sign in

Don’t have an account? Register now.

e-mail address:
  Forgot your password?
Click here to be e-mailed a new password.
Lesson Plans
Cause and Effect
3rd–5th Grade

CCSS Reading: Informational Text
  • RI.3.3: Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.
Materials Needed


Print out a copy of the reading selection, graphic organizer and flip book template for each student. (A sample graphic organizer with possible answers is also provided.)


  1. Give each student a copy of “The Earthquake that Changed Earth.”
  2. Invite students to read along with you as you read the passage aloud (or have student volunteers take turns reading aloud).
  3. Tell students that you are going to discuss cause and effect as it applies to the passage you have just read.
  4. Explain to students that “cause” refers to an event that caused something else to happen, and “effect” refers to what happened as a result of the cause. To illustrate this, write the following sentence on the board: “Mr. Johnson went to the store because he ran out of milk.” Then ask students to identify the cause (he ran out of milk) and the effect (Mr. Johnson went to the store), emphasizing that running out of milk was the event that caused Mr. Johnson to go to the store.

Guided Practice

  1. Divide the class into small groups of three or four students, and provide each student with a copy of the graphic organizer.
  2. Have students work together to identify a cause and several effects from the earthquake passage. Encourage them to identify an event that is described in the passage (the cause) that set off a chain of other events (effects). Ask, “What events happened as a result of this one event?”
  3. Invite students to share their responses and tell how each effect relates to the cause they identified.

Independent Practice

  1. Have students identify three causes and effects from another nonfiction text. You may choose to have students use a classroom text or a book that they are reading independently.
  2. Give each student a copy of the Cause & Effect Flip Book template and a pair of scissors.
  3. Instruct students to fold the paper in half and cut along the dotted lines, taking care not to cut past the fold.
  4. Have students write the title of the text on the first flap.
  5. Beneath each of the next three flaps, have students draw a picture and write a sentence about an event from the text.
  6. Have students write and draw the cause of each event on the flap.

View the 3rd–5th Grade lesson plan. (Includes all printable materials.)
Internet Retailer Hot 100 Award Internet Retailer Mobile 100 Award Top 500 Internet Retailer Trustwave Norton Secured PayPal
©2017 Lakeshore Learning Materials. All rights reserved.