Inference is a tricky area of reading. Children don’t always understand what it means to infer, and stumble on test questions demanding this of them. I’ve found that teaching the skill explicitly using a non-threatening stimulus has worked brilliantly. First, you develop the understanding of the skill, what is involved and what is required to answer questions. Then this is practised, and practised some more (justifying inferences, anyone?), before being applied to text. The joy lies in the depth of responses offered by all children taking part.
Here are some of my favourites for developing inference in the primary classroom. Let me know if you try any!