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Inferring Meaning Practice Examples

1. Visual Practice

What do you think is happening in this picture?

Who are they?

What are they doing?

What clues make you think this?

2. Practice with Numbers

Year - # Homicides

1985 - 301  
1986 - 347  
1987 - 323  
1988 - 366  
1989 - 351  
1990 - 447  
1991 - 500  
1992 - 387  
1993 - 317  
1994 - 295  
1995 - 276  
1996 - 217  
1997 - 209  
1998 - 252  
1999 - 191  
2000 - 231  

What do you think is happening to homicide in this city?

What other information would you need to gather to build a strong case for your inference?

3. Practice with Text

"Many believe that Captain James Cook was the greatest ocean explorer ever to have lived, and that he mapped more of the world than any other man."

"He also set an example of how to treat a ship, its crew, and the people he met on his explorations."1

In what ways does the passage below support or contradict the statement above?

Cook often took leaders of native groups hostage if any of his possessions were stolen. He would hold the chief hostage until the stolen goods were returned.

On the day the Hawaiians killed Captain Cook, he had taken one of their chiefs hostage and was about to row the chief back to the ship.

In this case a large row boat had been stolen. At first this chief agreed to go along, but an argument started. His wife and two other chiefs urged him not to go with Cook. He changed his mind, a struggle started and the British started shooting as they saw the Hawaiians approach in a threatening manner with stones and spears.

Once their muskets and pistols were fired, killing several Hawaiians, Cook and his party were overwhelmed and killed.2

1. Passageways: True Tales of Adventure for Young Explorers at

2. Based on information from "The Death of Captain Cook" By Richard P. Aulie at

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