Drawing conclusions is a complex skill for third graders.
Drawing conclusions is a reading comprehension skill children learn in elementary school. Also referred to as inferring, drawing conclusions requires that the reader use prior knowledge combined with information stated in the text to make reasonable judgments about various aspects of the story. Third graders learn this skill through teacher modeling and practice in classroom reading activities.
1. Explain the skill. Tell your class that good readers draw conclusions about what they are reading to understand the book or story better. Explain that drawing conclusions involves using background knowledge, information from the text, and personal experience to make inferences about characters, plot and theme of the text.
2. Model the skill. Read aloud to the class from a book or story that is at third grade level. Read a few paragraphs, then stop and ask yourself questions so students will understand the thought process that occurs when drawing conclusions. For example, after reading a selection, ask, “I wonder why the boy was upset?” Answer the question aloud, saying, “I remember when the same thing happened to me, I was upset too.” This internal dialogue expressed verbally helps your students see the connection between the text and their real-life experiences.
3. Practice the skill with students. Display a graphic organizer on the overhead projector. Using information from a recently read book, write several facts at the top of the organizer. Call on students to state a conclusion about each of these facts. Ask the students how they arrived at these conclusions. Did they have similar experiences, or did they make a connection between this book and others they have read before?
4. Take advantage of online resources. Quia, Holt and Study Zone have interactive quizzes and practice games students can access to improve their ability to draw conclusions. Students read sentences or passages, then choose from conclusions given in a multiple-choice format. These are a fun alternative to the traditional work sheet.