September 15, 2017
by Byron Delcomb

Lesson plan

Reading Logs to Go!

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Students will be able to describe and illustrate instances of cause and effect from the beginning, middle, and ending of their fiction readings.

(5 minutes)
  • Ask your students for a volunteer for a brief demonstration of arm strength.
  • Have the student hold either hand straight out in front of them (preferably over a desk or table), where you will place one book at a time to see how many they can hold.
  • Place one book after another on their hand until they fall on the table and ask your class: What happened in terms of cause and effect?
  • Clarify: “Because the books were too heavy, the effect was that the books fell.”
  • Share that today’s lesson has to do with cause, effect, and fiction books! Explain that cause and effect are events where one (cause) precedes the other (effect).
(10 minutes)
  • Read aloud a fiction selection to your students where you can draw at least three instances of cause and effect.
  • Complete the Early in the Reading portion of the Illustrating Cause and Effects Reading Log worksheet in front of your students.
(5 minutes)
  • Hand out and preview double-sided copies of the Illustrating Cause and Effects Reading Log worksheet to your class.
  • Lead your students through the middle and ending portion of the Illustrating Cause and Effects Reading Log worksheet as you analyze the earlier read-aloud.
(10 minutes)
  • Ask your students to turn over and complete their Illustrating Cause and Effects Reading Log worksheet using a fiction text of their choice.


  • Provide pre-selected leveled fiction texts for your students.
  • Teach this lesson after independent reading time with an emphasis on fiction texts.
  • Have your students use a sentence frame like, “Because , the effect was ,” to clearly describe instances of cause and effect.


  • Have students draft a graphic novel summary of their reading including cause-and-effect events from the story.
  • Students can illustrate finely detailed cause and effect posters with fine details and color.
  • Offer optional reading logs related to poetry or theme, (see Suggested Media).
  • Overhead, document, or smartboard projectors make for easy student viewing during teacher-modeling.
  • With wireless technology, it is often possible to take pictures of student models or student work and print them to a wireless printer. Investigate the possibilities!
(5 minutes)
  • Show your students pictures in two sets of four that reflect cause and effect.
  • Number the panels: A-1, 2, 3, 4 and B-1, 2, 3, 4.
  • Have your students present a show of fingers on each hand (A pictures on the left hand and B pictures on the right hand) for the matching panels. For example, students would hold up one finger on their one hand and three fingers on their other hand if illustrations 1 and 3 were a match.
(10 minutes)
  • DISCUSS: What instances of cause and effect do you share with characters from stories of other places and time?

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