite the specific clues they used. This game isn't fancy, but it worked!

Link up!:
I'm linking up to share these mentor texts with the always-fabulous Amanda and Stacia over at Collaboration Cuties. I hope you'll link up, too!


  1. I love these ideas! The purse activity sounds like such a blast! Thank you so much for sharing!


  2. OH Thank you for sharing, Amanda! I LOVE these ideas. It makes teaching so much fun when you find something new that is great like this! :)
    Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together

  3. Very cute lesson ideas!! 4th grade starts with inferences too...I'm thinkin GA thinks that's the rigor part? Anyway...

    I love what you did and that they had to use their evidence! Super fun!
    Thanks for linking up!
    Collaboration Cuties

  4. Awesome ideas! I'm trying to get my students to use their inference skills more by interacting with their books. I have them write down questions, or thoughts, or confusions while they read. However, what I'm getting is a lot of retelling. Sigh, we'll keep working on it.

  5. Great ideas! Can't believe you start with this comprehension skill! Thanks for sharing all of your ideas with us!

    An Apple a Day in First Grade

  6. Wow! That purse idea is also in a book I read in grad school called Comprehension Connections. Great book with lots of neat ideas. There's another one about shoes and who would probably wear them.

    Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late
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  7. Amanda- I have to tell you that I love love loved that purse idea so much that I took one of my little silver clutch purses from my dress up area and turned it into my "Inference Purse!" I actually labeled it with a sharpie and everything! I put in my Dunkin Donuts gift card, a hair band, and chapstick so far. You are awesome! I will think of you every time I use it which makes it even better! Thank you!!! :)
    Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together