How to Teach Cause and Effect to Students

May 2, 2022

Sarah Shelton

Sarah Shelton

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Cause and effect is around us everyday in the natural world. Teaching about cause and effect is a fun way to explain to your children that every action has a reaction. A basic task can have a different action and there are possible effects that can happen because of it. Have you considered taking some time to teach cause and effect for kids? 

How to teach cause and effect to students

Cause and Effect for Kids

It can sound confusing, especially to a young child. But it doesn’t have to be. There are lots of free activities, cause and effect worksheets, and examples of cause and effect to help you teach this to your children.

What is cause and effect?

Cause is why something happened and effect is what happened. Basically, every action has some kind of reaction.

Cause and effect is a combination of the action and the reaction. It helps our children learn that there is a relationship between events and the things that happen.

How to explain cause and effect

A simple way to explain cause and effect is that one event triggers another event to happen. The cause is why it happened, and the effect is what happened.

You can explain this using real life situations and examples, in science experiments, or reading texts and stories.

Why is teaching cause and effect important?

Cause and effect helps our children learn that there is a relationship between two things. If you hit someone they will cry, if you eat healthy you will grow big and strong. If a child drops a toy, you will pick it up for them. These are all real-life examples that we teach our kids at a young age.

When kids understand that something will always happen when they choose to act, it helps them to think through things as they are growing and learning. Learning about the possible effects of an action will help your children to stop and think before they react to something. 

Teaching cause and effect will help your children to better understand science. Science seeks to find an answer. A cause explains why something happens. The effect is the description of what exactly happened.

What are some cause and effect examples?

There are lots of real life examples of cause and effect for kids. Try explaining it this way using these examples:

  • When you turn a light switch on what happens? The light turns on. Turning on the light switch is the cause. The effect is the light turning on.
  • If you blow a large bubble what happens to the bubble? It will pop. Blowing the bubble is the cause that made the bubble pop (the effect).

Cause and effect examples for kids

Here are some more examples that use the signal word because. This will help your children understand why the effect happened.

  • The boy is sad because his toy car broke. 
  • The girl cried because her balloon popped.
  • The cat ran away because the door was left open.
  • The ice cube fell on the sidewalk and melted because it was hot.

What is the easiest way to identify cause and effect?

For every event there is always a reason behind why it happened, or what caused it. The easiest way to identify cause and effect is by looking for it and asking questions. 

Start by looking for signal words when you are reading. Some signal words to help identify case and effect are:

  • because
  • so
  • therefore
  • since
  • if
  • then
  • as a result

What is cause and effect in reading?

Cause and effect are important elements of a reading text that help the reader to follow the writer’s thought process. Cause and effect are present in fiction and non-fiction reading materials.

No matter the style of book you are reading, cause and effect are almost always arranged to show connections between a result and the different events that follow it.

Teaching the cause and effect concept in reading helps to build reading comprehension skills. When your children have a good understanding of cause and effect they have a better grasp on what they are reading and what will happen next.

Cause and Effect for Kids

Are you ready to teach your kids about cause and effect? We’ve got a great list of free resources that you can use to teach this concept to students: cause and effect games, cause and effect activities, cause and effect printable worksheets, cause and effect lessons. Take a look and see what you can find to use in your homeschool!

Cause and Effect Games

Reading Online Game – Drag the ice cream scoop to the cone to match the cause and effect words in this online reading game.

Cause and Effect Dice Game – Roll the die and choose a cause or effect to complete on the chart. This game is designed for grades 1-2 and to be played with a partner.

Reading Raiders Battle Strategy Game – In this battle strategy game, the players must match each cause to its effect.

Cause and Effect Card Game – This hands on card game will help your kids to practice creative thinking with real world cause and effect situations.

Matching Game – Download a free cause and effect matching game with cause and effect cards as a fun way to teach it to your kids.

Cause and Effect Activities

Bubbles and Whisks – This is a great activity to teach your toddlers that there is a cause and effect action when they whisk the bubbles that are in the bowl. When they can actually see what happens they can better understand the reasoning behind it. 

Cause and Effect Chains Printable Activity – This printable activity will help your children to see the chain reactions in cause and effect situations.

Cause and Effect Lessons

Cause and Effect Illustration Pages – Teach cause and effect learning with a story and have your children illustrate what happened next to better understand it.

The Bad Case of Stripes Cause and Effect Lesson Plans – Find out how to teach cause and effect with this fun book lesson.

Cause and Effect Brain Pop Video – Learn about cause and effect with this fun video lesson.

Teaching Cause and Effect with Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day Book – This book is full of examples of cause and effect. Learn how to identify it in a text and create some fun anchor charts for your homeschool wall.

Cause and Effect Printable Worksheets

Cause and Effect Worksheet – This printable worksheet will help your children think through sentences that they read to find the effect and the cause.

Dragon Cause and Effect Posters and Worksheets – Adorable posters and worksheets with a dragon theme to teach cause and effect.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf Story Map – Teach cause and effect with a classic story lesson.

Cause and Effect Worksheets – There are lots of worksheets to help teach cause and effect for different ages and grade levels.

Reading Cause and Effect Worksheets – Help your kids with their reading comprehension skills while learning about cause and effect with these worksheets.

In Conclusion:

Teaching cause and effect to your kids will help them to have a better understanding of the world around them. They will learn that their behaviors can cause a reaction that can be good or bad. This will help them to think through things before they react.

Learning cause and effect will also help them to get a better grasp on science concepts and strengthen their reading comprehension skills.

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