It's important to know what causes things to happen in a paragraph or story and the effects, or results, of that cause. For example: The glass broke because Suzy dropped it. Dropping the glass is the "cause" in the sentence. The glass breaking is the "effect" or result. Knowing how two or more things are related will help you answer the question "why" when you are reading. If you read that Sam was very sad, you will wonder why he is sad. If you read that Sam's best friend is moving away, you can answer the question "Why is Sam sad?" Sam's best friend moving is the reason why Sam is sad. His sadness is the effect of Sam's best friend moving.

Some words can help you figure out which part of a sentence or paragraph is the cause or effect of an action. Learn to use words such as "because," "since," "therefore," "so," and "if" to figure out which action is the cause and which action is the effect. Read this sentence and say or write which action is the "cause" of another action. Then check to see if your answer is correct. "Since Ed had to get up early Tuesday morning, he went to bed early Monday night." Ed had to get up early Tuesday morning is the cause. The word "since" is a clue that the phrase is the cause.

Read this sentence and say or write which action is the cause of another action. Then check to see if your answer is correct."Sara was making a cake because it was her mother's birthday." Sara's mother's birthday is the cause. The word "because" is a clue that the phrase is the cause.

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Read this sentence and say or write which action is the effect of another action. Then check to see if your answer is correct."Thomas earned fifty dollars last week, so he was able to go to the zoo with Andy." Earning 50 dollars is the cause. The word "so" is a clue that going to the zoo is the effect.

Read this sentence and say or write which action is the effect of another action. Then check to see if your answer is correct."Since Joe's family had a long way to go, they left early." The fact tha they left early is the 'effect. The word "since" is a clue that having a long way to go is the cause.

Tips

  • Fold a piece of paper two times to make three equal columns
  • Label the first column "ACTION."
  • Label the second column "CAUSE."
  • Label the last column"EFFECT."
  • Read the next assignment in your social studies book.
  • List an action under the correct column.
  • Then list the cause and the effect of the action in the correct columns.
  • Continue listing the action, cause and effect in the rest of your assignment.
  • Try working like this with a friend.

Things Needed

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Books

About the Author

DeLene Sholes has written hundreds of articles for print and online books, newspapers, and magazines including Florida Wildlife, Atlanta's Points North, and Faces magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from Birmingham-Southern College and a Master of Arts in elementary education from the University of Alabama in Birmingham.