Teaching Cause and Effect

Teaching text structure can be a difficult task. Like every reading skill , I introduce the topic with a read aloud. Here’s a list of read alouds for teaching cause and effect.

Here are five books for teaching text structure cause and effect

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is one of my favorite books that makes reading so fun. This story is great for breaking down cause and effect for young readers. In this story, students also have the opportunity to practice making inferences.

Teacher Model: Explain that cause and effect is the relationship between two things when one thing makes something else happen. For example, if we eat too much food and do not exercise, we gain weight. Eating food without exercising is the “cause;” weight gain is the “effect.” There may be multiple causes and multiple effects.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs– this is a great story for teaching cause and effect. The students will learn about how the weather affected the town of Chew and Swallow in the story. It’s a fun fictional story that allows students to really use their imagination. I’ve never read this book to a student that didn’t LOVE it.

The Bremen Town Musicians

This is a great story to use as an interactive read aloud.

Lesson Plan Example: Preview the book by reading the title and looking at the illustrations. Say: “Good readers look at the illustrations prior to reading a story to make predictions about what the story will be about.”

Teacher Model: “This is a folk-fairytale and it’s funny but also has something to teach us about those who are old. Maybe you have grandparents who are too old to work at a job anymore but they are still important and helpful people. Let’s read to see what happens to the animals that run away from a master or mistress, their owners, because they heard they were no longer useful.”

Questions to ask children: “What did the animals’ owners think was wrong with their animals?”

Why Mosquitos Buzz in People’s Ears

This is such a great story for text structure. It is based on a western African folk tale. In the story, the author uses a variety of literacy devices such as onomatopoeia.

How to Teach Cause and Effect

Teacher Model: There are times when only the cause or the effect is stated, but the other is implicit and must be inferred by the reader. Using collaborative pairs, have the students share with their partner the missing cause or effect of each idea. Alternate which partner will be sharing their partner’s thoughts with the class.

Free Cause and Effect Worksheet

Another FREE Cause and Effect Worksheet

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