I have loved all of the lessons I've taught from this book, but this one is probably my favorite (or at least tied with visualizing!). Once again, I want to be clear that this lesson is in NO WAY my original idea--100% of the credit for the idea goes to Tanny McGregor, the author of Comprehension Connections. It is too fun not to share with you though! I started the lesson by telling my class about the [[ficticious]] "mysterious new neighbors" who just moved in down the hall from me. I told them how I want to get to know them better, but they always go right in their apartment and shut the door, and they don't come out very often. I tell them that I did something crazy...I stole their garbage!
I them produced a large white trash bag--the kids were completely floored and completely engaged. Lots of "ewwww!"s going around. I told them that I was going to be like a detective and that they would get to help me look for clues in the garbage to tell me more about my neighbors. We examined the items one by one. Here's what I threw in the bag:
- An empty gatorade bottle
- An IKEA catalog
- A ticket stub from the science museum
- An empty mascara tube
- An empty tea bag wrapper
- An empty box of hot chocolate mix
- An empty box of blueberries
- A public transit card
- A gift bag
- An empty bottle of allergy medicine
It was a great opportunity to get the kids talking to each other and thinking about reasonable and logical inferences. I shared these sentence frames with them to help guide their thinking.
After the activity, I had the kids draw their own trash bags with items that a "nosy neighbor" like me might find if they stole their trash. They they wrote about the items and what others would be able to infer about them based on the items. Example:
|Obv I did this lesson when I had a bad cold...|
What fun ways do you introduce the kids to making inferences?