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This is a lesson activity on cause and effect


Language Arts  



Title – Cause and Effect
By – Jennifer Looney
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Grade Level – 4

Texas Essential Knowledge & Skills Language Arts Standards:

    110.6.a.1 Fourth grade students can identify and follow varied text structures such as chronologies and cause and effect.

Learning Objectives:

  • The student will be able to define and give an example of a cause and an effect.
  • The student will be able to write their own cause and effect.
  • The student will be able to give an effect for a given cause, or give a cause for a given effect.


  • Teachers need:
    • White board
    • White board markers
    • List of examples
  • Students need:
    • Paper and pencils

Pre-Activity preparation:

    The teacher prepares examples of cause and effect.


    Have students go back to desks and clear them off. Then take out a piece of paper and a pencil.


      “Today we are talking about cause and effect, but before that, I thought I would talk to you about my weekend.” Then write the following examples on the board:

I left my shoes on the floor, and my dog chewed them up.
I went to the grocery store and then my house had food again. Procedure:

  1. Begin by explaining that a cause is the first thing that happens, and the effect is what happens because of the cause, the outcome or result. You can remind the students that it is like a story, the character does something that then makes something else happen. It would not make sense if ” they lived happily ever after ” came before, ” the prince rescued the princess .”
  2. Then ask a volunteer to tell what part of ” I left my shoes on the floor, and my dog chewed them up ” is the cause, and then what the effect is.
  3. Repeat for the second example but reverse the order; ask for the effect first, then the cause.
  4. As they state the cause and effect circle the cause in one marker color and then underline the effect in another color.
  5. Pair up students and then number off in pairs (in each pair, one student chooses to be #1, and the other #2).
  6. #1’s are the causes and #2’s are the effects.
  7. The first round, the “cause” partner writes a cause on his or her own paper. Next the “effect” partner writes the effect on their own paper.
  8. Take time for a few groups to share.
  9. Then repeat the exercise, but have the “effects” go first, “causes” go second. Allow groups to share again. Next have everyone write a cause and an effect on their own.
  10. Pick up papers, have pairs hand in the papers together.

Closure Questions:

  • Have a volunteer explain what a cause and effect is, and then how you can tell which is which.
  • Then give an example, ” Harry is allergic to peanut butter, so he never gets to eat PB&Js; like the other kids. ” Have volunteers pick out what is the cause and what the effect is.
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