Drawing Conclusions Lesson Plans
Teachers can use drawing conclusions lesson plans to help students learn how to connect their background knowledge to text.
By Lesley Roberts
In teaching the comprehension concept of drawing conclusions, most teachers know that a conclusion is the decision you make using the information you already know, and the information you gather as you read a text. For example, it is common knowledge that wolves are considered carnivores or wild animals that eat meat. So when you read "Little Red Riding Hood" and you read that the wolf is disguised and waiting for the little girl, you decide that the wolf could only be there to eat "Little Red Riding Hood". How did you come to this conclusion? You used the information about wolves that you already possessed, and the knowledge you gathered as you read the story.
Students need to know that, in order to draw conclusions or make decisions, they will need to do two things. First, they will need to ask themselves "What do I know about this subject?" and second, they will need to ask, "What information am I getting from the story?" An additional skill students need to know in order to draw conclusions is how to identify the important information in the story. They will then be able to easily make connections between what they know and what they are reading.
Teachers can begin instruction by using classic fairy tales, such as "Little Red Riding Hood", "Cinderella", "Goldilocks and the Three Bears", "The Three Little Pigs", and others. These stories are simple and the themes are clear to most students. As the story progresses, students can make connections and begin to draw conclusions. This makes teaching this skill easier for the teacher as, with these types of text, students usually require little prompting to make connections. Teachers can ask students to write down what they already know about the story they are going to read. Before the end of the story is read, teachers can have students discuss the decisions they have made about the text and the flow of the action. This can be done by asking, "How do you think the story will end?" or "What do you think will happen next?" After the story is finished, students can then write what they have learned. As the class reads and processes each text, and students gain more experience with drawing conclusions, they can begin practicing with other simple texts that may not be as familiar to them. The following drawing conclusions lesson plans can help students develop their reading comprehensions skills.
Drawing Conclusions Lesson Plans:
Students make cut-out gingerbread cookies. After reading "The Gingerbread Boy", their cookies "disappear" and students must make predictions and draw conclusions about what happened to their cookies
Students learn about drawing conclusions using a nonfiction selection. Students also identify main ideas and respond to cause and effect questions.
Students make several inferences based on the reading of Shel Silverstein poems. They write their own poetry and complete an assessment in which they differentiate between sentences that are stated or inferred.
Students use a story by Valerie Fournoy, "The Patchwork Quilt", to learn about drawing conclusions. They then design their own classroom quilt.
Students design a poster about a character in a fiction book they have been reading. They have to draw conclusions about the main character. Their poster has to include a description of their character, an illustration, and inferences about their character.