Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Lesson Plan: Inferring with Commercials

Parts of this lesson was adapted from Classroom Magic. Changes were made to the original lesson.

Subject: Reading
Grade: 5th

Integration of Learning Outcomes

· Students will be able to make inferences by watching short commercial clips and filling out a graphic organizer.

· Students will be able to make inferences while reading short passages.


·  Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text is about and when drawing inferences and/or making generalizations from the text.

· Develop the analysis using a variety of evidence from texts to support claims, opinions, ideas, and inferences.

· R5.A.1.3.1: Make inferences and/or draw conclusions based on information from text.

Anticipatory Set

· Show an Olympic championship photo. Have students draw a conclusion about the photograph. Have students raise hands to share their answers. State that drawing a conclusion is a lot like making an inference.
  • Photo Sample: Britain's Olympic gold medal winner Kelly Holmes crosses the finishing line to win the Women's 800m during the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004.


·    Open Inferring Commercials Prezi

· Read opening slide: “Inferring is similar to solving a mystery. Knowing how to infer will help you to “read between the lines” and discover the hidden meanings in different messages.”

· State “We’re going to have a commercial break.” Play Doritos commercial. Go to next slide. Read questions (What did the dog do? What are the clues?) Students will fill out the Inferring worksheet individually. Then, they will discuss with partner.
o Mention that it never tells us that the dog ate the cat, we just inferred.

· Play Darth Vader commercial. Go to next slide. Read questions (What does the boy think when the car starts? Clues?) Students will fill out the Inferring worksheet individually. Then, they will discuss with partner.

· Play Happy Grad/Graduation Gift Commercial. Go to next slide. Read questions (What does the grad think his gift is? What are the clues? What is the grad’s gift? Clues?) Then, students will discuss with partner.
o Mention that the video never told us that the fridge was his present, we just inferred because it had a bow on it.

· Depending on time, play Sour Patch Kids commercial and follow the previous steps of filling out the worksheet and finding clues.

· Read “The New Babysitter” from Journeys. Students will compare and contrast the two characters (Janice and Maria) by drawing a Venn Diagram in their reading notebook. Students will infer/predict what will happen next by comparing and contrasting the two characters.

Mention that students made an inference on the babysitter reading. Ask students what they inferred. Students inferred whom the Martinez family would pick as a babysitter.
o Explain that students will be able to make another inference by reading a short text.
  • Teacher Note: If your school does not use Journeys, a replacement article is easy to write up.  The Babysitter article consists of two babysitting candidates (Janice and Maria) and their qualities. One candidate is better than the other, although both have pros and cons. The Martinez family needs to pick a babysitter, and the students must infer who that will be. 
· Read from Active Inspire slide. Students will talk to a partner to make an inference.
o “Tommy!” Mom called out as she walked in the front door. “Tommy,” she continued shouting, “I sure could use some help with these groceries.” There was still no reply. Mom walked into the kitchen to put the grocery bags down on the counter when she noticed shattered glass from the picture window all over the living room floor and a baseball not far from there.
· Read. Students will individually make an inference.
o Maggie was getting ready to walk to school. She put on her coat and grabbed her backpack. As she was leaving, her mother said, “Have a great day! Be careful.”
§ You can infer that...
§ a. Maggie is in kindergarten or first grade.
§ b. Maggie lives close to school.
§ c. Maggie is never late for school.
§ d. Maggie is excited about going to school.

· Commercials are entertaining to keep student interest. They also provide a visual for visual learners.
· Graphic organizer to help students follow along with the lesson and keep their notes organized.

Closure: What is inferring? Have students raise their hand to answer the question.

Formative/Summative Assessment

· Formative through observations and working with small groups.
· Students will eventually be tested in their ability to infer on a summative assessment.


· Inferring with Commercials Prezi 
· Computer with Internet access
· Pre-saved YouTube videos (see above, also on Prezi)
· Inferring With Commercials Worksheet
· Active Inspire Inferring Presentation (see below)
· Olympic win photograph
· Journeys Textbook: "The New Babysitter"

Reflection on Planning

I was so excited when my co-op showed me this lesson.  I’m a communications minor, so I’ve taken advertising classes before.  I really like and enjoy communications topics, and have even looked into teaching communications.  Thus, I am thrilled when I can teach lessons such as this one.  I decided to start with a picture to lead them into drawing conclusions, which is similar to inferring.  I figured that a person celebrating a victory would be easy to infer.

My teacher had the commercials saved, but I came across a pre-made Prezi that had the same exact commercials and worksheet questions as the one my teacher has. This was perfect, and it was a new alternative to the technology we haven't used in the classroom before.

I changed one of the commercials from a Chevy commercial on the worksheet to a Sour Patch Kids commercial.  I think the students would find the Sour Patch Kids commercial more humorous, and easier to infer with.  I remembered seeing this commercial before, and I thought it fit with inferring.  It was the only commercial that came to my head that I could connect with inferring.

Reflection of Instruction

Students absolutely loved the lesson.  They found the commercials funny, but were generally able to infer what happened.  My co-op suggested that I try to have them explain why we get the joke, but somebody from another part of the universe might not.  For example, we get that the refrigerator was the real gift because there was a bow on it, but somebody from elsewhere may not know that because they don’t put bows on presents from where they’re from.

Students were bummed when we went from inferring with commercials to the text, because they really liked the activity.  Students struggled with the second, multiple-choice question.  They had some trouble inferring the best answer from the text. I tried as best as possible to explain.  I purposely picked that question because I knew it would be hard and would make them think.

Note: Click here to download the Active Inspire presentation on Inferring. The presentation is compatible with Promethean Boards. You will be directed to Google Docs, which will prompt you to download the presentation (NOTE: You must have Active Inspire downloaded on your computer to be able to view).

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