School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 7

Reading/ELA | Informational | Literary | Writing | Language | Listening | Speaking

Lesson Seeds: The lesson seeds are ideas for the indicator/objective that can be used to build a lesson. Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.

Standard 1.0 General Reading Processes

Topic E. General Reading Comprehension

Indicator 4. Use strategies to demonstrate understanding of the text (after reading)

Objective c. Draw inferences and/or conclusions and make generalizations


To help students differentiate among questions that can be answered directly from the text and those questions that require making inferences, the teacher should select a text that is familiar to students. Next the teacher should develop a series of questions about the text that lie in different levels of questions. A “right there” question is one where the answer is directly stated in the text. A “on my own” question is one that requires a student to think about their prior knowledge or experiences to answer. An “author and me” questions requires a student to think about an idea presented in the text and to connect it to their thoughts. A “think and search” question is not directly stated in the text and requires a student to connect ideas throughout the text. To present these levels of questioning to students, the teacher should reference the text and present each question and explain why it fits within a certain level or category of questions. Next, the teacher should supply students with more questions of different categories about the same text or use a different text with questions. Initially, students should not attempt to answer the questions but should determine the type of question they are and how one should go about answering. Once this information has been shared, students may practice answering the questions.


The teacher should select a text for students to read and determine a series of inferences about the information or details within the text. Next, students should read the text. In class discussion, the teacher should share the inferences he/she has drawn and then show students the portions of the text and his/her prior knowledge or experiences that lead to the inference. Once this reasoning has been modeled multiple times, the teacher should give students inferences about a text and have them backmap the reasoning and text that supports the inference. Ideally, this is a verbal activity where students think aloud about their ideas.


This activity helps to frame a student’s thinking about making inferences from a text. After reading, the teacher should propose a question that requires inferential thinking. The teacher should record the question and responses on a chart.

From Raymond’s Run
Question: Why did Squeaky say that girls don’t really know how to smile at each other? It Says: I Say: And So

This format requires a student to return to the text, access his/her own thinking to develop a response. This activity comes from Kylene Beers’s after reading strategies.


To help a student understand conclusions and generalizations, the teacher should choose an age-appropriate text for students to read. The teacher should have a prepared series of conclusions and generalizations about the text. Once students have read the text, the teacher should share conclusions about the text by explaining that conclusions are text-based and can be formed from information/details that occur in different parts of the text. The teacher should model how these different bits of information/details combine to form a conclusion. Next, the teacher should share the generalizations about the text and show how information/details from the text can support a statement that in most cases, explanations, situations like this, etc…this idea is usually accurate. Once the modeling is complete, students should distinguish between a series of statements to determine which is a conclusion and which is a generalization.


Once students have read an age-appropriate passage, the teacher should give students 3 generalizations about the text or 3 conclusions about the text. Students should then return to the text to determine which of the conclusions or generalizations can be supported by the text. This activity will be more successful if the teacher models the process initially.


To enhance generalizations about literary text after reading, the teacher should give students a series of statements about the characters, events, themes, etc…in the text and have students make judgments about their level of agreement with the statements. The degrees of agreement should run from strongly agree, to agree, to disagree, to strongly disagree. The sharing of responses within small groups or the entire class should allow students to express their thoughts and justify those thoughts with text support.