Developing ELA Inference Reading Skills Through Technology: Literal Reading


Once your students understand questions words, they can move on to answer questions.

-Provide students with a short sentence and ask many questions about the sentence. “John goes to the store at three o’clock. When does John go to the store? Where do he go? Who goes to the store?” Make the questions as literal as possible. Have them use their word processor to highlight the question word in each question and change the font color to a specific color. Then they highlight the answer in the same color. For example, they would underline “When” in red and underline “at three o’clock” in red. Give them many different one sentence passages until everyone can answer the question words for the literal passages.

-Next give them a complex sentence and ask many literal questions about the sentence. “In the northeastern part of the city at noon the tall man crashed his new truck into the tree because the sun was so bright.” Who crashed the truck? When did the truck crash? Where did the truck crash? What did the truck crash into? When did the truck crash? Why did the truck crash? They can word process their answers. Help them so that they can answer the Ws for any of these literal questions. The students can go almost directly (literally) from the question to the answer in the passage. Repeat longer complex sentences until all students can successfully answer the literal questions about the complex sentence.

-Then give them a short paragraph and ask many literal questions about the paragraph. Make sure the answers are in different sentences in the paragraph. Have them answer the questions by using the Smartboard or Mimeo so the class can verify that their answers are correct and that they know why the answers are correct. Give them many different paragraphs until everyone can answer the question words for the literal paragraph.

-Celebrate their success by showing them some beautiful pictures and asking literal questions about the pictures.

– Only proceed to inference questions when all students can successfully answer the literal ones.


3 Responses to “Developing ELA Inference Reading Skills Through Technology: Literal Reading”

  1. 1 walaa July 11, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    may ask for the literal, inferentia; critical reading skills?
    may ask for some studies about the effectiveness of jigsaw II method on EFL reading skills?

  2. 2 April September 1, 2008 at 9:45 am

    May I ask for the steps in inferencing as a reading method?

  3. 3 hgtuttle September 2, 2008 at 10:58 am

    I’m not sure of studies but I do know that it works. We did it with 3rd and 4th graders and they greatly increased in their ability to answer literal questions.
    I’ll write a blog on inference reading.

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