EL Support Lesson
Cause and Effect Structure
Students will be able to identify multiple effects that match corresponding causes using evidence from a text.
Students will be able to identify cause and effect relationships with signal words using graphic organizers.
- Display and read the passage in the Cause and Effect: Structure worksheet. Highlight the key terms (i.e., because, due to, since) in the first paragraph as you read through the text.
- Ask students to share their thoughts on the text structure of the passage. Allow a few students to share their ideas. They should notice that there are a lot of cause-and-effect relationships and the words you highlighted are signal words that help them understand the text structure better. (Note: display the chart in the Nonfiction Text Structures Part 2: Cause and Effect worksheet for a visual aid of the different text structures.)
- Have a volunteer read the student-friendly language objective: “I can identify the cause-and-effect text structure with signal words using graphic organizers.”
Building academic language
- Define text structure and signal words. Tell students to look at the worksheet you highlighted and write the signal words on the board. Have students say the words as students write them on the board.
- Draw a two-box flow chart with the heading "Cause" in the first box that points to the second box with the heading "Effect." Define the words cause and effect.
- Organize the signal words into the two-box flow chart so that the cause signal words (e.g., "since," "due to," "if," "cause") are in the "Cause" box, and the same is true for the "Effect" box (e.g., "then," "because," "as a result," "effect"). Allow students to provide input on the signal words placement.
- Have students turn and talk to their partner for one minute and answer the following question: “How do the ideas about cause-and-effect text structure relate to something you already know?” Allow volunteers to share their answers aloud.
- Display the Cause and Effect: Structure worksheet again and choose a sentence from the first paragraph to dissect that has a signal word, a cause, and a effect (e.g., "Since the droplets get heavier and heavier, they eventually fall as rain."). Draw a two-box flow chart labeled "Cause" and "Effect" and place the events in the chart.
- Ask students to work in groups with three-minute rotations to complete a carousel activity with the sentences written on the chart papers posted around the room. Assign each group their own color and allow them to work for three minutes to label the signal word “SW,” the cause “C,” and the effect “E.” Then, have the groups rotate so that they're at a new chart paper so they can complete a two-chart flow chart with the sentence. Have students rotate one last time to check the answers on the next chart paper.
- Ask groups to share aloud if they had to change information from a different groups' chart. Ask them to share struggles they saw from the chart paper they corrected.
- Display and distribute the Cause and Effect: Structure worksheet and read aloud the text in its entirety. Then, ask a volunteer to read it aloud while the other students choral read. Lastly, ask another student to tell what the text is about in one sentence (e.g., "It talks about rain in general and gives an example of too much rain.").
- Tell students to use the signal words listed on the board to label the signal word “SW” in the text. Have them switch partners to reread the text and label the cause “C” and the effect “E” for each signal word.
- Ask volunteers to share their answers with the class and correct any misconceptions as necessary. Allow advanced ELs to explain their reasoning for at least one cause-and-effect relationship.
- Have volunteers share their cause-and-effect relationships that do not have signal words. If time remains, have them discuss aloud when the word because does or does not show a cause-and-effect relationship.
Additional EL adaptations
- Allow students to use their home language (L1) or their new language (L2) in all their conversations.
- Allow them to use the Illustrating the Cause and Effects Reading Log worksheet during their readings to help them visualize the cause-and-effect relationships.
- Provide word banks and phrases for students to help them complete the flow charts in the formative assessment with the Cause and Effect Graphic Organizer worksheet. Allow them to reread the text in partners and then aloud again before completing the writing assignment. Shorten the assignment if necessary.
- Pre-teach vocabulary from the passage on the Cause and Effect: Structure worksheet by providing written and visual definitions (e.g., precipitation, monsoon, water droplets).
- Have learners repeat instructions and key vocabulary to the teacher before their independent and partner work.
- Challenge students to identify the cause-and-effect relationships in the Cause and Effect: Structure worksheet that do not have signal words. Ask them to explain how they know that it’s a cause-and-effect relationship.
Formative Assessment of Academic Language(7 minutes)
- Ask students to reread the passage in the Cause and Effect: Structure worksheet.
- Have students draw three two-box flow charts on the back of the paper. Have them complete the flow charts so that they write three total cause-and-effect relationships.
- Ask students to share their answers with their partners and adjust their answers as necessary.
Review and closing(5 minutes)
- Ask students to answer the following question in partners: “What do you wonder or what is still hard to understand about cause-and-effect text structure?” Allow volunteers to share their ideas with the whole class.
- Explain to students that understanding how to look for clues, or signal words, in texts will help them understand their nonfiction reading. Remind them that when they preview texts, they should always look for signal words to help them understand the context for what they'll read.