Teaching cause and effect

A lesson plan in three stepscause_effects

The objective of this activity is to help students understand cause and effect relationships, recognize them when reading and use them in their writing and speaking.


Step 1:

  • Read a short story to the class.
  • After reading the story, ask the class comprehension about why particular events took place.
  • Students draw a chart with two columns, causes and effects.
  • Students complete the chart with causes and effects as they occur in the story.

Step 2

  • Make a list of possible causes and have students brainstorm for possible effects.
    John sleeps late
    Nancy was ill
    He was driving very fast

    Possible linking words: so, as a result, consequently, that’s why
    For example:

    • John sleeps late… (so, he always goes late to work…)
    • Nancy was ill… (so she didn’t go to school…)
    • He was driving very fast… (so he had a terrible accident…)
  • Make a list of possible effects and have students brainstorm for possible causes.
    He fell asleep
    They got married
    He had a terrible headache

    Possible linking words: because, as, for, since
    For example:

    • He fell asleep… (because he was tired…)
    • They got married… (because they were in love …)
    • He had a terrible headache… (because he had been working all day long…)
  • Students add more cause and effects to the lists to ensure comprehension.
  • Students discuss the examples they provided in pairs and write down a sentence with cause and effect.

Step 3

  • Students work in pairs to identify cause and effect relationships from a printed story or passage.
  • Each pair makes a large chart of causes and effects found in the story.
  • After all students are finished, the charts are displayed for all to see and discuss.

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1 Response

  1. Aldin Malabanan says:

    This is true

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