Identifying cause and effect relationships can be difficult for some students. I have found that using a graphic organizer increases their understanding of the relationship because they can visually 'see' the connection. To begin, I use cause/effect sentences before using the concept in longer text. The attached script and accompanying graphic organizer guide students through the concept and how to check for accuracy.
I displayed the graphic organizer on the document camera and modeled writing in the appropriate boxes as I identified the cause and the effect of each sentence. Students did the same during guided practice. They would share out answers as we worked. We did this popcorn style, meaning students said their answers without being called on. I did this because the sentences were straightforward and did not require a great deal of elaboration. However, I was sure to listen for students who answered the cause as the effect and vice versa. I note how to address that in the script.
Each student was given a practice sheet with cause and effect sentences and a cause/effect chart. I reminded them to use the questions at the top of the chart to identify the cause and the effect. I also told them to check their answers to see if the relationship made sense by going back and forth between the two parts, i.e. Jorge’s team won because he made the goal. Jorge made the goal so his team won.
I circulated the room as students worked. If I noticed a student having trouble identifying which part of the sentence went in the correct box, I guided them through the process taught earlier. I reminded them to ask what happened. Then I told them to ask why it happened. Finally, I asked them to use the chart to explain the relationship. This helped them verbalize the relationship as they checked to see if the relationship made sense.
Students' work was checked for accuracy. Eighty percent and above was considered mastery.
Ticket Out the Door – Students were asked to write how to identify cause and effect relationships. This helped cement the day’s learning. It also gave me an opportunity to see what students understood about cause/effect and identify any misconceptions.