For teachers of students in 3rd through 5th grade, one key reading strategy that increases comprehension is drawing conclusions. This fundamental reading strategy not only helps students’ understanding of a text but also encourages them to think critically about a text and form their own judgements.
Drawing conclusions can be one of the more difficult reading comprehension strategies for students to grasp. This is because it requires students to already be comfortable with the reading strategies of both using background knowledge and making inferences.
WHAT IS THE DRAWING CONCLUSIONS READING STRATEGY?
Drawing conclusions is a multifaceted reading comprehension strategy that involves synthesizing information from a text, combining it with background knowledge, and making logical inferences to arrive at an understanding beyond what the text explicitly says. It requires students to go beyond the surface and develop implicit meanings, filling in the gaps left by the author.
THE PROCESS OF DRAWING CONCLUSIONS:
The next step is for students to tap into their background knowledge. This includes their experiences, previous learning, and general knowledge about the world. By connecting the text evidence with what they already know, students can begin to make inferences.
Next, students make inferences, which are logical deductions based on the combination of both text evidence and background knowledge. Students consider what the author implies rather than explicitly states, allowing them to uncover hidden meanings and subtle nuances.
Students use text evidence, background knowledge, and inferences they’ve made as clues to critically about the text and/or the topic. They can now use these clues to draw conclusions about the author’s intent, character motivations, and make overall judgements about the text. This critical thinking goes beyond the literal text.
5 WAYS TO PRACTICE DRAWING CONCLUSIONS:
1. SUITCASE CHALLENGE:
The suitcase and items inside can be real or just printed out. One item is revealed at a time and students make inferences based on the item and their background knowledge. Once all items have been revealed, students use their inferences to draw a conclusion on who the owner may be, where the owner could be going and what they may have planned.
You could make a chart keep track of background knowledge about each item. Then students use this background knowledge to make inferences about each item prior to having them draw a conclusion.
2. DRAWING CONCLUSIONS GRAPHIC ORGANIZERS:
Graphic organizers are a versatile and useful tool for tons of reinforcement using the same strategy. They are perfect for visual learners as they break down complex strategies in a clear, step-by-step format.
3. DRAWING CONCLUSIONS READING COMPREHENSION CRAFTS:
Reading comprehension crafts are similar to graphic organizers in that they break down a strategy in a visual way, but they also bring in a hands-on, creative element. They are a fresh twist on classic reading response that are sure to engage reluctant readers.
4. DRAWING CONCLUSIONS TARGETED READING PASSAGES:
This is a reading strategy that could be more challenging to find the perfect paired novel or texts. By using targeted reading passages, you can ensure your student are getting the right kind of text to practice this strategy. As an added bonus they are no prep and make it much easier as a teacher to plan your drawing conclusions lesson.
5. COMPARING MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES:
Choose an event, issue or topic that students can read about from different perspectives. Have students draw conclusions about the different viewpoints and justify them using background knowledge and text evidence. Students can take it one step further and form their own opinion based on the conclusions they have come to about each viewpoint based on the text(s).
All of the resources pictured above are available in the Drawing Conclusions Reading Strategy Bundle!
Looking for more reading strategy tips? Check out this blog post on Teaching the Making Predictions Strategy: