Teaching cause and effect
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.
- 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.
- Make a list of possible causes and have students brainstorm for possible effects.
Causes Effects John sleeps late … Nancy was ill … He was driving very fast …
Possible linking words: so, as a result, consequently, that’s why
- 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.
Causes Effects He fell asleep … They got married … He had a terrible headache …
Possible linking words: because, as, for, since
- 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.
- 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.