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EL Support Lesson
Signal Cause and Effect
Students will be able to identify cause and effect relationships in informational text.
Students will be able to describe cause and effect relationships with signal words using a graphic organizer.
- Write the phrase staying up too late on the board. Ask students to think about what makes them to do that and what happens afterwards.
- Allow students to discuss in partnerships or a small group. Accept student responses and record them in a T-Chart with one side dedicated to the Causes and one side to the Effects.
- Explain that every event has causes and effects in our lives, and the same goes for texts. Go over the objective for the lesson and tell students that they will be focusing on signal words to show cause and effect relationships.
Building academic language
- Give each student a set of Vocabulary Cards and read each word aloud. Have students repeat the words to practice pronunciation. Then, read aloud the definitions and have students repeat them aloud.
- Provide examples of causes and effects in written and visual format. (e.g., Sentence: She worked hard, so she passed her test.) Invite students to suggest cause and effect relationships in complete sentences. Record a few examples on the board.
- Point out the cause, effect, and signal word in the example first sentence. (e.g., Cause: She worked hard. Effect: She passed her test. The signal word is so.) Engage the class in pointing out the cause, effect, and signal words in the other sentences.
- Instruct students to add an example or image in the empty space on each Vocabulary Card. Allow learners to discuss their options and choices with a partner or small group. Have them share out as a class.
- Tell students that you can identify cause and effect relationships by looking and listening for signal words. Display a piece of chart paper with each of the signal words: since, so, because, as a result.
- Explain that we are going to practice creating sentences using each of these signal words. Present example sentences for each signal word and write them on each chart:
- I was very hungry all morning since I forgot to eat breakfast.
- I lost my jacket so I was cold at recess.
- He got wet because he forgot his umbrella.
- She ran around outside and as a result, she was thirsty.
- Put students into partnerships and give them four sticky notes. Instruct them to create sentences together using each of the signal words, writing one sentence on each sticky note. Have them place the sticky note on the corresponding chart paper labeled with the signal word.
- Read through the sticky notes and pick out examples to display on the document camera. Engage the class in identifying the cause, effect, and signal word in each sentence.
- Distribute a copy of the Identifying Cause and Effect with Signal Words worksheet to each student. Go over the directions and explain that there are signal words in the text to help identify cause and effect relationships.
- Read aloud the passage and instruct students to circle any unfamiliar words they wish to discuss. Think aloud and model underlining the first sentence, pointing out the signal word so. Go to the second part of the worksheet, read the directions, and show students how to put that sentence into the graphic organizer.
- Invite students to participate in finding the second cause and effect sentence. Have them explain how they would break up the sentence to complete the next row on the graphic organizer. Provide a sentence stem for students as they explain: The cause/effect/signal word is...
- Put students into partnerships and have them find the last two cause and effect sentences together. Remind them to underline the sentence and then fill out the rows in the graphic organizer by identifying the cause, effect, and signal word.
Additional EL adaptations
- Allow access to reference materials in the EL's home language (L1).
- Have learners repeat instructions and key vocabulary to the teacher.
- Pair students with supportive peers or more advanced ELs as partners.
- Frontload vocabulary from the passage on the Identifying Cause and Effect with Signal Words worksheet.
- Provide sentence frames for students to use as they share information with partners and the whole group.
- Allow learners to utilize glossaries and dictionaries for unfamiliar words.
- Choose advanced ELs to share their ideas first in group and class discussions.
- Have learners repeat instructions and key vocabulary, summarizing important information for the class.
Formative Assessment of Academic Language(5 minutes)
- Give each student a blank piece of paper and have them label it Cause and Effect. Instruct them to draw what they understand about the topic of cause and effect, as well as signal words. Allow them to use words to label things, but challenge them to use as few words as possible.
Review and closing(3 minutes)
- Have students share their drawings that show what they understand about cause and effect.
- Review that cause and effect relationships are found in our daily lives, fiction text, and nonfiction texts. There are key words that help you identify the relationships. When we make connections between things in texts, we have a better understanding of the topic and what we are reading.