I started the week out using the book, Miss Nelson is Missing by Harry G. Allard. With this book, "I" modeled and "We" practiced using the text to make inferences. I had the students complete this handout that I created to use what the text says to make inferences about Miss Nelson and Miss Viola Swamp. The kids really enjoyed the book and it was an easy text to use to model the process.
Then, we used the book, The Stranger by Chris Van Allsburg. This is the first year I have ever used this book to teach making inferences. Let me just say, if you haven't used this book as a mentor text for this skill, YOU NEED TO ADD IT to your lesson plans immediately! My kids fell in love with this book and were DYING to know who "the stranger" was. I read the story as a read aloud. Then, I put the students with "talk partners" to complete text dependent questions that really required the kids to analyze the text.
As I mentioned before, the kids LOVED this story! One of my students told me that he thought had a difficult time going to sleep the day we read this book in class. He said it was KILLING him not to be able to figure out the story. I was SO excited to hear that the kids were thinking about reading class at home. :) In fact, my kids have asked that I find more books like this one for them to read. They really enjoyed trying to interpret the story. So, that is my mission right now......finding more books like this one.
If you have mentor texts that you love to use for teaching inferences, I would love to know the titles. Also, if you have any recommendations for similar titles to The Stranger, please share the titles. My students would be forever grateful! :)