Text Structures: Cause and Effect

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SWBAT define the Cause and Effect Text Structure.

Big Idea

Continuing the study of Text Structures with a focus on Cause and Effect


This is day two of a four week unit where students will first become familiar with the five Text Structures, then identify each of them in new text, and finally use each of them in their writing.


10 minutes

Connection: I always start by connecting today’s lesson to something kids have previously learned so that it triggers their schema and background knowledge. Since I introduced Text Structures the previous day, I start by reminding them that Text Structure refers to how the information within a written text is organized. Then I refer back to the anchor chart that they glued into their Reader’s Notebook (see resource from davisandsloanELA.wikispaces.com).


Teaching Point: This is when I tell kids explicitly what we will be working on. I say, “Today, we will be focusing on the Cause and Effect Text Structure, which is when one event causes another event to happen. The cause is why something happened and the effect is what happened because of it. Refer back to the anchor chart that they glued in their Reader’s Notebooks, which is made by davisandsloanELA.wikispaces.com, and take a closer look at the Cause and Effect section. Point out the picture cue (dominoes) and ask students how it relates to the Text Structure. They should say that because the first domino is falling (why) then it is causing the next one to fall (what) and then it continues with the next one and so on.


Active Engagement: This is where students get to try out the strategy that I just taught them. I show them a video called “Cause and Effect” from the Scholastic Storyworks Video Archive  (http://storyworks.scholastic.com/Video-Archive). I draw a t-chart and write Cause on the left and Effect on the right. I ask them to recap any examples of Cause and Effect in this video.  Once they share, I add them to the t-chart with the cause on the left and the effect on the right.  


Link to Ongoing Work: During this portion of the mini-lesson, I give the students a task that they will focus on during Independent Reading time. Now that we’ve focused on the Cause and Effect Text Structure, I tell them that when they are reading today, their job is to identify and write at least one example on a sticky note from any of the informational books in their browsing boxes. At the end of Reader’s Workshop, they will place their sticky note in their number “parking spot” on the Post-It Parking Lot and then gather at the carpet to share a few examples. I remind students that I will only share sticky notes that are complete and correct with their name, class number (in case it falls off the parking lot), title of their text, and then their assigned task.


Guided Practice

45 minutes

Transition Time: Every day after the mini-lesson, students get 5 minutes of Prep Time to choose new books (if needed), find a comfy spot, use the bathroom, and anything else they might need to do to prepare for 40 minutes of uninterrupted Independent Reading.  


Guided Practice: Today, I would be conferencing with students right at their comfy spots and asking them to share summaries from the book they are reading. This is also when I could pull students for assessments, one-on-one reading, strategy groups, or guided reading groups. Because this portion of Reader’s Workshop is meant to be flexible and student based, it is not beneficial to plan too far ahead of time. Instead, you should gauge which students may need extra support through the mini-lesson, prior assessments, reading levels, overall ability and need for scaffolding. For Cause and Effect Text Structure support, I will read with specific students, either with their own books or a teacher selected book, and help them identify different Cause and Effect examples.


5 minutes

At the end of 40 minutes, I remind students that their job during reading time was to complete a sticky note with their name, class #, text title, and an example of Cause and Effect. Then I ask them to place it in their designated class # spot on the Post-It Parking Lot. While students are putting their browsing boxes away, I scan the sticky notes to find a few great examples to share. Once students gather at the carpet, I share the complete and correct examples with the class. I then tell them that we will continue our Text Structure work tomorrow. Reader’s Workshop has come to an end.