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9th Reading: Understanding Inferences Using Jokes, Comics, and Literature

A lesson for 9th graders to teach the importance of understanding implied meanings and inferential statements.
by

Brooke Effler

on 25 August 2013

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Transcript of 9th Reading: Understanding Inferences Using Jokes, Comics, and Literature

Making Inferences
with Jokes, Comics, and Literature

(Or, why it's important to "read between the lines")
Activity:
Think of your favorite joke! It can be hilarious, corny, or cheesy, but it can't be mean (NO profanity)!
Write it down on the sheet given to you.
When you have finished writing, turn and tell your joke to a neighbor (or me!)
Think quietly about what makes a funny joke funny, and a not-so-funny joke not-so-funny.
Making an inference requires a reader to use clues the author has given in order to really understand what the author is trying to say.
To make an inference, a reader must "read between the lines."
Making inferences is not just for reading! You make inferences all the time!!
What is an Inference?
We make inferences everyday, in our daily conversations with friends, family, and teachers.
Ex: If your friend comes up to you breathing heavily, sweating, and drinking Gatorade, what can you infer that he's been doing?
When Do We Make Inferences?
Why do Writers Leave Information to be Inferred?
Writers know their readers are SMART!
Writers want their readers to THINK!
Writers want their writing to be EXCITING!
Using Jokes and Comics to Explain Inferences
On the sheet given to you at the beginning of class, explain why the joke you wrote down is funny.
What was so funny about it?
Is the joke funny anymore now that you've explained it?
Now, read the comic below...
Why are Jon and Garfield laughing in the third frame of the comic?
What do you need to know about Garfield to understand or "get" the joke?
Let's Do That Again!
Read the comic below...
What do you need to know about the phrase "screen saver" in order to understand this joke?
What inference can you make about how Calvin is feeling, or what he is doing, in class?
Making Inferences while Reading Literature
Read the passage below.
Then answer the questions that follow on your handout , using what you've learned about making inferences.
The wind had blown off, leaving a loud, bright night, with wings beating in the trees and a persistent organ sound as the full bellows of the earth blew the frogs full of life. The silhouette of a moving cat wavered across the moonlight, and turning my head to watch it, I saw that I was not alone — fifty feet away a figure had emerged from the shadow of my neighbor’s mansion and was standing with his hands in his pockets regarding the silver pepper of the stars. Something in his leisurely movements and the secure position of his feet upon the lawn suggested that it was Mr. Gatsby himself, come out to determine what share was his of our local heavens.
I decided to call to him. Miss Baker had mentioned him at dinner, and that would do for an introduction. But I didn’t call to him, for he gave a sudden intimation that he was content to be alone — he stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and, far as I was from him, I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I glanced seaward — and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock. When I looked once more for Gatsby he had vanished, and I was alone again in the unquiet darkness.
Coming Full Circle
Making an inference means using clues the writer has given to "get the whole picture."
To make an inference, a reader must ACTIVELY THINK while reading.
If a writer didn't leave some information out, most reading would be BORING!!! (Imagine if you had to explain every joke you've ever told!)
Lastly, just because we did well in class today does not mean you can INFER that you will not have homework! =p
When you told your favorite joke to a friend, you hoped that your friend would "get it." You wanted him or her to make an inference!
When a writer makes you (the reader) figure out information in a story without telling you every last little detail, he wants you to make an inference.
Standard(s) Addressed:

SPI 3001.5.1 Make inferences and draw conclusions based on evidence in text.

RL 9.1, 10.1: Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

Now, let's try it with...
The Great Gatsby
Chapter 1: Readers meet Tom Buchanan
Does Nick (the narrator) know Mr. Gatsby?
How do you know?
Why does Nick look away from Mr. Gatsby?
What can you infer about Mr. Gatsby's character?
What were the clues in the text?
Answer the inference questions on Tom, Myrtle, Jordan, Daisy, and Gatsby in the next pages of your packet.
HOMEWORK:
Reread Chapters 4-5 and fill in the the homework graphic organizer in your guided reading packet.
Mrs. Humphreys
9th Grade Reading
Images from from Nicki Greenberg's graphic novel adaptation
1. What do the images tell us about Tom?

2. Do you think the drawing is a good interpretation of Tom (based on the text)? Why or why not?

3. What kind of relationship does Nick seem to have with Tom? Type of conflict?

4. How do you know?
Full transcript