Encounter by Jane Yolen

July Theme: Using Picture Books to Teach Reading Strategies

Reading Strategy: Making inferences

Recommended Grades: 4th-6th grade

Encounter (Voyager books) is a fantastic picture book written by one of my touchstone text authors, Jane Yolen.  This book is the story of the Taino people and how they reacted when one Christopher Columbus lands on their island.  This is a fantastic picture book to use to model making inferences.  It’s written from the point of view of a young Taino boy.

Lesson Idea: Create a t-chart with two labels, “Text/Pictures from the Book” and “Inferences.”  Read aloud the first half of the book and stop when you come to a piece of text or a picture that you can use to make an inference.  Model for students how you use the text and/or picture to help you infer what you think is going on in the book.  Record the information on the t-chart.  Halfway through the book, ask students to write their own inferences from the text/pictures on their own copies of the t-chart, as you read aloud.  After you have read aloud the book and discussed the inferences made, ask students if they can determine what the story was about.  Then, read aloud the Author’s Note at the end to confirm.                 

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