Grandma Bird / During Reading / /

What do we know about Grandma Bird?

Inferencing using the 'I Know, I Can Infer, I Would Like to Know' framework.

Lesson length: 1 session

Lesson from Grandma Bird series

Required reading: Whole book

Text potential

  • Inference opportunities: Character Inference


  • English
  • Reading

Strategies used

  • Graphic Organisers


Noi’s opinion of Grandma changes during the story as he gets to know her better. This lesson provides an opportunity to focus on the beginning of the story. First impressions can be revisited after reading. At the end of the story, it is possible to explore whether the characters have changed or developed.


  • Download and print copies of the ‘First Impressions’ diagram or produce an enlarged version to complete with the class.


Re-read up to, ‘…and she never had time to play’.

Introduce the First Impressions diagram. There are three headings:

  • I know…
  • I can infer… (I can guess…)
  • I want to know…

Ask the children to share what they know about Grandma. Their ideas can be recorded on sticky notes and attached to an enlarged version of the First Impressions diagram. Alternatively, they can be written onto printed copies, if working individually or in pairs. Encourage the children to look for visual clues as well as textual clues. As they share their ideas, ask them to identify and explain where they found the information.

The next prompt, ‘I can guess’ or ‘I can infer’, supports inference making and needs higher levels of scaffolding. For example:

  • You might say that Grandma likes being alone because she doesn’t make a fuss of Noi when he comes to stay. In the illustrations, she doesn’t look at Noi either.
  • You might also say she doesn’t mind about being comfy because the blankets are itchy.

Make explicit the point that we often use the word because to indicate that we are justifying our ideas and providing evidence for them. Encourage the children to do this when they are giving their opinions.

Ask the children to make their own ‘I can infer’ or ‘I can guess’ statements.

The final prompt takes children further in thinking about Grandma, particularly what the author doesn’t tell us. Children might ask questions such as:

  • Why does she live alone?
  • What happened to Grandpa?
  • Does she eat anything different?
  • Does she ever feel lonely?
  • Has she always lived on the island?

Final reflection

Share some questions and ask if any can be answered by returning to the text. You can do this with the whole class, or ask the children to work in pairs or small groups.

Allow the children to share what they predict the answers might be.

Key vocabulary



Grandma Bird: First Impressions

Use this First Impressions graphic organiser for organising ideas about Grandma Bird.


Nikki Gamble

Nikki Gamble
Director, Just Imagine
Nikki has worked extensively in schools across the UK and internationally. She is the author of Exploring Children’s Literature (4th edit) (2019) and co-author of Guiding Readers (2016) which was awarded the UKLA Academic Book of the Year Award 2017. Nikki is KS2 reading advisor and series consultant for Oxford University Press and content creator for the Oxford School Improvement and Oxford Owl websites. Nikki is Associate Consultant at the University of London, Institute of Education and Honorary Fellow at the University of Winchester

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Sam Keeley

Formerly a teacher and local authority advisory teacher, Sam now works with Just Imagine as an English consultant and manager of the year 6 Reading Gladiators programme.

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