After reading aloud the book, we completed a cause and effect matching activity. For this activity, students matched a blue muffin (cause) with a pink muffin (effect). Or for a more challenging version, you may use black and white versions of the muffins so that students have to figure out the causes and effects for themselves.
If you would like a copy of the activity, you may purchase one my clicking on the image above or below. (You will be redirected to my TPT store.)
The next day, we began reading several short articles. I have found that articles about endangered animals and weather work extremely well with cause and effect. As usual, my go-to magazines were Scholastic News and Ranger Rick. To be honest, I was very surprised that the students were so fascinated with the article Ghost Cat. This article is about snow leopards, and the students must have had at least a hundred questions! (The beautiful illustrations certainly helped!)
With the first two articles, I typed up a mixed list of causes and effects. In previous lessons, I had just given students a list of causes or effects. This required students to switch their thinking. At first, students had a difficult time, but really improved over the week.
Students glued the causes and effects into their reader's notebooks, and we completed the charts together.
I used the final article about weather as an assessment. Students independently completed the graphic organizer below for the article. I really like this graphic organizer because it also asks students to explain their reasoning. They have to explain how or why the cause leads to the effect in each situation. If you would like your own copy of the graphic organizer, click on the image below.
Do you have any "tried and true" books or topics for teaching cause and effect?