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

Lesson 3: Cause and Effect Relationships in Myths

Lesson Plan

Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears: A West African Tale | 770L

Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears: A West African Tale
Learning Goal
Identify cause-and-effect relationships in myths.
Approximately 50 minutes
Necessary Materials
Provided: Direct Teaching/Guided Practice Example Chart, Independent Practice
Not Provided: Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears: A West African Tale retold by Verna Aardema, chart paper, markers
  • Teacher Modeling

    will briefly discuss the myth genre and how these stories were created to explain a part of nature. There is usually a magical or mythical cause for a natural occurrence, such as rain or thunder. I will begin reading the first five pages of Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears: A West African Tale retold by Verna Aardema and model identifying cause-and-effect relationships. (Direct Teaching and Guided Practice Teacher Example Chart is provided below in Teacher and Student Materials.)

  • Think Check

    Ask: How did I identify cause and effect relationships in the story? Students should respond that you read part of the story and thought about what events cause other things to happen, especially related to nature.

  • Guided Practice

    will continue reading Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears and identifying cause-and-effect relationships. (See Direct Teaching and Guided Practice Teacher Example Chart provided below.) We will discuss why mosquitoes buzz in people’s ears and how myths always are about a major cause-and effect-relationship, usually about nature.

  • Independent Practice

    will read, “Why the Cat Purrs,” and explain the cause-and-effect relationship in the myth. You will write a short paragraph explaining why cats purr. (Student Independent Practice is provided below.)

Build Student Vocabulary alarmed

Tier 2 Word: alarmed
Contextualize the word as it is used in the story “So, it was the crow who alarmed the monkey, who killed the owlet—and now Mother Owl won’t wake the sun so that the day can come.”
Explain the meaning student-friendly definition) An alarm is a warning sound or sign. If you alarm someone, it means that you scare or frighten them by alerting them to danger. The crow alarmed the monkey by making a loud sound.
Students repeat the word Say the word alarmed with me: alarmed.
Teacher gives examples of the word in other contexts Thunder and lightening alarm me. They warn me about a dangerous storm. I feel alarmed when my little sister screams. I always run to make sure she is alright.
Students provide examples Can you think of a time when you felt alarmed? Start by saying, “I felt alarmed when _____________________.”
Students repeat the word again. What word are we talking about? alarmed
Additional Vocabulary Words council, plotting

Build Student Background Knowledge

Introduce Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears: A West African Tale by identifying West African countries on a map or globe. West Africa makes up the Northwestern part of Africa and includes 16 countries. Each country, from Senegal to Ghana, has its own unique stories and cultural traditions. Soccer is an important modern past-time and Islam and Christianity are religions practiced in West Africa. West Africa is home to diverse wildlife, some of which we will be introduced to in our book.

Texts & Materials

Standards Alignment

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