Inference: Teaching Students to Develop Hypotheses, Evaluate Evidence, and Draw Logical Conclusions


By Harvey F. Silver, R. Thomas Dewing, Matthew J. Perini

Published by ASCD

Inference is an important “hidden skill” that supports many other skills and leads to deep learning. Use this resource to teach it directly.


This PLC Guide focuses on inference, or the ability to examine information, generate hypotheses, and draw conclusions that are not explicitly stated. Making inferences is a crucial foundational process that underlies higher-order thinking and 21st century skills. This PLC Guide walks readers through four research-based, classroom-tested strategies that help develop students’ inferential thinking skills:

  • Inductive Learning helps students draw inferences by grouping data, labeling the data groups with descriptive titles, and using the groups to generate and test hypotheses.
  • Mystery presents students with a puzzling question or situation and has students examine clues that help them explain the mystery.
  • Main Idea teaches students how to use inferential thinking to construct main ideas that are not explicitly stated.
  • Investigation directs students to use various problem-solving approaches that require inference.

Additional information

Weight 0.85 lbs
Dimensions 8.5 × 11 in
Poster Size

20.0" × 32.0"



First Publication Date

April 2012







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