Grade: Elementary

#2899. What Caused This?

Reading/Writing, level: Elementary
Posted Sun Jul 13 09:13:04 PDT 2003 by Sandy Scarborough (
Brennen Elementary, Columbia, SC
Materials Required: magazines, glue, scissors,construction paper, pencil, marker
Activity Time: 20-30 minutes
Concepts Taught: Understanding cause and effect

Introduce the concept of cause and effect to the class,using many examples that the kids will relate to. (For example,say, "Jay was running in the line". Tell them that this is the cause. What is the effect? Students will give their responses to this question. Since this is an open-ended type of question, there are no wrong answers. Students like this! Next, give the kids a cause, and ask them what the effect might be.) The follow-up hands-on activity will help reinforce the basic idea. Give each student a magazine with lots of pictures. Each child will cut out one picture that shows something happening. The students will fold their paper in half, and on the left side write "CAUSE", and on the right, "EFFECT". Students will glue their picture on the right side of the paper, then write a short sentence about what is happening in the picture. This is the effect. Then ask each child to think about what might have caused this to happen, and tell them to write a short sentence telling why this happened. Again, this is open-ended, so there can be many acceptable responses. The kids are challenged to be creative, and many arrive at some great answers. Most like to draw a picture to show the cause, but they don't have to. You can do the same activity by telling the kids to glue their picture on the "cause" side of the paper, then write and illustrate the effect on the other side. My kids have enjoyed sharing their "Cause and Effect" posters with their classmates.