Cause and Effect Relationships and Some Freebies

Cause and Effect is one of the hardest concepts to teach and understand for many students. I have a few ideas that might make teaching cause and effect a little easier for you and your students. 
FREE Cause and Effect Poster
The first thing you will need when teaching cause and effect is a poster to show how cause and effect relationships work. You can create one yourself or use this FREE poster on the left. Just click on the picture to download this FREE cause and effect poster. The poster can help reinforce the concept of cause and effect relationships for students to understand better. Students can refer back to the poster when reviewing or applying their own concepts of cause and effect. 
How do you show students how cause and effect works? Here are some ideas to use that don't cost anything or take time to make. 

  • Turn on and off the lights in the classroom.  What's the cause of the darkness (flipping the switch) and the effect (the room got darker)? 
  • Blow up a balloon and pop it with a needle. What caused the balloon to pop?
  • Roll a ball to knock over dominos. What made the dominos fall?
  • Put an ice cube outside to melt. What caused the ice cube to melt? What was the effect of the ice melting? 
There are many ways to show students cause and effect relationships that you can find around the classroom. You can use other examples they may understand, like "If I do my homework, I'll learn new things."

Here is a sentence example I give students: The girl fell off her bike when she hit a rock. I ask students which is the cause and which is the effect of this sentence? The cause always answers why. So I ask the students, "Why did the girl fall off her bike?" Because she hit a rock. But if I ask, "Why did she hit a rock?", the answer cannot be because she fell off her bike. The cause will always answer why and the effect will always show what happened. 
If it was cold outside, how would you know it? Maybe by putting on a jacket or hat. Why would you need a jacket or a hat? Because it's cold outside. The desire to stay warm is the cause and wearing warm clothes is the effect. When something happens because something else makes it happen, it's cause and effect. 
When students recognize cause and effect relationships, it can help them understand how and why events happen in a story. It can also help them understand a character's feelings, actions, or motivations. When we learn about events that happen which cause other events to happen we are learning about cause and effect relationships. 
Cause and Effect Flower Graphic Organizer
Here is a FREE graphic organizer to show different ways what could happen because of a cause. Use the middle of the flower to list a cause like, "Thunderstorms". Use the petals on the flower to show the effects because of the cause, like "broken branches, flooding, lightning.  
Cause and Effect Ideas and Activities
You will need some examples of cause and effect sentences and ideas to show students. This pack is loaded with teaching material or ideas to use as part of your lessons or at centers. Here are some examples in the pack:
Cause and Effect IdeasCause and EffectCause and Effect Preview
Winter Cause and Effect
I also have a small version of cause and effect in a winter theme. This pack offers a poster to display cause and effect relationships, task cards to match cause with the effect, a story about Penny the penguin, and 4 worksheets with a winter theme. Click the picture on the left to read more about what's included in the pack and to check out the preview.  
You will find plenty to do in both packs that show examples of cause and effect relationships. All ideas are great for your reading centers or for your cause and effect lessons.  
Here is a list of literature books I've used that have a lot of Cause/Effect relationships in them. I found some great deals on Amazon:

Hopefully you've picked up a few ideas to use with your cause and effect unit. Cause and effect is an important critical thinking skill that will lead to a deeper understanding of the events in a book or even in their own lives.
Thanks for stopping by today!
See you soon,


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