Children often ask "Why?" questions. Why is the sky blue? Why does a ball
bounce? Why do I have to go to sleep now? All "why" questions ask about the
cause of something. A cause is something that makes something else happen. If
you hit a glass of milk with your elbow and it spills, your hitting the glass
was the cause of the milk spilling. The spilled milk is called the effect.
Every minute of the day is filled with cause and effect situations.
Here is an introductory lesson.
Teacher says, " Today we are going to talk about why thing might happen.
Let's read this nursery rhyme together.
Hickory dickory dock
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck one
The mouse ran down
Hickory dickory dock.
Now the teacher asks the children:"What do you suppose might have caused the
mouse to run up the clock? Nobody really knows the answer and we can't ask
the mouse, so let's make predictions. Why did the mouse run UP the clock?
Let's try to think of many, varied ideas, I will write them on this chart."
Possible responses might include:
There was cheese at the top
A cat was chasing the mouse.
The mouse heard footsteps and became afraid.
The mouse was looking for a new home.
It was cold on the floor and the mouse thought it would be warmer on
(Certainly these are just a few example of possible responses.)
A similar activity can ask the students to predict what might have caused the
mouse to run DOWN the clock.
Some possible responses might include:
The chime scared the mouse,
The clock hand hit him.
It was too dusty and he sneezed and lost his balance.
The doorbell rang and he went to answer it.
He got hungry and went to look for food.
A cat climbed on a chair and was ready to pounce on the mouse.
Students can also be asked to make many, varied predictions about the effects
of a situation. On a separate day, so as not to confuse them, pupils should
be given an activity that asks them to generate predictions about effects.
What might happen if....?