Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Great Garbage Mystery - Inference Introduction

     I am sooooo enjoying this beautiful Saturday afternoon.....  I just got done cleaning up from a FABULOUS Pampered Chef party I hosted.  It was so much fun and the food was wonderful of course!  I can't wait to get more fun Pampered Chef goodies.  I LOVE their stuff! After being given a Pampered Chef bridal shower I was hooked for sure.
    Anyway....sorry for that side note.  On to the world of teaching....  I was just thinking the other day about my favorite things to teach, and in my top 3 would definitely be INFERRING.  I just love it!  I don't know why... I guess maybe it's because I usually teach it in the Spring when the "light bulbs" have begun to turn on, and I can see them using true higher order thinking.  But, I wanted to share my favorite inferring lesson of all.  Unfortunately I cannot take credit for coming up with the idea for this lesson.  I have to thank the fabulous authors of the book "Comprehension Connection."  But this is always the first lesson I do to introduce inferring because something always "clicks" with the kids afterwards, and they just get it. This is basically this is the general idea of the lesson.....
        So, first I bring out a bag of "trash" and tell the kids that I need their help.  I explain to them that I have these new neighbors that just moved in next door and that I really want to be a good neighbor and go meet them and get to know them, but that every time I go over there they are never home.  So I explain to the kids that earlier that morning I saw that the neighbors' trash was sitting out beside their driveway, so I took a bag of their trash to see if I could find some clues about them, so I can get to know them better...and I need their help!!  Now, in advance, I have decided what kind of family I want the family next door to be and I have collected clean "trash" items that would give clues about each member of the family.  I always have my family be a mom, dad, older child (6-8), and a baby.  I collect empty makeup bottles, hairspray can, women's magazines, etc for the mom, a shaving cream can, home improvement ads, receipt from a men's store, etc. for the dad, an empty formula container, empty diaper wipe container, etc. for the baby, and a crumpled up piece of homework, a receipt from a toy store, and some other kid type stuff for the older child.  I also decide what I want the family's hobbies/interests to be.  If you want a family that eats out a lot, save your restaurant receipts or to-go boxes and put those in the trash bag.  If you want the family to like shopping, save your store receipts.  Save food items containers.  You get the idea....  I have even put a made-up shopping list in the trash bag so they know what the family eats or buys.   Then, when you are ready to do the lesson, make an Inference/Evidence chart like the picture shown.  Take out each item one at a time from the bag and have students guess what that item says about the family.  The "evidence" is what item is in the trash.  The "inference" is what the students think that item tells them about the family.  It is SO much fun to see what they come up with!  First graders are incredibly intuitive and creative sometimes.  I even had a student tell me one time that the family was a "white family."  I said, "How do you know that?"  She said, "Because the make up bottle is the color for someone with white skin."  I was like, "Holy moly... I would not have even thought of that!"  So smart!
       Anyway, after we have inferred about all the items in the trash bag, I have the kids go back to their seats and write 3 inferences they made and draw a picture of the family based on the evidence and inferences. If you click the recording sheet , it will take you to my Teachers Pay Teachers store where you can get this recording sheet for FREE!!!  Enjoy!

8 comments:

Heather's Heart said...

I love your response sheet!

Y'all have such wonderful ideas and *freebies*...thank you for all that you share.

I would love for you to visit me when you get the chance and maybe follow me back! =)


Heather
Heather's Heart

Rebecca Rojas said...

I absolutely love this idea. I always struggle with how to teach inferences in a way that will reach all of my students. This is perfect!! I can't wait to try this with my students. Thanks for the inspiration. Love your blog!!! I have found some great ideas and I've only read 2 posts so far...

♥Rebecca
Create●Teach●Share

Simply Sweet Teaching said...

Hi Rebecca!
Thanks so much for checking us out! We're so glad you found some great ideas. :) We just took a look at your blog too and love all your great lists! Thanks for adding us to your blog list too.. :) Have a great day!

Mr. Wittmer said...

Thank you so much for this great lesson. I'm a 5th grade teacher and used this lesson with my students today. Believe it or not, they believed me that I stole my neighbors' garbage. Most of them understood the lesson about how to infer. Your link to your Teachers Pay Teachers doesn't work. Thanks again!

Rebecca Rodgers said...

I went to Teacher-Pay-Teacher to try to download this document, but my computer doesn't recognize the file type. Is there a way that I could get a copy of this handout sent to me where I can open it on my Apple.

Farrah Mackie said...

Hi, Thank you for your product. But I am using an Apple Mac and can not open the product. Can you please send me it via email. farrahmackie@yahoo.com.

Thank you,
Farrah

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j3bunny said...

Perfect - I'm going to use this idea for an archaeology summer camp activity!

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