(Hook - Teacher drops eraser on the floor and asks what caused the eraser to drop to the floor. Students respond with a variety of answers.)
I tell my scholars that today we will discuss cause and effect. A cause is "why" something happens. The effect is "what" happened. The cause of the eraser dropping on the floor is gravity. Gravity is the force which causes objects to fall to the Earth. The effect or what happened is the eraser fell to the floor.
Now, I allow them to practice by working with a partner. One person says an effect or "what" happens and the other says a cause of that effect or "why" it happened.
Next, I tell them that I want them to work independently and make a list of at least 5 things that happened in the story Because of Winn-Dixie on the right side of the T-chart graphic organizer. Then list the causes of those things happening on the left side of the graphic organizer. Once they have their list, I will check over it and then they may select 1 cause and 1 effect and create a cause and effect poster of that event.
Now, we'll take a gallery walk to see what events were illustrated on the cause and effect posters. When students do their gallery walk, I ask them to see if they can determine what is the cause and effect being illustrated on the poster, write it on a post-it note, and stick it next to the illustration.