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Cause and Effect

Compiled By: Mrs. G

A collection of strategies to use when teaching cause and effect relationships.

Cause and Effect
Posted by: nuhusker98

I love using 'If You Give A Mouse A Cookie' by Laura Joffe Numeroff to teach cause and effect. The whole story is based on a series of causes and effects. Mandy Gregory's website has a great week-long lesson plan based off of this book. I think she teaches fourth grade as well.
In my fifth grade classroom, I use a Thinking Map to teach cause and effect. I have students brainstorm events that might happen on a school day, like dropping a tray in the cafeteria, getting a good grade on a test, being late for school, etc...Then on the left of the event, they list three things that might cause this event. For example, if the event was dropping their tray in the cafeteria, a cause might be that the floor was wet. Then on the right of the event, the students list three effects of the event. Again, for example, an effect of dropping their tray might be getting their pants dirty. We also do a lot of role play with cause and effect. Hope this gives you some ideas!

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cause and effect
Posted by: Kim

I taught a lesson today on cause and effect. I began with an experiment showing the theory that every action has an opposite and equal reaction-this put the concept of C&E in a concrete form for the student to "see". Then I showed how this relates to reading and how each action (cause) a character makes has consequent reactions (events) leading to an outcome (effect. Using an example in the story, I modeled how to use the graphic organizer. I had my students go back through the novel we are reading, The Sign of the Beaver, and find examples of this. I had them then pretend they were the character and change the action to alter the events and outcome. I used a graphic organizer to show the information. "How it Happened in the Story..." on one side and "How we Changed the Story..." on the other. The kids really enjoyed "changing" the story while getting a good understanding of cause and effect relationships. I hope this helps.

Cause and effect activity
Posted by: Tracy

I use this activity to reinforce cause and effect with my 4th graders. I begin with an effect, then I choose one student to give the cause. This cause now becomes the new effect and another student is chosen to give the cause of that effect. For example, I might say,"I heard a loud noise." I would then choose a student and he may say, "because a book dropped." Then the next student would say, "because the shelf was loose." So the cause of every sentence becomes the effect. It also teaches that some effects can also be causes. Hope this helps.

Cause & Effect
Posted by: Randi

I am teaching Cause & Effect as a reading skill during reading and in my Social Studies lesson. I used a C&E graphic organizer that is basically two columns with 6 rows. while reading our social studies lessons, we stop and talk about what has happened and what caused it. I also point out key words for cause and effect such as because, so, if, then, or since.

I really like to tie my reading skills into social studies. Because I only use novels in my classroom, I can center my skills around what's in the SS books and then teach it in Reading.

cause & effect
Posted by: Nicole

I teach effect -- cause. It seems to be easier if the kids find the event & then figure out why it happened. I have some pictures from a worksheet that show different scenes of c & e. I blew them up eight years ago & I still use them. We play memery, where I have all the pictures are facing backwards taped to my board. They have to match the pictures & then decide which is the c & e. It works! I usually review once, but my kids normally have it mastered after identfying the effect & then the cause.

cause and effect
Posted by: Cheryl

I usually use Alexander and the Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day as it has lots of cause and effect situations in it. They then come up with cause and effect situations of their own by folding a paper in half and completing statements like:
I __________________ so__________________

I won $1000 so I went on a shopping spree.

______________________ because __________________

My tire is flat because I rode over glass that was in the street.

Students illustrate and share.

Posted by: Jesica

I just did this with my kids. We made a timeline of events from the novel we were reading. Then I pointed out how events in that timeline were related by cause/effect relationships. Then the kids made timelines of their own - I told them to use events from the day before that really occured. Then each student wrote 5 cause/effect statements about their timeline. Ex: Because I was late to school, I did not have time to finish my morning work.

cause/effect cards
Posted by: luv2teach

I set cause, 1 set effect (I put a C and an E on the back of each for the answer

I had a hole in my pocket---------I lost my money
My hair grew long----------------I got a haircut
I studied real hard-------------I got a good grade
The phone rang--------------I picked up the receiver and said "hello"

I just used simple cause/effects to begin to get them started about thinking that one thing is a reason for something else happening. Next I will give them short passages, and they will have to identify effects for causes and vice versa.

Hope this makes sense.

Cause & Effect
Posted by: Nicole

I intro. Cause & Effect like this: I kick the trash can across the front of the room. I ask the kids why it fell over. They'll say it's because I kicked it, & I agree & tell them that I caused it to fall. It's very concrete & they remember it because they all laugh when I do it. I've also done this: pour water on my hair, & ask them why my hair is wet. Hav fun!

cause and effect
Posted by: Marjorie

I always use the balloon example... I blow up a balloon,then I tie a knot in it...then I stick a pin in it and of course the balloon pops. Well they seem to get that the sticking the pin in the balloon is the cause and the effect is the balloon popping.

Some books and other ideas for c/e
Posted by: Heather Schumacher

I like to start with the nursery rhyme "Hickory Dickory Dock". We list causes for the mouse to run up the clock.

I also use "Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears" and have the students draw pictures of each character. Then we take a large piece of butcher paper, glue the characters in order, and write the story sequence using the word SO in between events.

I cut out various pictures from newspaper. Each student takes a picture and writes the cause and effect. The picture is either the cause or effect. If it was a picture of a football player catching the ball, the cause might be: The football player caught the ball. The effect might be: The team scored a touchdown. These turn out very nice and go out in the hallway.

I also teach Ancient Greece and have used the myths of Arachne the Weaver and Pandora's Box. These both feature Greek gods so you might not want to use it if your parents might be upset. I've never had a parent get upset, but others on my grade level have.

When my students were very comfortable with cause and effect I read one of the books by Laura Numeroff like "If you give a mouse a cookie". I had the major events already written on sentence strips. They identified the first event and I stapled the two ends to make a circle. Then they identified the effect and I attached it to start a chain. We kept going with each effect turning into a cause for another effect. This helped reinforce the idea that cause and effect was a chain of events.

Posted by: tia

have them make puzzles--one side has cause, the other the effect--cut out in puzzle shape--mix the pieces, they have to put together.

have them make cause/effect chains--like paper chains for tree: (this is actually from a story we're reading right now) summer came/people had to leave/cat was left alone/had to survive/ate mice/made the owls mad/had to fight owls/owls were scared of cat/owls leave cat alone

make a list of cause/effect scenarios--cut them apart --give each kid one--they have to find their "partner" and then decide which is the cause and which is the effect

i wrote up a couple scenarios--1-2 paragraphs long (one was about how late it was so my dog was hungry he ran to his dish and whined so i fed him and he made slobbering noises. i read these aloud and ask the students to listen for causes and effects--sometimes the effect turns into the cause of something else (see chain idea above)

have the kids create real world cause/effect passages. ie moon gets between earth and sun and causes a solar eclipse...

if i find someting earth-shattering in my c/e file at school tomorrow, i'll repost.

Clouds and Rain
Posted by: Oldie

I usually introdue cause and effect with the symbolism of a cloud as the cause, rain as the effect. We analyse a few statements and choose which is the cloud and which the rain. Then I add a puddle and show that a cause can also be an effect (as the rain is the effect of the cloud, but the cause of the puddle) I post the symbols on the wall of the classroom, and even make the first few worksheets so that they are filling in a cloud, a raindrop, and a puddle. The visual seems to help clarify for those who have trouble with this nontangible concept.

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Just did this lesson this week
Posted by: javamomma

I read "Hooway For Wodney Wodent"
It was full of cause and effect situations.
Then I had my students create some effects of their own to go with my causes I had written on sentence strips. The next day we hit this high points again and did the same sentence strip activity this time with effects written on them and the students had to come up with a cause.

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Cause and effect reader's theater
Posted by: Mama B

I am a Reader's theater nut. I use them for content and teaching difficult concepts.

If you have several days, the readers theater called "It Wasn't My Fault" might be helpful. I used it as a guided reading lesson the first day and assigned parts-- (yes I had two groups working on the same script.) and I allowed them to practice for 10 minutes every day. On the third day we used a Flow map to show the cuases and effect with in the script. I actually gave an assessment on the actual reader's theater asking students to tell what the effects or causes of specific events in the script. When I did this specific activity, I spent the majority of the week integrating cuase and effect in my science activities, read-alouds and in social studies. ( We were doing American Revolution at the time) I made sure I used cause and effect charts with each subject so they were familiar with the graphic organizer, and hopefully they could visualize when something occured. Hope that helps!

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We made a class book
Posted by: macaroney3

Each child had to draw a line down the middle of the paper. They then labeled one side Cause and one side Effect. They wrote their own sentence and drew a picture for each side of the paper to show a causal relationship.

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Matching Game
Posted by: Teach4

How about writing several causes on index cards and an obvious effect they would have on the other half of the cards and see if the kids can match them up. Or to show how the effect can become a new cause. Sit everyone in a circle. Give a cause to the group and choose a person to start. The chosen person has to come up with an effect, which is then the new cause for another effect. For instance, It was raining, so I had to come inside, so I had to take off my shoes, so I noticed that my socks were wet, so I put the socks in the dryer, etc.

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cause & effect windows
Posted by: amyrado

After we had discussed it a lot with examples from real life, each kids made a cause & effect window. Just using construction paper - the front shows the cause and has a frame around it.. you open the 'window' and the effect is on the inside. they had to write the cause & effect at the bottom and color a picture in the main area to show it. I hope that makes sense. It's hard to describe without showing..

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