Inference Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Use a video to show how inferences are used to construct meaning, then practice with a fun activity and inferring strategies with familiar text.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • recognize the components of inferring
  • define key terms, including 'infer' and 'intended meaning'
  • practice inferring using familiar text


1 hour

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
    Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.10
    By the end of grade 9, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 9-10 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
  • CCCS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
    Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).


  • To build background knowledge, have students watch the video What is Inference? - How to Infer Intended Meaning for homework.
  • The next day, review the major points in the video, including the terms 'inference' and 'intended meaning'. Check for understanding.
  • Practice inferring with students by reading the following riddles:
    • What always runs but never walks, has a bed but doesn't sleep, and a mouth but never speaks? (river)
    • What two things can you never eat before breakfast? (lunch and dinner)
    • What is round at the end and high in the middle? (Ohio)
  • After each riddle, ask students the following questions:
    • What did you know that helped you infer the answer?
    • What questions did you ask yourself to help infer the answer?
    • What method did you use to determine if your answer was correct?
  • Next, have students create a three column chart. Label the sections 'Character', 'Inference', 'Evidence'.
  • Read or tell the story of Little Red Riding Hood. As you read, have students write character names, characteristics they infer about the character, and evidence they use to draw this conclusion. For example:

Red Riding HoodNaughtyShe disobeyed her parents.


  • Have students create their own riddles to share with you or other students. Follow the same questioning process from above.
  • Ask students to find lyrics of their favorite songs. Infer meaning based on what they know about the author, the text, and their personal connection to the text.

Related Lessons

How to Use Context to Determine the Meaning of Words

Constructing Meaning with Context Clues, Prior Knowledge & Word Structure

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