Your Students Will LOVE This Lesson For RI.4.1

Free resources and ideas to teach, review, or assess RI.4.1

Don’t you hate that nagging voice in the back of your teacher brain?  Thoughts like these CONSTANTLY hammered away at me during the school day.

“If I would have gotten to school five minutes earlier I could have prepared better for this lesson.”

“Wow, this passage I’m making the kids read is SO BORING.  I really need to find better reading material.”

“I really need to review (insert skill).  The kids still don’t get it.”

“Uh oh…did I remember to bring my lunch?  OH NO, I LEFT IT AT HOME!  I’m going to have to pay $3.00 for a school lunch.  NOOOOOOO.”

The panic of realizing your lunch is at home is no joke!!  I wish I could help you there, but I can help if you:

  • Need to review reading standards.
  • Need more engaging reading passages.

That’s why I have created a full lesson to help you teach, review, or assess RI.4.1.  (If your state doesn’t use Common Core, that standard involves drawing inferences.)

Free resources to teach, review, or assess RI.4.1.

Click here to grab the free lesson in my TpT store, which includes a passage about NBA star Steph Curry.  Continue reading to see how these resources can help your students learn how to draw inferences.

Preview the Material

I have included four pages of ideas to help you teach this lesson.  The first page includes a link to a video about Curry’s NBA career.  The basketball fans in your class will love watching Curry’s awesome plays.  Students who don’t know anything about Curry will see why he is one of the world’s best basketball players.

The other pages include ideas about previewing the material, a summary of each paragraph, and instructions for the skill practice activity.

Resources to teach, review, or assess RI.4.1 (drawing inferences)

Read the Passage

I want students to realize that star athletes are human beings.  I also want students to realize that superstars do not just roll out of bed one day and make it to the NBA.  Curry’s success is the result of years and years of hard work.  That’s why I included several stories about that in the passage.

One story involves Curry spending an entire summer working on his shooting technique with his dad.  There were times when Curry cried because he got so frustrated.  Kids can’t believe that Steph Curry cried when he was a middle schooler!!  It’s powerful for students to see this, then read that Curry continued practicing even though he got frustrated.  This summer of practice helped him become an amazing shooter.  It didn’t hurt that Steph’s dad (Dell) was one of the best shooters in NBA history in the 1980s and 1990s.  Steph realized this and was always willing to learn from his father, even when the lessons were difficult.

Resources to teach, review, or assess RI.4.1 (drawing inferences)

Skill Practice Activity

Now your students will use text evidence to support four inferences about Curry.  I’ve created this as an activity to go in an interactive notebook, but you could adapt it to use it in other ways.  Students will cut out text evidence and glue it with the inference it supports.  You will see more instructions when you download the resource.  The finished product will look like this.

Free resources to teach, review, or assess RI.4.1 (drawing inferences)

Writing Prompt and Quiz

The prompt asks students to use text evidence to describe how Curry’s childhood helped him become an awesome basketball player.  This requires drawing inferences.  Students will also write what they learned about success from this passage.  Hopefully, you have time to allow your students to share their writing with other classmates.

The four-question quiz makes a terrific exit slip.  It is a quick way to see how well your students understood the passage.

Free resources to teach, review, or assess RI.4.1 (drawing inferences)

Please only use materials in this resource that meet your students’ needs, complement your teaching style, and fit into your schedule.  If you only have time for the passage and quiz, you can give the writing prompt as homework.  You could also save it for when you have a sub.  I always tried to overplan when I taught because I hated running short on things to do.  I have the same goal when I create resources for you.


I also made units to help you with the rest of the RI standards for fourth grade.  Click the images below for more information.

Resources to help you teach, review, or assess RI.4.2

Resources to teach, review, and assess RI.4.3

Here is more information on the following standards: RI.4.4, RI.4.5, RI.4.6, RI.4.7, RI.4.8, RI.4.9 and RI.4.10.

Feel free to look at my bundle if you are interested in resources for all fourth-grade RI standards.

Resources for all 4th-Grade RI Standards

Ideas and Resources to Teach, Review, or Assess RI.6.1

Teach, review, or assess RI.6.1


Do you have a room in your school that is covered in spreadsheets like this?

Resources to help you monitor students for RI.6.1

My school had a room where spreadsheets like this covered all the bookshelves and walls.  It was called our “data room.”  To say that district leaders loved data rooms is a massive understatement.  To them, these spreadsheets proved that teachers monitored each students’ progress on each standard throughout the year.  Yes, teachers need to monitor their students’ progress, but this was overkill.  Sadly, it took an insane amount of testing to gather all this data.  We had to test a standard in each subject at least once per week.  Many teachers across the USA have to do the same, if not more.

There is an incredible demand for teachers to monitor their students’ progress on tested standards, but many teachers are not given adequate materials to do this.

This is why I have created resources to help you teach, review, and assess all 6th grade RI standards.

Click here for my free resources on RI.6.1 (analyzing and inferencing).  It includes a passage about basketball star Kevin Durant, which will thrill your kids who love sports.  I have included an interactive skill practice activity, a writing prompt, and a quiz to help you keep track of how well your students understand this standard.  I’ve also included three pages of ideas to help you teach this lesson.  Teachers have used these resources to teach or review this skill.  Continue reading to see how.

Suggested Lesson Progression

I love getting new resources, but I hate spending hours figuring out how to use them.  That’s why I’ve provided three pages of suggestions about how to use the resources I’m giving you.  This lesson progression provides:

  • Things you can say to your students when you preview the material
  • A link to a video about Durant, which is helpful for students who don’t know him
  • A brief summary of the passage
  • Instructions on how to use all resources

Ideas to help you teach, review, or assess RI.6.1

I know you’re busy, so I’ve taken care of the planning for you.


Kids need to know that celebrities struggle just like everyone else.  Paragraphs 3-5 describe Kevin working extremely hard to improve after his first year in the NBA.  That meant he had to change his diet of fried chicken and oatmeal pies!  He also spent more time at practice and in the weight room.  I hope your students realize that Kevin didn’t just roll out of bed and become an NBA star.  His success is the result of hours and hours and hours of hard work.

Engaging Resources for RI.6.1

Paragraph 11 is about his decision to leave Oklahoma City to play for the Golden State Warriors.  If you have time, show your students the article Kevin wrote where he explains his decision.

It could lead to some interesting discussion, especially if you teach in Oklahoma City!

Skill Practice

This activity allows students to match inferences about Kevin Durant with the supporting text evidence.  Students glue the inferences into a notebook, then glue the text evidence with it.  Here is what the finished product will look like.

Teach, review, or assess RI.6.1 analyzing and inferencing

Instructions are provided when you download the resource.

Writing Prompt

I love prompts that make students think deeper about the text.  This prompt asks students to write why Kevin is successful and what the passage taught them about success.  Hopefully, students will realize that success takes an incredible amount of hard work.

Engaging resources for RI.6.1


This is a quick way to assess how well your students can analyze why Kevin Durant is successful.  Every question aligns with RI.6.1.  There are three multiple-choice questions and two written-response questions.  When I wrote this quiz, I worked hard to ensure the questions meet the rigor of the standard without confusing students.  I HATE WHEN TEST QUESTIONS ARE WORDED IN A WAY THAT CONFUSES STUDENTS!!  Ok, let me step off my soapbox to show you the quiz about Durant.

Engaging resources for RI.6.1

An answer key is also included.

You’ll find that some of your reluctant readers will be engaged during this lesson because they will be reading about a person they care about.  Thousands of teachers have used my passages.  Many have said their students who normally hate reading are much more engaged during ELA class when they use my passages.

I have also created units for the other 6th-grade RI standards.  Click any of the images for more information.

Teach, review, and assess RI.6.2 central idea and summary

Teach, review, and assess RI.6.3

I have also created units for RI.6.4, RI.6.5, RI.6.6, RI.6.7, RI.6.8, RI.6.9, and RI.6.10.

If you need units for every RI standard, you may be interested in the following bundle:

A bundle with resources to teach, review, and assess all 10 RI standards in 6th grade

An Engaging Lesson for RI.5.1

A blog post with free resources to help you teach RI.5.1 drawing inferences.

Students are expected to become more proficient at comprehending informational passages every year.  Teachers should be given high-quality resources to help students meet these high expectations.  That’s why I’ve created a lesson to help fifth graders learn how to draw inferences using an informational text about NBA star Steph Curry (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.1).

Click here to grab the free lesson.  Continue reading to see how I teach RI.5.1.

Preview the Material

Tell your students they are going to read about the childhood of Steph Curry.  You’re going to see some of your reluctant readers perk up a bit!  If you really want to excite the sports fans in your class, show them this video.  It has eight minutes of highlights from Curry’s career.  It even shows him as a young kid.  If you’re short on time (or if you’re a Cavs fan) you can just show the first few minutes of this video.

Now that your students have seen these amazing plays by Curry, it’s time for them to think about how he became a superstar.  Ask students to predict what Curry did as a young kid that helped him become successful.  What habits did he begin forming as a young boy that benefit him today?  It’s interesting to hear these predictions before kids read the passage.

After students have brainstormed their ideas, ask them to share with the class.  Ask them to explain WHY they have this idea.  This will prepare them to justify their answer, which is something they will be doing when they use text evidence to justify their inferences later in the lesson.

For more information, download the free resource and read the suggested lesson progression, which is shown here.

Lesson Ideas for Drawing Inferences RI 5.1

Read the Passage

I’ve been a huge basketball fan my whole life, so this passage was fun to write! It was also fascinating to research Steph’s childhood.  His parents REALLY made him work hard when he was young.  I tried to make this crystal clear when I wrote the passage.  Students should understand that Steph’s success didn’t happen overnight.  Steph had to establish these habits as a young boy.

I hope students are able to draw inferences about how much work it takes to become an NBA superstar.  More importantly, I hope students realize they will have to work hard to achieve their dreams.

Engaging passages to help students learn how to draw inferences RI 5.1

Practice the Skill

Here’s an engaging way for kids to practice the skill.  Students are given four inferences that can be made about Steph’s childhood.  They will glue them into their notebook as shown here.

Lesson resources for drawing inferences RI 5.1

Students are also given eight pieces of text evidence.  They have to match two pieces of text evidence that support each inference.  I’d recommend matching the text evidence for at least one inference together as a class.  The final result is shown below.  The inferences are written in bold.  The text evidence is not bold.  More instructions are provided in the lesson progression.

Resources to teach a lesson on drawing inferences RI 5.1

Writing Prompt

Students must write why Steph’s childhood helped him become an NBA superstar.  They will have to use text evidence to support their ideas.


All four quiz questions correlate to RI.5.1.  Three are multiple-choice and one is short-answer.  This makes a great exit slip or quick assessment.

Resources to assess drawing inferences RI 5.1

You can adapt this lesson to meet the needs of your students.  You know your students better than anyone.  Only use the sections of this lesson pack that will help your students improve their ability to draw inferences from nonfiction text.  Click the image to download this free resource.

Free resources to teach, review, or assess RI.5.1


I have also created lesson packs for other fifth-grade RI standards.  Click the images for more information.

Resources to teach, review, and assess RI.5.2 main idea and summary.

Teach, review, and assess RI.5.3 relationships in historical texts.

Teach, review, and assess RI.5.4 determine the meaning of words and phrases.

I also have lesson units for standards RI.5.5, RI.5.6, RI.5.7, RI.5.8, RI.5.9, and RI.5.10.

I’ve also created a bundle that includes lessons for all 10 fifth-grade RI standards.  The bundle is offered at a discounted price, which means you get one lesson for free.  Click the image below for more information.

Lessons for all 10 Fifth-Grade RI Standards