Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

It Says, I Say, and So

Shelby Blackwood | Published: July 26th, 2021 by K20 Center


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It Says, I Say, and So

The It Says, I Say, and So strategy is a visual scaffold to support student thinking when making inferences and drawing conclusions. This strategy can be used with struggling students at most grade levels.

It Says, I Say, and So


When students encounter questions that require an inference, they often do not know where to begin. The It Says, I Say, and So strategy helps students move through the process of making an inference by connecting what is in the text to their prior knowledge. As students complete the graphic organizer, they begin to visualize the structure of making inferences. It is best to model this strategy first as a whole class activity, then expand to small groups and partners before asking students to complete one on their own.


  1. Prior to reading, students are given a copy of the attached graphic organizer, or they could create a simple three column organizer on a blank sheet of paper. Label the three columns: “It Says,” “I Say,” “And So.”

  2. Pose questions to the students that would require making an inference. Ask students to write those questions down on the organizer. Students should keep these questions in mind as they read the selection.

  3. As students read, they find information that relates to the question(s) that were asked prior to reading.

  4. Students summarize that information and write it in the “It Says” column.

  5. Students consider that information and build on it with their own thinking in the “I Say” column.

  6. Finally, students draw a conclusion from the information they found in the reading combined with their own thinking on the topic. This is written in the “And So” column.

  7. Students should share their information from their chart with others in a small group discussion to expand their thinking.

Beers, K. (2003). When kids can't read, what teachers can do: A guide for teachers. Boynton/Cook Publishing.