Understanding how to make an inference from text is often difficult for children. Children make inferences all the time without realizing exactly what they are doing. It is important to share with them that making inferences is like being a detective. You look at all the evidence or clues and put them together along with their background knowledge to come up with an idea about a situation or problem.
When beginning to teach inferring I use riddles. I explain to them that often writers include details and we, as readers must use these details to make an inference. When you infer, you use observations, prior knowledge, experiences, and details from the text to make connections and come up with ideas.
The following Down on the Farm riddles are a great way to introduce students to inferring or to just begin a unit of study on farms. Have fun and enjoy!