What Is Inferring?

yawnsmilingIf someone is yawning we can infer that he is tired. If someone is smiling we can infer that she is happy.

Inferring is one of the reading strategies that your children will be learning within their classrooms.

As we are reading we are getting meaning by thinking about the words that the author has chosen, and using our background knowledge (experiences / what we already know) in order to ‘read between the lines’. We are figuring out what clues the author is giving us that are not explicitly written down. If the author wrote ‘Jane was smiling as she left for school.’ we could infer that Jane is happy  because she has had a good morning and / or she likes going to school.

running dogInference is not just describing, e.g. Describing: The dog is running down the road. It is dragging a lead behind it. Inference: A dog has escaped from it’s owner and it is in danger of being hit by a car.


When inferring text, the student will be using: 1. picture clues including facial expressions (e.g. the dog looks happy to be running by itself), 2. his / her background knowledge (e.g. dogs shouldn’t be running down the road), 3.evidence from the text (e.g. the dog has an owner because it is wearing a lead) and putting it all together to make sense of what is happening.

inferring imageIf you would like to find out more about inferring click on the picture to watch an example from Into The Book.


Here is a YouTube video about inference.making inferences

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