I write Cause and Effect on the Smart Board then ask a volunteer to come up and write an example of either one, but not both. A student once asked how I could write the Effect before the Cause? I asked her, "Why did you come to school this morning?" She answered, "I wanted to see my friends." I replied, "So, wanting to see your friends caused you to come to school this morning." Noticing how I had started with the effect gave the class the correct perspective. Even when a student doesn't ask this question, I share that easy to understand example.
The volunteer comes to the Smart Board to write either a Cause or an Effect, and the next student finishes the pair making sure to use the same color. The color scheme is important in showing what goes together unless the kids write straight across/draw lines.
We've been reading Tall Tales, and discussing Cause and Effect with the characters. Once we've reviewed it on the Smart Board, it's time to apply it to a charismatic Tall Tales Character they create. This Tall Tales character must possess extraordinary powers, of course.
They write out a description of their Tall Tales Character complete with name and characterisitics. They will devise Cause and Effect statements as they relate to the extraordinary powers of their character. In this section, they are simply creating their character with as much detail as possible. They also need to come up with an "Outrageous Situation" the characer finds him/herself in. At this point, they should use the detailed information to create a story. I didn't have them write a narrative about their Tall Tales character originally, but I will do so as a natural next step when I present this lesson again. You can read more about how I will adjust this lesson in my reflection.
I give them the choice to work independently or in groups. The more detail they include, the more interesting the Cause and Effect examples will be that they'll create in the next section. Using the text to determine the reasons behind why things happen is crucial to their understanding. An example of the result these statements will bring is "Benny." The cause of blasting water from his hands, leads to the effect of him getting free water.
With the newly created "Tall Tales" character fully described, it's time to take the information written and apply it. The students must think of this character they created, and determine what some of the causes of his/her extraordinary power will do to effect situations he/she may face.
I give the kids a minimum limit of writing five Cause and Effect examples. I call on volunteers to come forward and we listen carefully to the examples to see if they make sense with the selected Tall Tales Character. The kids are very creative as they come up with statements.