Lesson Plan

Analyzing Cause and Effect in Nonfiction Articles

Nonfiction texts offer a great lens into cause and effect relationships. Use this lesson plan to teach your class to compare cause-and-effect relationships across texts that share a topic.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Cause and Effect in Nonfiction Texts pre-lesson.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Cause and Effect in Nonfiction Texts pre-lesson.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to compare cause-and-effect relationships between texts on a shared topic.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments

Introduction

(10 minutes)
  • Divide your students into pairs and have them make a list of three to five things that can go wrong in their day, listing a cause and effect related to one or more of those events:
  • Event: missed the bus
  • Cause: sister took too long getting ready
  • Effect: got to school late
  • Allow students to share out their events, causes, and effects, making sure to clarify event, causes, and effects.
  • Share with your class the lesson objective: Teach how to analyze cause-and-effect relationships in nonfiction texts on a shared topic. Add that cause is an event or idea, while effect is what happens as a result of the cause.

Beginning

  • Pre-teach the words "cause" and "effect" using the Frayer Model.
  • Show students cause-and-effect images (e.g., an image of a student getting a shot and an image of a student crying).
  • Provide examples of cause and effect in students' home language (L1).

Intermediate

  • Allow students to choose to use L1 or L2 when discussing things that can go wrong in their day.
  • Allow students to use sentence stems during the group discussion (e.g., "The cause was ____________ and the effect was____________").