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Its my first year in Year 6 and I am not sure how I can explain to my bottom children the difference between inference and deduction. Can anyone help me and point me in the right direction please?
Goodness me! That's a hard one for anyone. With most children, you'd be thrilled when they grasped the meaning of either. Why do you need to differentiate?
Isn't deduction more factual based, whereas inference has an element of guesswork. if the police find a body in the library with a knife sticking out, the deduction would be that they had been murdered. The inference would be that someone didn't like them. In Kensuke's Kingdom, when water and food are left beside Michael the deduction is that someone else lives on the island. The inference is that they care for Michael, but don't want him to know anything about them.
keep it simple - demonstrate the literal q and a's first - obvious answers often there in the text - what was susan wearing/who left the shed open/why did Sam ask to borrow 50p [get kids to answer the questions by making answers up. Then move onto inferential questions - why was Susan upset? Why do you think Bob's mother thought him careless? How did Sam feel at having to borrow his bus fare?
Is the DCSF National Strategies site Literacy Progress Unit 'Reading Between the Lines' any good?
A colleague of mine put a 'dead' body in her year 7 class and some clues to its death to teach deduction. Year 7s can usually grasp the concepts of 'adding up the clues' and 'reading between the lines', I think.
Keep chipping away: we always appreciate a solid grounding in year 7s when we get them and quality KS2 teaching always shows. It is tough, though, but try the LPU for a point in the right direction, maybe, even if you don't actually use the LPU itself in lessons (I guess there may be a KS3 teacher waiting to implement it next year).
It is commendable that you want to get them thinking but I don't think it is necessary to go too deep with them at this level. How important is this for their exams at this stage? Let them learn in a measured way. Make them aware but leave some of the deeper things to the higher level. May be that is why they are bored at the upper years. They would have peaked too soon and covered everything and not remember anything. Please, pace them.
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