Inferring and Context Clues *FREEBIE*

We've started learning about the reading comprehension strategy, Inferring, this week. I L.O.V.E teaching inferring!! It's so fun to see the kids' gears turning and putting the pieces together to figure out what's really going on!
WOW! This is FULL of lesson ideas and activities for teaching inferring using context clues! Post includes a list of books, a YouTube video and a freebie.
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I usually start with wordless picture books. Here are a few of my faves:

After they start to get the hang of it, I move onto these two gems:

After we've mastered inferring with pictures, we move onto inferring word meaning using context clues. This video super cheesy and the music is annoying, but the message and idea trumps the obnoxiousness.  

It's hard to teach inferring word meaning using context clues because of the range of students' prior knowledge and vocabulary. I like to use books that have made up words or words in another language. Today we used this book:
This book is about an alien explaining to his teacher why he's late to school. He uses all these "made up" words in his tall tale, but the pictures and the text are easy to follow. Since I only have one copy of the book, I read it aloud while students recorded their inferences on this worksheet:
Awesome FREEBIE lesson for teaching inferring with context clues at the word level!
It's nothing fancy, but it gets the job done. Click on the pic above to snag your own FREE copy! The kiddos were SUPER engaged while I was reading the book: sharing ideas with neighbors, writing furiously, asking me to reread paragraphs/pages... It was so fun to watch! The neat thing about the book is that at the end, there is a "glossary" with all of these words (plus a few more that didn't make the cut), their meanings, and the origins of the words. It seems like the words are made up, but most of them actually originate from other languages!

Next week we'll go even bigger and infer at the story level with books that actually have words! Woo hoo!! What books do you use to teach inferring?


  1. Awesome idea to practice infering. I am going to have to get this book so we can try it out! Thanks!

    Christina :)
    Apples, Books, and Crayons

  2. What a great idea.I also will need to get this book to try it out.
    Diving Into 2nd Grade

  3. Thanks for sharing this book idea and freebie. Our library has it and I have it on hold right now and I loaded your freebie to my Google Docs. Can't wait to do this activity with my students.


  4. You're the winner of the book The Potato Chip Champ! Please e-mail me at so I can put you in touch with the author!

    *Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge*

  5. Angela,
    I LOVE using this book for teaching context clues. Thank you SO much for the free hand out. I will definitely be using this. I am so glad I just discovered your blog. Thanks for sharing!
    The Techie Teacher


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