How to teach cause and effect to elementary kids

The children’s book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff [HarperCollins, 1985] is the story of a little mouse who leads a young boy on a series of adventures beginning with a cookie. The little boy in the story discovers that there are consequences to all of the mouse’s antics. Elementary teachers can use the story to teach students the concepts of cause and effect.

Elementary Cause and Effect Lesson Objective

The students will demonstrate understanding of cause and effect by correctly completing “If…Then” statements.

Introduce Cause and Effect to Elementary Kids

The teacher will begin the cause and effect lesson by showing the students a raw egg. The teacher places a large container on the floor and asks the kids what happens if you drop an egg. She writes, “If you drop an egg, then _.” On the front board and writes the students responses underneath.

The teacher drops the egg into the bin and shows the students what happened. The teacher fills out the “then” blank on the board. The teacher circles the words in the blank and tells the kids that what happens is called an effect. She underlines the “If you drop an egg” portion of the sentence. The teacher tells the class that the reason that something happens is called the cause. The kids label the cause and effect of the egg drop on the board.

Use If You Give a Mouse a Cookie to Teach Cause and Effect

The teacher shows the students the cover of the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. The teacher reads the title and asks the students if that sounds like a cause. The students respond yes and the teacher tells the kids that the word if is a clue word that they can use to help them identify the cause.

The teacher asks the students what they think will be the effect of giving a moose a muffin. She copies the title onto the front board and completes the sentence with the students’ answers. The teacher explains to the students that If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is full of causes and effects.

The teacher reads the story If You Give a Mouse a Cookie to the elementary students. The teacher pauses throughout the story to have the kids predict the effects of the causes in the book. The teacher notes the use of if and then and shows the kids how the effect of one cause can become the cause of another effect.

Once the students have read the story and practiced identifying cause and effect the teacher reviews what cause and effect are. She then writes five “if…then” sentences on the board leaving either the cause or the effect in each sentence blank. The students copy and complete the sentences with logical answers. The teacher assists the students if necessary.

Elementary teachers can use the story If You Give a Mouse a Cookie to teach students about cause and effect. Kids can use the popular children’s book to identify causes and effects in a story and then complete “if…then” statements to demonstrate understanding of the concept.

Teach Elementary Students How to Sequence Events

Teaching elementary students how to sequence events in a story helps to increase their comprehension skills. When students can organize the information they read, they can better understand the assigned text and more easily assimilate new information. Sequencing story events is an important skill for successful readers.

If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff [HarperCollins, 2002] is a circular story for primary school age students. The book follows the adventures of a mouse who accompanies a boy to school. Teachers can use If You Take a Mouse to School to teach students how to sequence story events.

How to Sequence Plot Events Reading Lesson Objective

Students will use picture cards to correctly sequence the plot events in If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff.

Introduce Plot Events in a Story to Elementary Kids

The teacher asks the students what they did this morning before they came to school. The class then discusses what they have done so far that day at school. The teacher explains to the students that the things that they have done are the events of their day.

The students make predictions about events that they think might occur in the story. The teacher reads the story to the class and discusses the events that the mouse did before, during, and after school with the little boy.

The class creates a list of plot events from If You Take a Mouse to School. The students use the story to check to make sure their plot event list is complete and that the events are in the order that they occurred in the book.

The teacher passes out blank index cards to the students. She instructs the students to write a story event for If You Take a Mouse to School on each card and draw a picture to illustrate the scene.

The teacher explains to the students that when you put things in order it is called sequencing. She tells the kids to mix up the story event cards and put them in the proper sequence. The students use the book to sequence the story events.

Once the students have correctly sequenced the story events, the teacher pairs each student with a partner. The kids mix up the cards and switch them with their partner. The students correctly sequence the plot event cards without using the story. They check their work with their partners and correct any mistakes.

If You Take a Mouse to School can be used to teach students how to sequence story events. Once kids learn how to sequence teachers can also use If You Take a Mouse to School to learn about the importance of a daily schedule and routine.

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Author: knowledge herald

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