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Understanding Narratives Through Stories
Created by Noa Rotem-Kehat
Stories, poems, and novels all have a connecting thread in the form of a plot that happens. The plot can take place over entire pages/ books or just a short number of pages or lines. We will focus on using the ladder of inference to stimulate conversation about literature, history, and more.
- Students will be able to explain the ladder of inference.
- Students will be able to describe a scenario in relationship to the steps of the ladder of inference
- Students will be able to advocate their opinions
- Students will be able to acknowledge others' opinions.
Lead-in / Preparation / Prerequisite Knowledge
- If using this activity to review a literary piece, then it should have been completed. As well it can be used before any literary piece or historical events.
- Projector for slides on Inquiry-Acknowledgement - Advocacy: questions and statements that can be used.
- Projector for P.P and Teds
Estimated Class-Time Required
2/3 of lessons depend on the student's involvement during this activity
Description of Activities
1 - In every story, in every historical event that has been we make assumptions and act accordingly. For example, a baby is taught to smile by smiling back at him and he understands that the smile leads to positive reactions from the environment. Why did Little Red Riding Hood walk alone in the woods, even though she was told not to walk?
What exactly is inference? Inference questions are the types of questions that involve reading between the lines.
2- We will talk about the concept of “inquiry” –find out why the other side thinks the way they do, so you can try to understand the other side – you don’t need to agree with it.
3 - Discuss the concept of “acknowledgment” – someone who holds a point of view usually has some feelings and emotions associated with it, and it is beneficial to acknowledge the other side’s feelings and point of view. Give an example of an acknowledgment statement.
- Discuss the concept of “advocacy” – you use advocacy statements to make your point. Provide examples of advocacy statements.
- Two students witness the same event. The principal comes to their classroom and says to the teacher, “I need to speak with you right now.” What might their different ladders look like? What can each student infer?
2 groups: Role-play any character and ask each to state their position using advocacy statements and taking turns, they should use inquiry questions and acknowledgment.
- As a wrap up activity, the teacher asks each group to write their own scenario
Key Vocabulary / Phrases (if applicable)
Each group gives a scenario to the other group, and they need to be able to describe the possible inferences and conclusions that might occur and how those inferences and conclusions might affect decisions and actions.
Student writes regarding this unit
Explain the students that the point of the exercise is to bring to light our thinking so that we can consider them objectively, often in the company of people who hold the opposite view.
- What am I assuming, and why? Are my assumptions valid?
- What data have I chosen to use and why? Have I selected data rigorously?
- What are the real facts that I should be using? Are there other facts I should consider?
Four Corners Stems PPT
Ladder of Inference Tool