Free Inference Activities

The free inference activities featured here are an example of some of the resources I have created for students to use in the classroom.

Inference is an important skill that students need to learn in their early school years. As noted elsewhere on this site, inference relies on a solid background knowledge of a particular subject area, and also the necessary skill to go beyond the surface meaning of text and discover hidden meaning.

Students with language and literacy problems have difficulty inferring a text's hidden meaning because they tend to read text at only a superficial level. They read the words on the page but don't devote the necessary energy and mental reflection to truly understand the author's message.

An Inference Activities ebook designed to teach your students inference and thinking skills. Please click here for Inference Activities.

Original story: Brutus the Bull and the Shortcut, and comprehension questions

Recommended Age Range: 8-11

Right-click to download this PDF file here.

Types of Inferencing Activities

  • Location:
  • being able to speculate about where a place is, from suggested information.

    Example: Richard threw his board into the water, lay on it, and paddled out to meet the waves.

    Where is Richard?

    Right-click to download this PDF file here.

  • Agent:
  • being able to predict what a character does by clues given in the text or image.

    Example: Fred lay under the house and skillfully wrapped the electrical wires with masking tape.

    What is Fred's occupation?

    Right-click to download this PDF file here.

  • Time:
  • Being able to surmise when an event happened.

    Example: Karen wiped the sleep from her eyes just as the sun's first rays were breaking over the horizon.

    When did this happen?

    Right-click to download this PDF file here.

  • Action:
  • Being able to surmise what activity is taking place.

    Example: Linda's grip on the steering wheel tightened as she quickly changed gears from 2nd to 3rd. She then planted the pedal to the floor.

    What is Linda doing?

    Right-click to download this PDF file here.

  • Instrument:
  • Being able to speculate what tool is being described.

    Example: Carl thrust the blade into the soft dirt, underneath the plant. He twisted and raised the handle, and with a sucking sound the plant was raised from the ground.

    What tool is Carl using?

  • Category:
  • Being able to surmise a particular category.

    Example: I like to watch The Simpsons but my brother prefers to watch A Current Affair.

    What thing is being described?

  • Cause-Effect:
  • Being able to determine what happened from the information given.

    Example: The twin flames roared and the pilot gave the lithe beast full throttle. He was soon airborne. Within moments the large gray brick of the carrier receded and became simply a dot on the ocean's surface.

    What has just happened?

  • Problem-Solution:
  • Working out how to solve a problem.

    Example: There was no outside light and no moon. Patrick couldn't find the key to the door. Suddenly he remembered that he had a small torch on his key ring.

    What did Patrick do about his problem?

  • Feelings-Attitudes:
  • Being able to surmise as to why certain characters are acting in a particular way.

    Example: Rachel was to give the first speech in a school debate. She had never spoken in public before, but she had prepared as much as she could.

    The hall had filled with people. All of Rachel's friends, classmates, and family were seated before her, expectant. She was introduced by one of the debates judges. Rachel's heart pounded and her mouth was terribly dry. She started to speak.

    What feelings and emotions was Rachel experiencing?


    Paul, R. (2006) Language Disoders form Infancy through Adolescence. Assessment and Intervention. Mosby

    Wagner, R.K. Muse, A.E. & Tannenbaum, K.R. (2007) Vocabulary Acquisition: Implications for Reading Comprehension. The Guilford Press

    Wallach, G.P. (2008) Language Intervention for School-Age Students: Setting Goals for Academic Success. Mosby Elsevier

    Content Updated 8/11

    Language Therapy Web pages

    To access a whole range of new, free, downloadable activities please follow the link to Language Therapy and Language Therapy Inference. The language therapy webpage has direct links to new language therapy webpages, that all feature dozens of new graphic organizers as downloadable adobe pdf files.

    All the graphic organizers have clear instructions on how best to use them, and there are clear demonstrations of the clinician using the graphic organizers with language impaired students.

    Also, please sign up for the Language Dispatch newsletter. The newsletter provides essential monthly language intervention tips, techniques and information.

    The information provided in the monthly newsletters is ideally suited to be used by speech-language pathologists, teachers and parents of language impaired students.

    Once you've signed up to the Language Dispatch you'll also receive a new free Idioms ebook, On Cloud Nine.

    The On Cloud Nine Program features 100 context based scenarios, and a multiple choice format to effectively teach this difficult figurative language concept.

    The program is very easy to use and is yours free, once you've signed up to the Language Dispatch. The program is available as an Adobe pdf download.

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