Subject: ELA (English Language Arts), ESL/ELL (English Language Learning)

Lesson Length: 30 - 45 mins

Topic: Making Inferences

Grade Level: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Standards / Framework:

Brief Description: Students will practice expressing their ideas and inferences about a text.

Know Before You Start: This lesson is based on Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan, but can be adapted for any novel. Students should be familiar with the concept of making inferences.


  • Read and discuss the sample comic.

    • What does the text say about Esperaza?

    • What can we “figure out” about Esperanza’s personality?

  • Discuss how this information tells us something about Esperanza’s character.  It doesn’t tell us directly, but we can figure it out based on the clues in the text.

  • Esperanza said that she couldn’t imagine living anywhere by El Rancho de las Rosas, without her servants, surrounded by people who loved her.” What does this tell us about her character or personality?

  • Have students turn and discuss with a partner before sharing their ideas aloud, e.g., "This tells us that she has a comfortable life, is used to people taking care of her," "This tells us that she has a lot of money," etc.

  • Remind students when we make an inference, we use clues from the text to make an educated guess.

  • Have students continue reading the novel while taking notes on any inferences they can make.


  • Have students create a comic that shows a direct quote from the text and explains what inference can be made. 


  • Have students share their comics with the whole class or in small groups.
  • Allow students to add panels to demonstrate new inferences throughout the story.


  • Allow students to use the speech-to-text feature.
  • Allow students to use the voiceover feature to read their comics aloud.
  • Adjust complexity as needed to match language levels.


Suggested Story Starters: