CSI: Inferences

I had a lot of fun in reading this week (and so did my kiddos!).  Making inferences is one of our weaknesses so I’ve been thinking about what I can do to help my kids.


To help set the stage for my lessons, I dug out some hats and magnifying glasses I had left over from the year I had a detective class theme.  The kids really got into character and were excited to participate in the lessons.


After I reviewed how we use evidence + what we know to make inferences and draw conclusions, I jumped right into my 1st activity.

Mystery Bag 
I brought in a tote bag with “evidence” (a.k.a junk from my house).  I told my class that I had found this bag while I was running errands and I wanted them to figure out where I had found it.


I pulled out the evidence one at a time starting with a bag of quarters.  We discussed each item and wrote about the purpose of the item and where you would use it on chart paper.  I then moved on to the towel, chamois, wrapper, and finished with the Turtle Wax.  I found out that my class didn’t have the proper schema for this particular bag of evidence but we ended up having a really good discussion about making inferences anyway.

Guess What I Did Last Weekend 
Another activity I did was bring in a bag of evidence from my weekend adventure.  My oldest daughter participated in an out-of-town 4H Food Show so I gathered up receipts, maps, her study notes, and her place setting items.  Once again, I pulled items out of the bag one at a time and we discussed the significance of each one.  We listed each of our inferences on the board and discussed how all the clues fit together.  This activity was so much fun that forgot to take pictures!  I could kick myself!  I plan to repeat this one as often as I can.  The kids had a blast trying to figure out what I had been up to. 


I have more making inferences activities to share but I’m going to save them for another post.  I would love to hear about what you do to help your kids master this difficult skill.

Enjoy your weekend!

1 comment

  1. I did an activity similar to this... I brought a trash bag from my "new neighbors" and my students had to make inferences about the family that lived there. I put baby food stuff, birthday wrapping paper, dog food bag, etc. They loved it.

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