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4 Mentor Texts for Teaching Predictions & Inferences

Boy with hand on his chin looking up and thinking
Active readers are consonantly making predictions and inferences as they read. However, becoming an active reader that makes predictions and makes inferences isn't an easy task. Students need practice and support in order to master this difficult skill. I love using engaging mentor texts to help my students transition to becoming more active thinkers. 

If you are interested in snagging any of these books, click the picture to find it on Amazon. 

Mentor text with the text "The Sweetest Fig" and graphic organizer with text "inferences"

The Sweetest Fig

I don't know why I love this book so much, but I do! One day, as Monsieur Bibot is working in his dentist office, he is offered two figs for payment rather than money. He took them but wrote the old lady off as crazy as she told him that they would make all of his dreams come due. After he eats the first fig, he realizes that she was completely right! This book is so perfect for introducing the reading comprehension skill of making inferences. There are SO many things that are left to the imagination in this classic from Chris Van Allsburg! 

Mentor text with the text "The Stranger" and graphic organizer with text "inferences"

The Stranger

If you're looking for a book that keeps you guessing, wondering, and questioning, The Stranger is seriously it. You could create and inference or a prediction after reading nearly every single page. To be honest, after reading the book year after year, I still don't know exactly what happened. I am only left with my own conclusion.

When The Stranger shows up at Farmer Bailey's, everything is different. This poor man can't remember who he is or where he is from. The Bailey's take him in for a bit and realize that things are quite unusual. Summer isn't changing into fall. The leaves aren't changing.

When The Stranger leaves, what will happen? What was the cause? Let your students make their own predictions and inferences! 

Mentor text with the text "The Giving Tree" and graphic organizer with text "inferences"

The Giving Tree

This book is perfect to use when your students are in the early stages of making predictions and inferences. While reading, you can infer what the characters are feeling and predict what each of them will do next. It is such a simple text with a simple story line. Yet the meaning and thinking are deep! 

Mentor text with the text "The Taking Tree" and graphic organizer with text "inferences"

The Taking Tree

Many of us have read the classic book "The Giving Tree". We know it. We love it. But have you ever heard of "The Taking Tree"?

One year, after reading it aloud, a student asked if I'd read "The Taking Tree". I quickly did a Google search and was able to read the book online. It was HILARIOUS! It is such a great parody that our upper elementary students enjoy so much! It also offers multiple themes and a great opportunity to compare and contrast. 

Disclaimer: I don't allow my students to flip through this book on their own. There is one part where the boy pees on the tree. I didn't want parents messaging me or emailing my principal about that part! I read it aloud and skip it. 

Click here for your FREE Mentor Text Cheat Sheet!
Do you love mentor texts as much as I do? Have trouble organizing them all?

Do you want to use mentor texts but you don't know where to start?

I have a FREE Mentor Text Cheat Sheet for you! In this Google Sheet, you'll find MY list of Mentor Texts and the reading skills that I use them to teach. You can add your own books, sort by author or reading skills, find shortcuts to my blog posts, AND

>>>my favorite feature<<<
>>>cue the drum roll, please<<<

Choose from a dropdown menu to show where you can find the book. For example, I use a boatload of mentor texts in my reading instruction. I can't afford to buy them all. I find some in our school library, the local library, borrow from my teacher friends, and SOME of them, I do own!

Using the dropdown menu, you can easily remind yourself where you can find your mentor text when you need it! Click the image above OR click here to grab it.

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