Engage and Inspire With Compassionate Comics—Inference Task Cards

Do you ever wish that you had time in the school day to foster your students’ empathy for other living beings? You know this is important, but the class schedule and academic expectations don’t seem to allow for anything “extra.” Well, TeachKind has got you covered. Use our new Inference Task Cards along with our comic books to do just that. They’re great for whole or small group instruction and reading centers, too.

Kids love animals, and we can use this natural tendency to motivate them academically and help them develop empathy—all at the same time.

Did you know that chickens like to take dust baths or that dogs in the wild lick each other’s faces to greet each other? Or that rats spend hours grooming themselves like cats and that cows sometimes choose their best friends the same day that they’re born? These are just some of the things that your students will learn as they read A Chicken’s Life, A Rat’s Life, A Cow’s Life, and A Dog’s Life comic books.

Each colorfully illustrated comic tells the story of a rescued animal, and readers will learn fascinating facts about the animal and his or her behavior. The comics describe the lives of the animals—some of whom came from factory farms—before they were rescued and include fun word puzzles for students to complete. You can order them here or view them online and print them out for your students.

Order a free class set of comics so that all your students will have their own copy.

Before Using Inference Task Cards

Discuss with students how we make inferences all the time in order to make decisions about people and situations. Authors expect us to bring our own inferences to their writing. Inferring helps us to create a fuller and deeper understanding of the text. Making inferences is a strategy that readers use to think about what they’re reading.

An inference is a new idea that’s formed by combining clues from a text or visual aid with what you already know. Making inferences helps us understand information that isn’t directly stated. Discuss with students the steps necessary for inferring, such as looking for important textual and visual details (clues) and considering what you already know about the topic (prior knowledge). Use the clues and your prior knowledge to decide what the author of the work is telling you indirectly.

These activities are geared toward 3rd through 5th grades and are great for English Language Learners, too!

Directions for Using Inference Task Cards

First, have students read a comic independently or with a partner. Next, have them read the questions on the Inference Task Cards and respond on the “Making Inferences” graphic organizer with evidence from the text, their prior knowledge, and their inference. Then, have them use the information from their graphic organizer to create a paragraph on a separate sheet of paper. Finally, have them compare their answers with those of their partner or another classmate.

DIRECTIONS FOR USING INFERENCE TASK CARDS DIGITALLY

Provide students with digital versions of the comic books, and have them read a comic independently or with a partner using an online conferencing tool like Zoom. Next, have them read the questions on the Inference Task Cards and respond digitally on the “Making Inferences” graphic organizer using evidence from the text, their prior knowledge, and their inference. (Students can complete their graphic organizer by typing their responses in the text boxes embedded in the digital worksheets.) Then, have them use the information from their graphic organizer to create a paragraph on a separate virtual document. Finally, have them compare their answers with those of their partner or another classmate on that same online conferencing tool.

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Like these ideas? Please share them to inspire other teachers to incorporate compassion for animals into their literacy lessons.

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