Making Inferences: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 Being a Detective
  • 0:27 Making Inferences With…
  • 1:07 Making Inferences in Texts
  • 3:26 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Tawnya Eash

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

When you make an inference, you use clues provided within a text or picture, along with knowledge that you already have, to figure out information that has not been given to you. In this lesson, you will learn how to find this hidden information and use it to make inferences.

Being a Detective

Without having any signs or captions, can you tell where these giraffes are? Like a detective, you can use clues in the picture, plus your own knowledge, to make an inference. An inference is a deduction that is made based upon reasoning and it allows you to figure out information that may be missing in a text or picture. Let's learn how to use these detective skills!

Where are the giraffes?

Making Inferences With Pictures

Let's look at the giraffe picture. We can see a fence with giraffes inside and someone's hand feeding a giraffe. We already know that animals at a zoo are kept in cages or fences and that people can feed them.

You have just made an inference if you think the giraffes are at a zoo!

Here is another one!

How does this mountain climber probably feel after reaching the top of the mountain?

Reaching the top of a mountain

Here are our clues from the picture: the person cheering on top of a mountain. Simple!

We already know that it isn't easy climbing a mountain and you cheer when something good happens. We can therefore infer that the climber would feel proud, excited, or successful.

Let's keep detecting!

Making Inferences in Texts

A writer doesn't always tell you everything you need to know. Sometimes you need to take clues from the story and what you already know to make an inference. Let's look at some different information you can figure out when making inferences.

Let's make an inference about 'who' with this passage:

I wear a badge on my uniform. I help people in trouble. Usually, I arrive in a car with sirens sounding. Who could I be?

Let's act like detectives to figure this out!

Clues: badge, uniform, help people, and car with sirens

Here's what we already know: doctors, nurses, firefighters, and police officers dress in uniforms when they help people.

So we can infer that this person must be a police officer because of the car with sirens.

Now let's make an inference about where we are with this passage:

My parents are taking us on a trip! They told us we need jackets, hats, and waterproof boots. Dad said it's important to have a fishing rod and worms. We also need to bring extra blankets and our sleeping bags. I can't wait to get going!

All right detective, make an inference! Where is the family going?

Here's our clues: family trip, waterproof boots, fishing rod, worms, and sleeping bags

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