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Inferring means using content in a text, together with existing knowledge, to come to a personal conclusion about something that is not stated explicitly in the text. When the author provides clues but not all the information, we read “between the lines” to make predictions, revise these, understand underlying themes, hypothesise, make critical judgments, and draw conclusions. Inferring involves synthesising information, sometimes quite simply and sometimes at complex levels.
Teachers can help students to make inferences by asking inferential questions during shared reading or during discussion in guided reading. Or teachers may pause, when reading a text with students, to draw out clues from the text and prompt the students to make connections between different parts of the text in order to reach a conclusion.