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Inferencing as a Reading Strategy

Inferencing as a Reading Strategy

Author: Rebecca Oberg

After exploring this learning packet, students will understand that:

Many important ideas in reading are not stated directly but must be inferred.

To make inferences about implied ideas, use the information provided as well as your own experience and logic.

Inferences are also a key part of reading literature and such visual materials as cartoons, tables, and graphs.

This learning packet offers examples, definitions, review, opportunities for practice, and other helpful information for students looking to learn more about inference. Inference is often tested on standardized tests faced by high school students, so this packet offers a great primer. The packet includes a dictionary definition of the term, a thorough slide show presentation, a short video clip offering test prep advice for inference, and a series of images for students to practice their inferencing skills.

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What does it mean to infer? states that to infer is:
1.  to derive by reasoning; conclude or judge from premises or evidence: They inferred his displeasure from his cool tone of voice.
2.  (of facts, circumstances, statements, etc.) to indicate or involve as a conclusion; lead to.
3.  to guess; speculate; surmise.
4.  to hint; imply; suggest.

Inferencing 101

This engaging slide show presentation offers definitions, examples, and opportunities to practice inferencing.

Source:, modified by Rebecca Oberg

Understanding Inferences: Importance in Reading and Test Prep

This video clip offers information for preparing for inference questions on standardized tests, as well as great overall information about the concept.

Source: YouTube

Analyzing Images: A Great Way to Build Inference Skills

Take a look at these images. What can you tell about the lives of the people in the images based on the details you observe? Take one minute per image and notice everything you can about the picture. Then, based on your observations, write a few sentences telling what you think the story of each picture is. Infer a larger story or historical context based on a single image.

Though we often think of inferencing as a skill only useful for reading, it is also helpful for interpreting the world and images around us.

Source:, modified by Rebecca Oberg