Lesson: Cause and Effect - Analyze Details

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Lesson Objective

Students be able to analyze the details in the story to identify the cause and effect relationships within.

Lesson Plan

Objective:  Students will be able to identify a chain of events within the story and be able to explain how one event will lead to another and continue a cycle of causes and effects. 

Lesson Plan

Standard/Code/Name:  Cause and Effect (Chain of Events)


Opening (5-10 minutes):

Direct Instruction:  Bryan Chick, the author does a really great job illustrating and explaining cause and effect.  For every clue that the Action Scouts have been given, it has helped them to figure out what they need to do next in order to solve the mystery of where Megan is, which in turn leads them to go somewhere else and get more clues. 

Let me give you an example of cause and effect:  I (teacher) gets up late for work (cause)àdoes not have time to make copies for the day (consequence)àdoes not have time to make copies for the day (cause) à unprepared to teach his class (consequence)à unprepared to teach his class (cause)à students become bored with the lesson and act out (consequence) à and so on and so on.

When we are looking at “The Secret Zoo” and the clues that are given, to the Action Scouts and us as readers, cause and effects of these clues helps us to put the story in better sequence for us.

Clue Number 1:  A bird comes to Noah’s window and hands him a piece of paper:

“Come   to   the ClarksvilleCity Zoo and   See Our New Friend, Mr. Tall Tail!!”     

What did this event cause to happen?  As a good reader I can remember that this told Noah that he needed to go the see Mr. Tall Tail at the Langur House.

·        Record this on the “Mysterious Causes and Effects” sheet (see attached file).

What does this cause to happen?  Looking back in the story, Mr. Tall Tail passes Noah another clue:

Getting both of these clues were crucial to the plot, because these clues told Noah where he had to go next.  Where did he go?  He had to go The Forest of Flight!!!  (RECORD THESE IN THE CAUSE AND EFFECTS ORGANIZER).

Guided Practice (WE DO):

Continue analyzing the clues that were given to Noah and the other Action Scouts.


o       What event is this the cause for?  What happens next?





Help students to fill in the Mysterious Causes and Effects Sheet as a class.

Read Chapters 31-32 with the class. 

Independent Practice (YOU DO): 

Split students into two groups.

1.      Students will be concentrating ONLY on Ella and Richie

2.      Students will be concentrating ONLY on Noah (see attached files)

BOTH GROUPS will start from the event where Noah takes off for the zoo after receiving his “mail” from the cheetah.

BOTH GROUPS will end when Noah, Ella, and Richie make it to “Sector 17.”

As students finish up their Cause-Effect class work, pass them the other half of the cause and effects (students doing Noah’s C/E should get Ella and Richie’s, and vice versa).  (Make an exemplary Cause and Effect Timeline for each of the two groups)

Facilitate a small discussion about how they both started off at the same point and totally different experiences but ended up at the same place once again – The City of Species!


Read Chapters 33-36 and complete the question sheet (see attached file)

Lesson Resources

Lesson 42Mysterious Cause and Effects   Activity
Lesson 42 HOMEWORK   Homework
Lesson 42 Cause and Effects NOAH   Classwork
Lesson 42 Cause and Effects ELLA AND RICHIE   Classwork
Lesson 42   Lesson Plan


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