My students have become quite good at identifying cause and effect, but I wanted to kick things up a notch and have them write their own cause and effect sentences. To get things started we read Oh the Thinks You Can Think! (by Dr. Seuss) . We talked about the creative, unique characters, and settings that Dr. Seuss creates in his writing, and went on to think about cause and effect as it relates to Oh the Thinks You can Think!. I wrote sentences from the story on the board and as a class we thought of causes to go with the sentences:
book quote: "And think about BEFT. Why is it that beft always go to the left?"
student generated cause and effect: Beft go to the left because they are scared of the monster on the right.
book quote: "And what would you do if you met a JIBOO?"
student generated cause and effect: If I met a JIBOO I would ask him to play soccer because he is nice.
Creating Original Cause and Effect Sentences and Independent Practice
After this activity we made silly cause and effect sentences as a group, and then students were asked to create 5, Dr Seuss inspired, cause and effect sentences and write them in their journals. Once this was done students chose one sentence to write and illustrate. Illustrations were done in a comic strip format. the first box showing the cause and the second showing the effect.
Students enjoyed this activity once they got started, but it was challenging for some of them to write their own cause and effect at first. It's one thing to identify cause and effect when reading, but higher level thinking skills are required when you are writing your own!
It's always fun to see what "Thinks" my students can "Think"!!