Predicting/Inferring

Predicting is probably the most familiar of all the comprehension strategies.  It is actually a rather complicated strategy because it requires readers to use the clues the author gives them, tap into their own prior knowledge (making connections), and make an educated guess as to what might happen next.  Many times our predictions are not correct, and we are constantly monitoring, modifying, and changing our predictions as we read on.   When kids make predictions, probing with further questions is a great idea.  “Why did you predict that?” or “What’s the thinking behind your prediction?”  This helps you to see their thinking and label their strategy for predicting.

Child’s answer: “Well, I guessed she would do that because when that happened to me, I did that.”

Mama: “So you just made a text-to-self connection.  You thought about a time when it happened to you and you used that prior knowledge to predict.  That’s exactly what good readers do!  Awesome job!”

Inferring could simply be defined as “reading between the lines”.  It’s what  the reader can guess is going on, even if the author doesn’t spell it out.  Readers may have to infer the setting of the book, characters’ feelings, the lesson or moral of the story, or the author’s purpose.  I personally think kids are great at inferring in real life.  I’m just keeping it real here–when this reading mama is in a bad mood, my kids can infer that quicker than anyone else and they start pushing my buttons to get a reaction.  Do I hear an “Amen!”?  If I could only bottle up their inferences and sell it!!

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