Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Cause and Effect

Running through almost every text your students read, there are examples of cause and effect relationships.  We often think of them as a text structure.  But I also see cause and effect when looking at a sequence of events. I see cause and effect when looking at a problem and solution.  And I see cause and effect when inferring, "why did this happen?" Is it just me? Causes and Effects seem to be everywhere!

Notice how this chart illustrates how there need not be only one cause and effect.  There could be several causes for a given effect...My good grades, my good attitude AND my helpfulness in the classroom might have all CAUSED me to get the Good Citizen Award. On the flip side, one "event" or cause such as a tornado might produce multiple EFFECTS such as building damage, torn up landscapes and bodily damage.

 The author writes about one or more causes or events and what happens because of it, the effect/or effects. The PURPOSE is to explain why or how something happened, exists, or works.

Sometimes authors use words that signal when a cause or effect will be shown. 
Here are some signal words to watch for:

because     therefore     due to     accordingly      for this reason     so that     consequently   nevertheless         in order to      if...then

Here is a poster which illustrates it all: