Thursday, July 30, 2009

More with Cause and Effect

Last year, I found that some of my students had a very hazy notion of cause and effect. Some of them didn't realize that causes ALWAYS come before effects. Think about how this affects their reading. When asked to find a cause for something, these students didn't know that they should start their search toward the beginning of the article. These students also had trouble distinguishing causes from effects. When asked to brainstorm possible causes for an event, they made lists of effects instead. Think about how this poor understanding affects their day-to-day interactions with other students!

I posted a simple activity on TeachersPayTeachers. I happen to like the card activities that get kids up and moving. With this one, students get a cause or an effect, and then walk around the room to try to find the coordinating card. Then they decide who has the cause and who has the effect. It's simple, but it gets kids talking and moving, and is a nice introduction to the text structure.

I've worked to refine and create some teaching tools for cause and effect. I posted a slideshow to introduce causes and effects over on Slideshare. It was fun to make--Aidan was a willing helper! Although now he wants to crack eggs on the sidewalk every day...I guess that was an unexpected effect.

1 comment:

  1. Love this idea. I used to put leaves on the fans at West, then turn the fans on. We had some heated discussions over the cause (gravity or the fan?) which led me into causal chains. The effect was always raucous good fun when leaves came down all over us.