Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Making Inferences and Drawing Conclusions

Farrah Milby
Orange County Schools


Students use poems to make inferences and draw conclusions.


The student makes inferences and draws conclusions regarding story elements of a fifth grade or higher level text (for example, the traits, actions, and motives of characters; plot development; setting).


-Overhead projector, chalkboard, or dry erase
-Copies of the poem, "The Tongue Sticker Outer" from [Falling Up] by Shel Silverstein (Note: Book can be ordered from or obtained from a library or media center.)
-Copies of the poem, "Sybil the Magician's Last Show" from [Falling Up] by Shel Silverstein
-Copies of the poem "Nope" from [Falling Up] by Shel Silverstein
-Copies of assessment (see Associated File)
-Index cards with inferences and stated information written on them
-Visuals of poem (transparency for overhead projection, for example)


1. Prepare visual of the poems either on the overhead, chalkboard, student copies, or pocket chart.

2. Prepare index cards to be used with "Sybil the Magician's Last Show." On one side of an idex card, write stated information about the poem. For example, Sybil was cheap. Use a new card to record another. Continue until you have the desired amount of cards. Repeat the process for inferred statements. See Procedures for more examples.

3. Copy summative assessment for each student.


Day 3 of the Unit, Day 1 of this lesson
1. To review previous lesson, place students into pairs. Have each pair create a cause and effect. It can be about school, a book, or other topic. Give students about 5 minutes to create the causes and effects. Walk around the room to check for correctness.

2. When complete, line students up into two lines. Partners should be side by side. The two lines face each other. When the teachers says “share,” students step toward each other and share their causes and effects. Then they return back into line, this shows they have finished.

3. When the teacher says “switch,” one line moves down two students. This should create new groups to share. This process repeats until the moving line returns to the original position. Each student should be given the opportunity to share the cause and effect. Students then return to their seats.

4. Make two columns on the board or overhead. Label one "inferred" and the other "stated."

5. Explain that today, students will see some poems that they read earlier. They will be looking for inferences (inferred, implied, non-stated) information and stated (written, documented) information. They will also be asked to draw conclusions based on inferred and stated information.

6. Read the poem, "The Tongue-Sticker-Outer" by Shel Silverstein. Students need to have a visual copy on the overhead, chart paper, board, or written copy. Explain that stated information can be underlined or pointed to in the text. For example: the setting is "Zanzibar." This sentence would be stated in the poem. Underline or highlight the visual copy. Write "Zanzibar" in the stated column on the board.

7. Inferred information uses clues in the text without directly using the author's exact words. For example: the boy made poor decisions. This was not stated in the text but the author says "that lout" and that "he'll do it gladly (again)." Record "the boy made poor decisions" in the inference column.

8. Continue to give as many examples as possible from the poem. Underline or highlight stated information and discuss the clues given for inferences. Record examples in the appropriate columns on the board.

Examples of stated: a boy stuck out his tongue, it reached the heavens, touched a star, the boy was burned, he keeps his tongue in his mouth, if you ask him he'll do it gladly.

Examples of inferred: the person telling the story was not present, the tongue reached for many many miles, the boy did not learn his lesson, the star was extremely hot.

9. Look at all the stated and inferred information gathered from the poem. Conclusions can be made with these "clues." Have students come up with a conclusions about the character, setting, actions, or plot that fits the clues.

Examples of Conclusions: The boy likes to show off. The boy did not learn from this experience that he got hurt. He likes his tongue burned. This may be a tall tale or other exaggeration.

10. Display or distribute copies of "Sybil the Magician's Last Show" by Shel Silverstein. Read the poem together. Place index cards with inferences and stated information face down on a table. (Create these ahead of time by writing an inference on one side of an index card. Make as many cards as you like, with a different inference on each card. Repeat the process with the stated information. Suggestions for index cards are below). Call on students to come pick a card and read it to the class. Decide as a class if the sentence is stated or inferred. Place it in the correct column on the board. Continue until all of the cards are placed.

Examples of stated: Sybil was cheap. The rabbit grew thin. Sybil reached into her hat. She grabbed him buy the ears. Sybil disappeared. The audience cheered.

Examples of inferred: The rabbit lost weight because Sybil did not feed it carrots. The rabbit was frustrated. Sybil did not intend to get pulled into the hat. The rabbit pulled Sybil in the hat. The audience was impressed with the trick.

11. Use the information collected as clues. Ask students to draw conclusions about the characters, settings, actions, or plot.

Examples of Conclusions: The rabbit was mad. Sybil was mean. The setting was a magic show. The rabbit got revenge on Sybil for not being fed.

12. Review with students the terms they learned in this lesson (Stated, Inferred, and Drawing Conclusions). Distribute the lesson assessment with the poem "Nope" by Shel Silverstein. Students read the poem and decide if the statements are inferred or stated. Then, they make a conclusion from the statements.

Days 4 and 5 of the Unit, Days 2 and 3 of this lesson
1. Students will use what they have learned the last few days to write their own poetry that demonstrates cause and effect. Then, students make inferences and draw conclusions based their own poems.

2. Provide each student with the Prewriting Activity for You Write It (see associated file). Using the prewrite sheet will help students write cause and effect into the poems.

3. Students are expected to create a character and pick three causes and effects that would apply to that character. Then, the student writes a simple piece of poetry to include the causes and effects. (Remember the poetry itself is not to be assessed. Assess using the rubric!)

4. Give each student a copy of the rubric. Go over the rubric with students to make sure they understand how they will be formatively assessed. Allow students two, forty-five minute blocks to prewrite, write, polish, and create inferences.

5. Following completion of the poem, students make three inferences and conclusions based on the character from their poems.

6. Once students have completed their poems, allow them time to share with one another. This provides an excellent opportunity for review of concepts to date.

Day 6 of the Unit, Day 4 of this lesson
Take time this day to do a review of concepts with students. You can use some of the poetry created in the previous days or use a game show format like Jeopardy or use your own review method. Just make sure to review the concepts from the uni: cause and effect, inferencing and drawing conclusions.

Day 7
Summative Assessment (See Extensions)


Students read the poem, "Nope" by Shel Silverstein. They decide if the given sentences are stated or inferred. Students then use the poem to draw a conclusion about the characters, setting, plot, or actions.

Mastered Objective Completely: Student placed 5 stated and inferred sentences correctly. Student made a logical conclusion based on clues from the poem.

Somewhat Mastered Objective: Student placed 3-4 stated and inferred sentences correctly. Student made a conclusion that somewhat matches clues.

Needs Help to Master: Student placed 0-2 stated and inferred sentences correctly. Student made a conclusion that did not match clues from the poem.


1. Have available various poems for students to read during literacy centers. They can create their own charts to show inferred and stated information. Students present their poems to the class and display their charts.

2. The Beacon Unit Plan associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on the link located at the top of this page. (Or by using the URL Once you select the unit’s link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, Attached Files. This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files (if any).

Attached Files

Handouts for You Write It!     File Extension: pdf

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