Lessons & Units :: Cause and Effect 4th Grade Unit

Lesson 1: Signal Words in Expository Text

Lesson Plan

Learning Goal
Use signal words (as a result, until, therefore, hence, consequently, for this reason) that show cause-and-effect relationships in expository texts.
Approximately 50 minutes
Necessary Materials
Provided: “Dear Mr. President” Passage, Cause and Effect Example Chart, Direct Teaching/Guided Practice Example Chart, Independent Practice Worksheet
Not Provided: chart paper, markers, highlighter
  • Teacher Modeling

    will review signal words that can help readers identify cause-and-effect relationships (if, then, because, since, so). I will post a chart of cause-and-effect relationships and identify the new signal words in each example. (Direct Teaching Example Chart is provided below in Teacher and Student Materials.) I will explain that signal words are often used to make the relationship between cause-and-effect more explicit. I will begin reading the passage, “Dear Mr. President” and will highlight the first two cause-and-effect examples. (Passage is provided in Books and Passages.) I will model rewriting these examples using signal words. (See Direct Teaching and Guided Practice Teacher Example Chart provided below.)

    TIP: In addition to identifying the cause-and-effect signal words, discuss the cause-and-effect relationship that these words signal.

  • Think Check

    Ask: How did I decide where to add signal words? Why? Students should be able to respond that you looked for cause-and-effect relationships in the text by looking for events that seemed related and read the text to determine whether one event caused the other. Then, you added signal phrases to make those relationships more clear.

  • Guided Practice

    will continue to read and identify the cause-and-effect relationships in “Dear Mr. President” and rewrite the relationships using signal words. (See Direct Teaching and Guided Practice Teacher Example Chart provided below.)

  • Independent Practice

    will read the passage, “Frogs at Risk,” identify cause-and-effects relationships in the passage, and rewrite them using signal words. (Student Independent Practice is provided below.)

Build Student Vocabulary administration

Tier 2 Word: administration
Contextualize the word as it is used in the story "This administration [believes that government] has done many things that could better be done by volunteers."
Explain the meaning student-friendly definition) An administration is a group of people in charge of an organization, business, or country. The administration that Ronald Reagan refers to in the quotation is the group of people in charge of our country- the U.S. government.
Students repeat the word Say the word administration with me: administration.
Teacher gives examples of the word in other contexts The administration of this school includes our principal and our deans. The administration of the city where we live include leaders like the mayor, who are responsible for making important decisions.
Students provide examples What is the name of one member of our school administration? Students should say, “One member of our school administration is…”
Students repeat the word again. What word are we talking about? administration
Additional Vocabulary Words archives, record

Build Student Background Knowledge

After reading the section of the passage, "Don't Draft My Dad," explain that the military draft is when the government requires people to serve their country during wartime. The United States Military only requires people to serve in a time of extreme need, and usually the U.S. Military is made up of volunteer servicemen and women. Women have never been drafted into the U.S. Military, but some people believe that future generations of women might be, since ideas about equality between men and women has changed so much over time.

Texts & Materials

Standards Alignment

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