Ms. Taliaferro’s fourth and fifth grade students in Title I at Queen of Apostles learned from the YouTube video Paperman inferencing skills.

The best readers carefully consider their character’s feelings and motivations. They think beyond what the author tells them about the character. Furthermore, they consider what the character says and does for a better understanding of the text. Children may find this a challenge at first, but it is helpful to illustrate how often they consider character actions already.

“Paperman” is an award-winning short film by Disney. It is a film without words. Nevertheless. much action and emotion are conveyed. First, Ms. Taliaferro’s 4th and 5th grade students in Title I watched this film on YouTube. They stopped every few seconds to

  • analyze the character’s emotions,
  • infer what the character’s wanted, and
  • made predictions based on evidence that we noted on a graphic organizer.
Paperman Inferencing

Click to watch Paperman.

They watched the 5:02 minute cut of the film without any music that might lead to inferences. Ms. Taliaferro’s class

  • found 15 clues and
  • made excellent inferences.

The students were greatly surprised at how deeply they understood the characters and how many clues they responded to.


Paperman Inferencing Clues


green paper airplanePaperman Inferencing



blue paper airplane

Paperman Inferencing



yellow paper airplane

Paperman Inferencing



red paper airplane

Paperman Inferencing


Then Ms. Taliaferro and her students had a lively discussion about how they evaluate clues constantly in the world.  Therefore, it is not difficult to apply those natural analytic skills to literature. We are now applying this awareness to text with confidence. This, therefore, allows us to explore deeper meanings, themes, and character analysis in our reading.