Completing the Puzzle: Finding Cause and Effect in Nonfiction Text

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SWBAT identify cause and effect relationships in a nonfiction text.

Big Idea

Identifying the specific cause and effect relationships in a text will aid students' comprehension for all text that uses the cause and effect structure.

Joining the Pieces: Bridging the Gap Between Pictures and Text

10 minutes

We have spent the last few days learning about cause and effect examples in real life and in pictures.  I planned these lessons to scaffold the learning so that when it was time to find examples in actual text, the student would have knowledge to draw from.  This lesson begins with reviewing some of that information.  I have shoulder partners tell each other the difference between cause and effect.  

I review all the examples we've looked at so far and reminded them that the "grown up" use or interaction with cause and effect is not found in neat little boxes.  Grown ups find cause and effect in real life, in pictures and also in words and that in words they need to look for signal words.  We review the signal words:  because, since, therefore, as a result, etc.  and list them on chart paper to remind ourselves to look for them in today's text.

I then tell the students that we are doing a cause and effect project and I show them the puzzle pieces.  This project is always a hit with my students, I think, because the pieces actually fit together.  They really enjoy this project!!  In fact, one of my students said, "I just can't wait to get started!!"

I explain that they will be using Mountains by Seymour Simon to find a cause and effect relationship.  They are going to write the cause on the cause piece and the effect on the effect piece and then illustrate their puzzle pieces.  

I put my book and the puzzle pieces under the ELMO and model how to complete the pieces.

This step is essential because students are so excited to complete these that they usually write the cause and effect both on one piece and they do that for both. Modeling is a good chance to show the students to find one thing that happened for the effect and then find the cause.

The Last Few Pieces: Independent Work

30 minutes

After the modeling, I let students begin working.  As they work, I am circulating and working with students who I know are still having trouble.  

One of the things my students love to use is Sharpie markers.  When they finish and are showing me their final product, I allow them to trace their words with Sharpie to put a nice finishing touch on their project.

The Finishing Touch: Looking at the Completed Puzzle

15 minutes

After the students finish their pieces, we take the time to share.  I let the students use the ELMO to project their pieces to their classmates.  With each puzzle, we ask for a "Glow" and a "Grow" to help students assess their own work.