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Understanding Inferences Using Jokes and Comics

A lesson for 6th-8th graders to teach the importance of understanding implied meanings and inferential statements.
by

Matt Duczeminski

on 21 September 2012

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Transcript of Understanding Inferences Using Jokes and Comics

Making Inferences
with Jokes and Comics (Or, why it's important to
"read between the lines") Do Now:
Think of your favorite joke! It can be hilarious, corny, or cheesy, but it can't be mean!
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 and answer the following questions about it. 1. Why are Jon and Garfield laughing in the third frame of the comic?
2. What do you need to know about Garfield to understand or "get" the joke? Let's Do That Again! Read the comic below and answer the following questions about it. 1. What do you need to know about the phrase "screen saver" in order to understand this joke?
2. 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, using what you've learned about making inferences. Kate had recently opened her own restaurant. Her restaurant served various types of pasta. Her specialties were lasagna and manicotti. At first, business was very slow at Kate’s restaurant despite her advertising efforts. Kate decided to use a customer satisfaction survey. After several weeks, Kate looked at the surveys. Customers seemed very satisfied with the quality of the food, but a number of people commented that the prices were way too high for the size of the food servings. After reading the surveys Kate decided to create some new advertisements for the radio and the newspaper.

What can you infer about the new advertisements and the changes Kate will make in her restaurant?

What were the clues in the text? 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 THINK while reading. If a writer didn't leave some information out, most reading would be BORING!!! (Imagine having 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.
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