This is a great tool to use when teaching students inferences. I've found that before students can understand how to draw inferences in a text, they need to clearly understand the difference between what a text explicitly and implicitly says.
You can use this handout first to model, then have students practice, and then assign as an assessment.
How it works:
Explain to students that authors show us information in a text in two ways: implicitly and explicitly. Explain that the explicit information is what we can see, like the top of a tree. The implicit is the information under the surface, that you have to dig for, like the roots of a tree.
Provide students a detail from the text they are analyzing. Have them draw or take notes around the tree about what the text is explicitly stating. Then, have students think about what information is not said directly from that detail, and implied.