How to Infer Information From a Diagram: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Tawnya Eash

Tawnya has a master's degree in early childhood education and teaches all subjects at an elementary school.

In this lesson, you're going to learn how to figure out information from a diagram that's actually not there by making inferences. Let's take a look what inferences are and how to use them with a diagram.

What Is an Inference?

Think about where the following story takes place:

The line stretched forever. Tired of waiting, people tossed their luggage on the floor. Dad and I tried to relax and even took our shoes off. We heard an announcement stating a gate change, as well as a delay upon an arrival from Florida.

If you're thinking the location is an airport, you're great at inferences! When you make an inference, you figure something out that wasn't written within the text or shown within the diagram. To make an inference, you take knowledge and experiences you already have plus clues in the text or diagram to figure out something unknown. Okay, let's now see why you need to make inferences from diagrams.

Why Should You Infer Information From a Diagram?

A diagram is more than just a picture. Diagrams demonstrate how something works or how it looks. When you read non-fiction texts, you often see diagrams. However, everything you need to know isn't always included. Sometimes you have to find the hidden information for a deeper understanding. If you're able to make inferences from a diagram, you'll be able to learn a lot more about the topic. So, how can you make an inference from a diagram?

Inferences From a Diagram

Inferences can help you figure out answers to the following questions: Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How? When you look at a diagram, see if you can figure out more than what's written or labeled. Let's give it a try. Let's say you're reading a non-fiction book about the Tour de France, a cycling race that occurs once a year in July that's normally held in France. As you're reading, you see a diagram of a bicycle.

Diagram of a bicycle
Diagram of a bicycle

While looking at the diagram, you try to figure out all of the parts of a bicycle to get a deeper understanding, but not every part is explained. Time to make an inference! Here are some sample questions you might ask and how you would infer the answers:

What are the shock absorbers used for?

Clues from diagram:

  • Shock absorbers are attached to the fork in the bike.
  • There is a space between the shock absorbers and the wheel.

Things you may already know:

  • A shock can be something that shakes you up, such as when the aftershocks of an earthquake make the ground move.
  • To absorb means to soak up, such as when towels absorb water.


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