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 When making inferences you are making a logical

guess using evidence from the text, your own knowledge,

and common sense.
 Making inferences also involves finding deeper meanings in
events and situations, meanings that are not explicit.
 When you make an inference about the future, it is a
 Developing skills in making inferences and making
predictions is a critical aspect of becoming a master of words
and of literature.
 Making inferences and predictions (especially in Vegas) helps
make more sense of life.

Story: "My Friend Peter"

My friend's name is Peter. Peter is from Amsterdam, in Holland. He is Dutch. He
is married and has two children. His wife, Jane, is American. She is from Boston,
in the United States. Her family is still in Boston, but she now works and lives
with Peter in Milan. They speak English, Dutch, German, and Italian!

Their children are pupils at a local primary school. The children go to school with
other children from all over the world. Flora, their daughter, has friends from
France, Switzerland, Austria, and Sweden. Hans, their son, goes to school with
students from South Africa, Portugal, Spain, and Canada. Of course, there are
many children from Italy. Imagine, French, Swiss, Austrian, Swedish, South
African, American, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Canadian children all
learning together in Italy!

Multiple-Choice Comprehension Questions

The answer key is provided below.
1. Where is Peter from?

a. Germany

b. Holland

c. Spain

d. Canada

2. Where is his wife from?

a. New York

b. Switzerland

c. Boston

d. Italy

3. Where are they now?

a. Madrid

b. Boston

c. Milan

d. Sweden

4. Where is her family?

a. United States

b. England

c. Holland

d. Italy

5. How many languages does the family speak?

a. 3

b. 4
c. 5

d. 6

6. What are the children's names?

a. Greta and Peter

b. Anna and Frank

c. Susan and John

d. Flora and Hans

7. The school is:

a. international

b. big

c. small

d. difficult

True or False Comprehension Questions

The answer key is provided below.

1. Jane is Canadian. [True / False]

2. Peter is Dutch. [True / False]

3. There are many children from different countries at the

school. [True / False]

4. There are children from Australia at the school. [True / False]

5. Their daughter has friends from Portugal. [True / False]

Multiple-Choice Comprehension Answer Key

1. B, 2. C, 3. C, 4. A, 5. B, 6. D, 7. A

True or False Answer Key

1. False, 2. True, 3. True, 4. False, 5. False

A Night Spend in the Woods" (An original story by the author of this article, 2009)

The dusk settled in on the crimson edge of a fiery sunset flattened against a windless
evening. Driving into the Olympic Rainforest in Olympia, Washington against the
backdrop of tall pine trees creating green coats of branches against the sunset, the
escaping light of dusk was soon becoming the encroaching darkness of night. Stacy’s 78′
Chevy Sedan’s forest green paint job blended with the array of forest growth. The thick
foliage almost blocked out the dusk as slivers of sunset peeked around the tall fir trees.
Stacy was thinking about Mack’s detailed conversation on why she should take the
shortcut through the Olympic Rainforest. He was adamant that as a shortcut to Highway
2, the 20 minute drive through the forest would save her at least 2 hours of driving time
to her home in Vancouver, Washington. Leaving the University of Washington and final
exam behinds, Stacy was eager to spend the winter break with her family and friends.

Her headlights illuminated the dirt road carved through the Rainforest as she drove
slowing down to 20mph to avoid any sudden deer or other animals darting across the
road ahead. As Stacy came to a turn in the road, her engine sputtered and died. The
whispers of the Rainforest closed in as she sat in her car in the middle of a two lane road
with headlights now black on black with the sudden settling of night. The cold quickly
replaced the heat in her car as she tried frantically to place a 911 call on her Blackberry.
The no service icon illuminated a battery light that was already half over when she heard
the distinct sound of heavy footprints coming towards her. Thoughts of bears, Bigfoot or
some other large animal dragging her out of the car started the screaming that permeated
the forest. She was so hysterically that the knock on the driver’s window drowned out the
stranger’s voice outside shouting, "Ma’am, ma’am can I help you!" as he gently placed his
toolkit on the road next to her door. Stacy turned toward the friendly face of an older man
smiling and signaling for her to roll down her window. She started to hyperventilated and
began vacillating between wanting to trust her benefactor and wanting to trust her
instincts that kept her hand away from the lever that would open the window and her to
whatever would come next.

Start with easy recall detail questions and move to more complicated detail questions.

1. What was the name of the main character in this story? Answer – Stacy
2. Where make and model was Stacy’s car? Answer – 78′ Chevy Sedan

3. Where is the tone of Part A in the story? Part B? Answer – happy, excited and relieved
Answer: apprehensive, scared, fearful, distrustful

4. Why did Stacy drive through the Olympic Rainforest? Answer – She took a shortcut to
get home sooner.

5. Why do you think Stacy’s car engine died? Answers will vary – She had engine problems.
She ran out of gas. Her car was old.

6. If you were Stacy would you trust the stranger who knocked on the window? Why or
Why not?

7. Why do you think the stranger was carrying a toolbox? Answer- He worked in the forest.
He was a tree cutter. He was an ax murderer.

8. What details can you find in the story- Part B that will help you understand what the
main character was feeling in deciding whether to trust the stranger or not? (Answers may
vary, so teachers can encourage students to look at the details and use them in supporting
their answer to this question).

The questions could go on and on, but what you’re trying to help students learn is that
the details of a story are important in setting the location, providing context to the
storyline and creating the tone of the story.

Closure: Teachers can have students write an ending to the story as to what happened
next or have them create additional questions that would continue to probe the details in
the story. Students will begin to see how the details can make or break a story line and
have fun in the process.