I reminded students that cause/effect relationships happen when one thing causes another to happen. To find the cause and the effect, we ask ourselves, “What happened? and “Why did it happen?” Why an event happens is the cause. What happened as a result of the event is the effect. I placed the cause/effect sentences from the day before on the document camera. I gave students 30 seconds to reflect on yesterday’s learning in order to give them time to make the connection to what they were going to learn today. I invited a few students to share their thoughts aloud.
I gave each student the same graphic organizer we’d used the day before with cause and effect sentences. They also received the passage we would be working on today to identify cause/effect relationships. I’d created a graphic organizer on chart paper to model and guide students. The graphic organizer helped students "see" the relationship between two events which enhanced their understanding of the concept.
I placed the passage we were reading on the document camera. I modeled reading the title and the first paragraph aloud. I identified an event as the cause and re-read to find the effect. I modeled asking myself what happened and why. I highlighted the cause in one color and the event in another color. Using color and highlighters engaged both visual and tactile learners. I wrote each event (in different colors) in the appropriate columns on the chart. I continued on with a few more examples, then students did the same during guided practice on their passages and graphic organizers.
Students had the option of working alone or in pairs during independent practice. I did this because some students need to talk through their ideas with others as they work, while other students prefer to work alone quietly. They were given either the cause or the effect in relation to the article, and they had to identify the missing part of the relationship as they read. They highlighted (or some underlined) the cause in one color and the effect in another and listed each on the graphic organizer.
I walked around to check student work and provide assistance as needed. I often had to remind students to ask themselves the two questions of why and what to correctly identify the relationship and write it in the appropriate column on the graphic organizer.
Students were assessed via a rubric. I used it to check whether students were able to identify the cause, the effect, or both. This let me know which concept students needed help with the most. In that, it was became clear that finding the effect was easier for most students. It also told me whether or not students assumed a pattern of cause then effect when reading events.
A-B Partners - Partner A turn to Partner B. Students told their partner what helped them the most in today's lesson. I wanted students to be cognizant of what helps them learn. They also heard various ideas of what helps others learn.