So we started with an anchor chart and practicing with a picture. I made an inference PPT and we used a little YouTube video clip.
This is the YouTube clip that I have used the last two years:
It usually gets a laugh or two and then we talk inference!
This is the picture that we use to infer from. What is blocked out at the bottom in the little blue box is the words "Sugar Free." I tried for what seemed like HOURS to get my kiddos in the direction of why the ants might be avoiding the sucker. I started out by letting them just state any inference they had from the picture. NO HELP or INSIGHT from me at all! After what seemed like HOURS of them inferring WONDERFULLY, but not heading in the direction I was hoping...I offered a "What if..." to guide them into the purpose of the picture and advertisement.
We used this to talk about how everyone has a different SCHEMA and we related this all of the file cabinet in our heads and our different life experiences.
Then we used pictures and graffiti posters to practice making inferences. Here are some of my lovelies working together to use their SCHEMA + the PICTURE CLUES to infer. Some of their inferences can be entertaining, but you have to admire and embrace these funnies as they are usually in relation to the different SCHEMA that each student has.
As a follow up, I read The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris VanAllsburg. We go through all of the pictures and practice writing one story together from the picture and caption. Then I print copies of each one for the students and they randomly select a picture to write from. The publish this writing activity and keep it in their Writer's Notebooks to look at throughout the school year.