Activity Overview

Matilda provides many opportunities for readers to make inferences about what they are reading. More often than not, these inferences are confirmed later on in the text. In this activity, students will be able to monitor their thinking while they read – paying close attention to the interpretations, or inferences, they are making and understanding how that helps readers comprehend the text.

Here are some examples:
  • The first example is from Mr. Wormwood: " 'Listen boy,' he said, addressing the son and ignoring Matilda, 'seeing as you'll be going into this business with me one day, you've got to know how to add up the profits you make at the end of each day.' "

    It can be inferred that Matilda, being as bright as she is, will be able to compute the problem faster than her older brother.

  • The second example is from Miss Honey: " 'And you must remember that this aunt of mine is a much respected figure in the community. She has a lot of influence.' 'Who is she?' Matilda asked.”

    It can be inferred that the cruel person she is referring to has to be none other than Miss Trunchbull.

  • Last, towards the end of the novel Matilda states, "I've been thinking about it all the way back from your cottage and I believe I've got just a tiny bit of an idea."

    It can be inferred that Matilda is going to develop a plan to help Miss Honey escape from Miss Trunchbull once and for all.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Create a storyboard illustrating inferences about Matilda with examples from the text.

  1. Use the template provided by your teacher.
  2. Identify three quotes from the story where information can be inferred.
  3. Describe the inference you are making.
  4. Illustrate each example with appropriate characters, scenes, and items.

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/5/2] Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Making Inferences
5 Points
3 Points
1 Points
The inferences are clear and at least two sentences.
The inferences can be understood but it are somewhat unclear.
The inferences are unclear and are do not make sense.
The illustrations represent the inferences using appropriate scenes, characters and items.
The illustrations relate to the inferences, but are difficult to understand.
The illustrations do not clearly relate to the inferences.
Evidence of Effort
Work is well written and carefully thought out.
Work shows some evidence of effort.
Work shows little evidence of any effort.
Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are mostly correct.
Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are somewhat correct.
Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are mostly incorrect.

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