Unlocking the Power of Pictures: How to Use Visuals for Effective Inference Making | Mentoring in the Middle

Unlocking the Power of Pictures: How to Use Visuals for Effective Inference Making

It looks like there's a horrible storm.  Maybe a hurricane knocked down that house.  I can't figure out what that man is carrying on his back, but maybe this is a grandfather, a father, and his son.

Why Teach Inferencing with Pictures?

In your digital classroom where information is available at the click of a button, it is crucial for students to comprehend the words on a page and also develop the ability to infer and draw meaningful conclusions. This is especially true for upper elementary students, who are at that critical stage in their academic development

One of the most effective ways I've found to enhance inferencing skills in students is by using pictures for teaching inference. By incorporating carefully selected pictures into their learning experiences, you can stimulate critical thinking, promote creative expression, and foster a deeper understanding of complex concepts. 

Where do you Find Pictures for Inference?

We are in such a digital age that you can simply search "unusual pictures to infer from" and you'll find tons of great pictures to work with!

Make sure that:

  • students can clearly identify most items in the picture
  • there is some question about what's going on or why it's happening
  • this picture would generate good discussion in your class
  • the picture should generate questions
  • there is evidence in the picture to guide them to some answers
  • students can come up with a reasonable conclusion

Click here to read about the pictures I used and how I used them in my classroom.

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