Using Cartoons to Teach Inferences + Freebie

Hi friends! It's Erin from Lovin' Lit. Today's post is going to be short and sweet. Now that I think about it, shouldn't everything in May be short and sweet?

My 6 year old son, Brandt, has a new obsession lately - Angry Birds! He is so inventive and creative and loves making things. A few weeks ago, he got on the computer by himself, printed some Angry Birds characters, and with markers and scissors came up with this:

And so now you can understand why, when I came across a DVD of Angry Birds Toons at Kroger, I had to purchase it for my darling, deserving son!

Fast forward a few days and the entire family is sitting around the TV watching Angry Birds Toons. I noticed that the characters NEVER talk during the episodes but only make sounds and grunting noises.  Yet these episodes tell complete stories and all 3 of my boys (13, 9, and 6) just love them. As I watched my 6 year old watching and giggling, it occurred to me that, despite the lack of dialogue, he was following along perfectly as he figured things out. My teacher instinct kicked in and I knew that these toons would be perfect for practicing inferences!

There are dozens of short (around 3 minutes) episodes and you can find them easily on YouTube. Preparing a worksheet for them or even watching them ahead of time isn't necessary if you're in a pinch. I don't always watch them before using them, either, and it's easy enough to ask the right questions on the spot to force those inferences by adding the "How do you know?" to the end of each question.

So that you could see the types of questions that I ask, I put together a little viewing guide for one of my favorite episodes. It's #45, Bird Flu, and can be found here. If your school blocks YouTube, then use this alternate download link. 

You can download the questions (and answer keys!) by clicking on the image below.

Have a great week!


  1. Thanks so much for sharing this awesome a-ha! After reading your post, I thought, "How have I never used cartoons to teach inferencing in the past?!?"

  2. Lovin' this! My boys will go WILD when I use this lesson with them. We've been working with inferencing a LOT lately! Thanks for sharing.


  3. OMG That picture is priceless! He's going to hate you for that later! haha! I didn't know Angry Birds was a cartoon now. See the things I miss being childless???

  4. Love this, and it is so true how cartoons can tell such a story with inferences. My son loves Tom and Jerry, yet there is no talking. He always can tell me what is going on in the story! Thanks for the great reminder!!

    Reading Toward the Stars

  5. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Erin,
    I've used Scooby Doo to teach Climax/Plot and I've used Blue's Clues to teach Inferencing. Now, I have never heard of Angry Bird cartoons. HUM...I think that's a great idea!!!

    Thanks for sharing,

  7. This is great!!! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Off to find more treasures on youtube...thanks for the great tip!

    (Back in my day parents embarrassed their kids by pulling out old photo albums to show...guess putting this picture out there is the updated version!)

  9. I LOVE angry birds and will have to try those videos! I'm already a huge fan of your inference freebie. That picture is hysterical! Being a mom of boys is the best :-)

    Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late
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  10. You are just to darn creative for your britches, Erin Cobb! I love this, and I love the freebie. I tried to leave feedback, but it won't let me?? I don't know if it's an issue with TPT or if there is a max on freebies. Anyway, I love it.