7 Ways to Teach Cause and Effect

Are you looking for ways to teach cause and effect? I love to think outside the box and find ways to teach reading skills in a variety of ways to meet the needs of all learners. I hope you find some ways that are helpful to your students!

First, offer an anchor chart. Tell students that cause and effect is found in both fiction and nonfiction material. In fiction, the cause-effect relationship is often found in characters.

For example, Maddie was being bullied so she didn’t want to go to school.

The cause is Maddie was being bullied.

The effect is she didn’t want to go to school.

In nonfiction, cause and effect relationships are used to explain many social studies and science concepts.

For example, The battle began because there was a disagreement over taxes.

The cause is a disagreement over taxes.

The effect is the battle began.

Next, offer mentor text. Below you will see a fun example using the Nursery Rhyme, Little Miss Muffet. Also show cause and effect in other books. Suggestions:

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff


1. Photos: 

Find photos that can show cause and effect. Show them and the casue and effect relationship. some photos may have more than one!

2. Interactive Notebook: 

Use the flower example from the anchor chart. Give each student a flower pattern to cut out. Students then need to write notes on the outside and flip open a pedal to write the signal words.

3. Matching: 

Make cards with cause on one and effect on the other. Mix them up and have students match them.

4. Nursery Rhyme Detective:

Invite students to crack the case of finding a cause and effect in a Nursery Rhyme! They will love it! You can either have them research on their own or provide nursery rhymes for them to crack open!

5. Student Samples with Illustrations:

Students need to create their own cause and effect sentences and identify the cause and effect. Illustrating them is always motivating too!

6. Practice Page with Color-Coding:

Allow students to use two different color crayons, pens, or pencils- even highlighers- when finding the cause and effect in a sentence. Not only is it more motivational for them, it makes for easy grading!

7. Task Cards:

Who can’t use task cards? Task cards can be used with any board game, in a center, or for reteaching!

I hope you found something to use in your classroom! All of these ideas and more are included in my Cause and Effect study unit!


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