To open and transition into our reading, I like to lead a quick review as a discussion point. To start, I ask the class to look back at yesterday's read paragraphs and skim them to jog their memory. I then choose a student to lead by selecting something from what we have read the previous day. That student then leads a discussion on what they remember. When they are finished they call on another student who adds to what the previous person says. When the conversation winds down, I move onto today's lesson. It is also helpful to keep time on the conversation in case they really get into it and you need to move on.
Now that we have a good base for what we already know and what we have activated for today's learning. I ask students to recall what we remember about cause and effect relationships. I will even bring up what we have previously done to help. I practice with them by giving them a cause and then having the class to answer what the effect would be. An example, "if you study really hard for your history test, what might the effect be?" I then give them the effect and ask for the cause, an example, "you have to go to a dentist appointment today at 2:00 for fillings, what might be the cause?"
We are know ready to dive into our reading. I have set up the lesson and have their brains focusing on cause and effect. Before we being reading, I ask students to help me find a cause and effect relationship. When I was planning this lesson, I looked for an example to use close to the beginning of today's reading.
Once we read the section that I have preselected, I ask students to help me determine the cause and effect within the paragraphs. The cause I use for an example comes straight from the text, and I add it in my own words to a T-Chart on the white board. The example, "Spaniards that were left in the fort at La Navidad went after gold and women within the Native villages." I then asked the students to skim the text and look back for what the text says happens next. Students were quick to find and recite the part in the text that answers the effect. In this case, students found the effect to be that when Columbus came back to La Navidad it had been wiped out and no Spaniards were found. This led to great conversation on why the result ended up the way it did.
The next part of the lesson is guided practice and will be done in pair groups. The goal is to work together and have all students actively engaged in practicing how to determine cause and effect. I start by putting the class into pairs. I take the liberty to put them into pairs I have chosen. I choose them based on reading and comprehension skills. I also look for pairs that will work together well. We all know how bad that can be when they don't get along.
Once in pairs, I inform them that they will each now have a role and a new name. One student will be "Cause" and the other "Effect." As we read they will be in charge of writing and finding cause and effect relationships. The "Cause" will write the cause and the "Effect" will write the effect. They can help each other find a relationship and determining the cause and effect.
Students will now determine who is which part. As they do this, I hand each pair a lined piece of paper. The next step is folding the paper in half and labeling the two halves cause and effect. This will be where students will write their findings.
To help guide them through the process, I take the burden of reading and decoding away by reading to them. I want their focus on cause and effect and if they are trying to do both I am afraid many groups will not get very far.
I will read a few paragraphs and students will follow along. They need to follow along so that they know where to look for the information to use on their paper. I explain that when I put the book down it is their cue to start skimming and writing a cause and effect from the text. I will do this three times so that they will have three of their own examples to turn in along with the one we did together.