Making Inference Mentor Texts for the Elementary Classroom

Making Inferences is one of the most difficult skills to teach!  What’s crazy about it, is that students make inferences all the time and they don’t even know it!  One of the best and easiest ways to have students practice making inferences is through picture books!  I’ve gathered some of my favorite making inference mentor texts!  Let’s check them out!  I also have posts on tips for teaching inferences and making inferences mini-lessons if you’re interested!

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Making Inference Mentor Text #1:  Pigeon P.I.

Pigeon P.I. is an absolutely adorable book about a private investigator who is retired but comes out of retirement to help a young chick and her friends who have gone missing.  Pigeon is determined to crack the case and does so by following the clues!  In the end, pigeon and chick decide to continue working together since they make such a great team!

Three main inferencing questions I ask in this text are:  Why are the bird’s faces on the milk cartons?, What do you think happened to the yellow chick, Vee?, and Why did the red birds kick the pigeon out?


Making Inference Mentor Text #2:  Blackout

Blackout is a fun and simple story full of opportunities to make inferences! It’s definitely one of my favorite making inference mentor texts! In this story, a young girl wants to play a board game with someone in her family, but everyone is so busy.  She gives up when suddenly, the lights go out.  But they aren’t just out in her house, they are out all over the city!  It’s a blackout!  The family sticks together and finds other families having fun in the blackout so they decide to join in.

Three main inferencing questions I ask in this text are:  Why was it too hot and sticky to sit inside?  Why didn’t they just take the elevator to the roof?, and Why did they turn the lights back out at the end?



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Making Inference Mentor Text #3:  Pete & Pickles

 Pete and Pickles is an adorable story of a lonely pig and a circus elephant.  Pickles, the elephant hates the circus where he is being held captive and escapes only to find himself inside Pete’s house.  Unfortunately, Pete isn’t very happy with the intruder and turns Pickles back into the circus.  But after some time to think, Pete decides to take a walk and where does he end up?  The circus!  After seeing Pickles sad and in his cage, Pete helps Pickles escape.  Together they spend time going on wondrous adventures until one day when Pete kicks Pickles out after making him mad.  Will Pete and Pickles patch things up?  You’ll have to read it yourself to find out!

Three main inferencing questions I ask in this text are:  Do you think Pickles was happy at the circus?,  Why did Pete help Pickles escape?, and Why did Pete get upset when Pickles got into the chest of clothes?

Making Inference Mentor Text #4:  The Skunk

If you’re looking for a fun and simple book with a few focal points for making inferences, this is a great choice!  In the story, The Skunk, a man notices that he is being followed after leaving his apartment in the city.  He does everything he can to get away from the skunk but the skunk just keeps following him.  Finally, after running from him the entire book, but the man finally gets away.  But now that the skunk is gone, the man finds himself wondering about the skunk.  Where is he?  Is he following someone else?  The man decides to find and follow the skunk to know more!

Three main inferencing questions I ask in this text are:  Why did he not want to startle the skunk?, Why did the man think getting in a taxi would solve his problem?, and Why did the man smile when the curtain rose at the opera?


Making Inference Mentor Text #5:  The Stranger

 The book, The Stranger, is a fantastic story and perfect for making inferences! It’s one of the most popular making inference mentor texts that teachers use!

In the story, a small family is startled one day by a strange man in the road.  The man seems to not know who he is or where he is, so the family takes him home to help care for him.  The family cares for the man for a while hoping that soon he would remember who he is.  The season was changing from summer to fall everywhere but the family’s farm.  But when the stranger finally decides to leave, the season on the farm quickly changes to fall to match the surroundings everywhere else.  Isn’t that a bit strange?

Three main inferencing questions I ask in this text are:  Why don’t they take the stranger to a hospital?, How do we know that the stranger isn’t from around here?, and Who was the stranger?

Making Inference Mentor Text #6:  The Memory String

My final choice for a strong making inference mentor text is The Memory String.  I absolutely love this story of family and love.  In the story, a young girl is outside with her father and step-mother.  She is looking at her memory string, which is made of beads and buttons from clothes from people in her family generations before hers.  She knows exactly where each bead and button came from.  One of them even belonged to her late mother.  While she was looking at the memory string, it broke and the buttons flew everywhere!  They found them all except one.  Will they find the final button?  Make sure to grab this book to find out!

Three main inferencing questions I ask in this text are:  How does Laura feel about Jane at the beginning of the story?, Why won’t Laura like that Jane found the lost button?, and What significance is there to Laura asking Jane to help her restring the buttons?

So what do you think?  Did you find extra making inference mentor texts to add to your classroom?  Make sure to pin the image below to save this post for later!


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I’m a wife, a mommy of 3, blogger, and a full time teacher author and presenter. I love to read, shop, and spend time with my family! My hands are always busy, but my heart is so full!

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