Taking the Art of Inference into the Special Education Classroom: A Modified Lesson on Inference

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Teaching about Inferences

Anticipatory Set: In any class conversation, written work or assessment, there is unstated information that brings clarity to the medium of engagement. For example, have you ever been in a car with your family and passed an ice cream shop on a hot summer day and said to your parents, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have ice cream right now?” and the parent driving drove right past the ice cream shop. Now that’s inference. You wanted them to infer from your question that you actually wanted to stop and get some ice cream. You inferred the intent indirectly. Maybe next time instead of inference, you will say, “Could we stop at the ice cream shop and get some?” and get a direct answer, “Yes or No.” Now that’s direct.

Lesson Objective: Read the passages and and complete the questions. Next students will reread the passage and make an inference from the given prompt.

Bartering for Fun - Title

Everyone has something in the closet or in storage that they could barter. In the past decade, bartering has replaced the act of exchange for goods or services. Bartering is the process of exchanging goods or services for someone else’s goods or services. In bartering, there is no exchange of money, only goods or services. For example, if one person had an extra set of sneakers that were popular with peers in school and with parent permission was able to barter for tutoring services in math, then that might be a good barter. However, if those same sneakers were being bartered in exchange for Tuesday’s social studies homework assignment, then that’s not a good barter. When bartering involves high priced items such as electronics, then parent involvement is absolute since parents might not agree with a child bartering away the I-pod they gave him/her for a birthday present. Bartering is alive and well, so start checking your closets to see what you would want to exchange for someone else’s goods or services.

Questions: Put a check next to the underline to show which statement is an inference or a fact.

Inference Fact

_____ _____ I-pods and high priced electronics need active parent involvement, so children shouldn’t barter these goods without their parent’s approval.

_____ ______ Bartering has been around since the last decade.

_____ ______ Bartering small good items with peers can be productive.

_____ ______ Having a way to clean out the closet is one reason that bartering is popular.

_____ ______ Money can’t always buy what a true barter exchange can produce.


1. Fact


3. Inference (Some students might debate fact on this one so entertain the discussion with reflective journaling)

4. Inference (Another debate here, but point out that the sentence says that everyone has something that they could barter and that it is only inferred that it could be a reason for bartering’s popularity).

5. Inference

Reflective Inference Questions: Reread the passage on bartering and make an inference on the following prompt, “Twenty years from now, do you think that bartering will still be around?” “Why or Why not?”

Student’s Inference_______________________________________________________________________________________.

Closure: In teaching students about inferences, you can allow them to create their own reading passages and questions to show that they understand the concept of “inference.” This can be a mini-lesson activity or a class period lesson plan, so have fun either way.