Lessons & Units

Cause and Effect 3rd Grade Unit


Lesson 1 Cause and Effect Signal Words Use signal words (if, then, because, since, so, before, after) to show cause-and-effect relationships.
Lesson 2 Implicit Effects Describe implicit effects when given a cause.
Lesson 3 Implicit Cause and Effect Relationships Identify implicit cause-and-effect relationships in nonfiction.

Unit Extension Ideas

  • During read alouds, discuss how one cause can lead to several effects, several causes can result in one effect, or there can be multiple causes and effects in a story (chain of events).
  • In literature groups, discuss how a story would change if another possible effect had resulted from a cause in the book.
  • Using a book from literature groups, create a cause-and-effect poster, using signal words. Students can list signal words and include illustrations on the poster.
  • Using a fiction and a nonfiction book from literature groups, have students list the signal words in each book. Have students use the words to write five fictional sentences and five nonfictional sentences. (See Additional Activity A worksheet in Teacher and Student Materials below.)
  • Students can write several effects for one cause, such as, “If you don’t go to bed on time you will be tired, you will oversleep, and you will get in trouble.”
  • Students can write a cause-and-effect story (fiction or nonfiction) using the following signal words: because, if, then, since, so, causes. After students write their stories, have them exchange with a partner. The partner should identify the signal words and the causes and effects in the story.
  • Discuss cause-and-effect relationships in a specific kind of nonfiction writing-- current events. These relationships should be both explicit and implicit. Examples could include a war, a hurricane, a fire, or other natural disasters.
  • Students can highlight the signal words in newspaper articles or reading passages available on this site. Pair students with partners to discuss the signal words and the causes and effects in the article they read.

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