Making Inferences and Drawing Conclusions

Element 10.B.1: Ask students to make inferences/draw conclusions from print, visual, and auditory resources

Why is this important?

The research supports the efficacy of minds-on learning across content areas and grade levels. And, we want students to be thinking about what they are learning and how they know what they know. Asking students to make inferences and draw conclusions throughout their learning experiences supports sustained attention and investment in learning and coaches students to expect to be actively engaged. In addition, all of the existing hierarchies of learning categorize making inferences and drawing conclusions as higher order thinking skills (e.g.,DoK, Bloom's Taxonomy, Pickering and Marzano). The learning outcomes required by the Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards, the new Core Art Standards, and other sets of National Standards, require students to be proficient in making inferences and drawing conclusions. Therefore, it is important to teach, model and support practice of these two skills across content areas and grade levels.

You may want to start here:

This very basic video on youtube is a good introduction to making inferences.

See it in action:

  • Interpreting Ancient Art in Social Studies. 6th grade example of "see, wonder, think". This routine deepens the way students look at art, shows the importance of focusing on observations, helps students apply their knowledge and provides a discourse on the "right" answers in this video.
  • In this first grade interactive read aloud by Mary Ann Reilly, the teacher coaches students to increase the quality of the questions being generated, teaches students to code their clues and shows how this strategy could be transitioned into more independent work.
  • Middle school lesson on digital footprints cues students to make inferences based on their learning and helps students understand the importance of being skilled at making inferences in this video.


After exploring this high impact strategy:

1. What are your most important takeaways?

2. In what ways do you anticipate this will impact or shift your practice?

3. What questions do you have at this point?