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Students working hard in kindergarten-22
Cause and Effect
25 Feb, 2015. 4 Comments. A Day In First Grade, First Grade, First Grade Language, Guided Reading, Kindergarten, Language, Science. Posted By: Kristen Smith

cause and effect

Cause and effect is not always the easiest concept for students to grasp.  However, I was determined this year to make it tangible and meaningful for my students. Through a series of “experiments” and activities, engaging read alouds and extensions, my students have become cause and effect MASTERS!

To introduce cause and effect, I decided to use a few science experiments. As I was thinking through what we are actually trying to get our students to find in their texts when teaching cause and effect, I realized how closely it integrated with science skills we have been working on all year.

I brought in a dozen eggs and presented them to my class. They were on pins and needles knowing that we were going to do something CRAZY with them. 😉 I called up one of my students and asked him to carefully hold the egg for us. He was more than happy to oblige.

I then asked the class, ‘what would happen if he let go of the egg?’ I bet you can imagine their cries of “don’t do that!!” “it would break!!!” I then took out a plastic tray and gave  him permission to let go of the egg. Of course he gave me a look that said, Miss Smith, are you SURE?! I reassured him that yes he could let it go and with a huge grin, he let go of it.

Of course, this is what happened.

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My students and I then discussed WHY that happened. I introduced them to our new vocabulary words “cause” and “effect” and had them discuss with their friend sitting next to them what happened in our science experiment using our new terms.

It was a hit! (and started building the schema my students needed!!)

The next day, I told my class that we were going to do ANOTHER science experiment. (insert the applause and “yays!!!” that filled the room.) I brought in a few containers of bubbles and asked my students what they thought would happen if we blew bubbles OUTSIDE. (Mind you it is FREEZING right now) They predicted that the bubbles might not work, that they might freeze, that they might pop and we headed outside to check their predictions.

We {bundled up in our snow gear, boots, and gloves…..} and headed outside and began blowing bubbles. I grouped my students in groups of two and had them take turns blowing bubbles and catching bubbles on their wands. They patiently waited once they caught their bubbles and watched the ice crystals begin to form.

Students working hard in kindergarten

What was really cool was that if they didn’t start to freeze, they popped in the most exquisite way!  They literally BURST open in slow motion due to the cold temperatures. My students were THRILLED!!Students working hard in kindergarten-4

After everyone had 3 turns, we headed inside to thaw out and discussed our findings!
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My students joyfully explained the causes and effects of our science experiment.  Then I told my students that we can find causes and effects in books that we read and listen to. I brought out one of our favorite books (Pete the Cat!) and pulled up the website that sings the story. We reviewed our cause and effect terms using a poster that I made and enjoyed the book.

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After singing along to the story, I had my students talk about the causes and effects. I asked them questions like:

What color were Pete’s shoes at the beginning of the story?

(WHITE!)

What caused Pete’s shoes to turn red?

(He stepped in a pile of strawberries!!)

What was the effect when Pete stepped in a pile of blueberries?

(His shoes turned blue!!)

My students eagerly answered the questions. After we reviewed the cause and effects whole group, I had my students draw the cause and effects from the story.

My students LOVED this!!

We read a few other stories this week and orally reviewed the causes and effects in the stories we listened to. We also used poster prompts to create discussions involving causes and effects. This one was a favorite amongst my students!

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In this picture, a little boy is pointing the hose at the camera. The prompt said, “The boy sprayed his mom. What was the effect?”

They got a KICK out of thinking through the effects of that scenario!!

We also practiced this skill during our guided reading groups. I wrote a few stories for my students and they carefully read them and worked on finding the cause and the effect in each story.

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They even responded to their texts with a comprehension check that I made to go with each (differentiated) story.

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During “read to someone” my students LOVED revisiting our “Cause and Effect” books and loved discussing them with their partners!

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Other  books in our “Cause and Effect” bin were:

cause and effect books

All of these activities and more are available in my Cause and Effect resource! It is available in my TpT shop. You can grab it here:

cause and effect

 Have fun teaching!!

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4 Comments
  1. Great post!

  2. Durdana Saleem -

    Really great and fun way to teach

  3. Meg and Sam -

    Hi Kristin,
    You are a gift and so are these ideas. The first thing we learn of God in His Word is that He is creative. He has given you this gift and we are blessed because of it.
    In His grip,
    Meg

    • Meg, Thank you so very much! Your words made me tear up. I appreciate this so much.

4 Comments

  • Great post!

  • Durdana Saleem -

    Really great and fun way to teach

  • Meg and Sam -

    Hi Kristin,
    You are a gift and so are these ideas. The first thing we learn of God in His Word is that He is creative. He has given you this gift and we are blessed because of it.
    In His grip,
    Meg

    • Meg, Thank you so very much! Your words made me tear up. I appreciate this so much.

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