To model the chart, I have to choose the absolute best book to share with students. With some groups, I use the book The Gardener by Sarah Stewart. This book is loaded with opportunities to make inferences, from the pictures to the text.
But with some groups of readers The Gardener just doesn't work as well. For students with attentional difficulties, there are just too many places to make inferences in this book for it to be effective for whole-class modeling. When I model an inference chart, stopping to write too often can be disruptive to the flow of the story.
The Wreck of the Zephyr by Chris Van Allsburg as an alternative. It worked perfectly! We made about one inference per page. The story is rich, with opportunities for deeper thinking, but not so complex that it was difficult for students to understand.
I modeled the chart on the Promethean board instead of on a chart--it's easier for the students to make the transfer to what they will be doing. Here is what the chart looked like halfway through the story:
Kids often have trouble with the "Schema" column. They don't realize how they have to simply write down what they already know. As I model the chart, I try to show students how the Schema column simply comes from their own minds--for example, the things they know are true, or the explanations for character traits.
Hopefully students will remember how this works after break! If not, well....luckily Chris van Allsburg has written many books, so I can try the whole thing again. :)