In this set of activities for kids, adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about cause and effect. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Cause and Effect topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.
Classroom Activities for Teaching Cause and Effect
Bad, Bad Day
Have students make up their own stories about a bad, bad day. You may want to re-watch the first part of the movie where Annie explains what happened during her bad day. Students can write their stories down or tell them to each other or to the whole class. Then have other students point out the causes and effects in the stories. They can write their ideas down in a cause and effect chart, or you can write on the board so that everyone can complete the chart together.
What’s the Cause?
In a hat or box, write different effects on separate slips of paper. For example you may write “getting wet,” “breaking an arm,” “spilling a glass of milk,” or “feeling surprised.” Then have students pick an effect from the hat and discuss or write a possible cause. Have small groups share their causes and effects together. Then distribute one cause or effect slip to each student. Set a timer for one minute and see if each child can find the correct person to complete a corresponding cause and effect pair. When every child has found his or her match, read the causes and effects aloud and discuss. Can the class identify which person in each pair has the cause and who has the effect?
Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching Cause and Effect
What Happens Next?
Start a story about a character who goes on an adventure where one event causes another. For example, you might start a story about a character that finds a time machine: “One day Moby found a time machine. He turned it on, and as a result, he….” Then have your child finish the sentence with the effect. After that, have him or her ask you to finish the next part of the story. Encourage your child to use and listen for signal words and phrases such as “as a result” or “due to” to help him or her consider the cause/effect relationships. You and your child may want to draw or take notes as you tell the story together.
Play a game that explores causes and effects. Start off by modeling a sentence using the “if…then” construction. For example, “If I throw a ball, then it will fly across the backyard.” You may even want to demonstrate it! Then have your child create his or her own “if…then” sentence. After each sentence, discuss the cause and effect. Try playing the game again later on while cooking together. How many “if…then” statements can your child construct while helping you make a simple meal?