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Understanding cause and effect can be tricky. Luckily, the Book Click, Clack, Moo is the perfect story for helping students with this confusing concept!

Shades of Meaning, Cause and Effect and a FREEBIE!

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Understanding cause and effect can be tricky. Luckily, the Book Click, Clack, Moo is the perfect story for helping students with this confusing concept!
Do your kids have an Achilles heel? If I were to assign an Achilles heel to 2nd graders in general, understanding cause and effect would be it! Especially when trying to find the relationship between events in a story.
Luckily this week, we are working on a close read of,  “Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type” by Doreen Cronin.
Not only is this a kid friendly book with LOTS of great lessons to pull out (swing back by to see what else we worked on from this book)  it also turned out to be a PERFECT way to show the cause and effect relationship between events in a story.
Before reading, we discussed “cause and effect” events. I modeled a few samples. (ie: It is raining outside so I got wet) then the students worked with their shoulder partner to give an effect for a cause that I provided. Sorry I don’t have a picture of that part of the activity… I was teaching 😉

 Cause and Effect Hands On Fun

Then, we applied our new found understanding of “cause and effect relationships” to our reading. As we read, we discussed what caused certain events to happen as well as what effects those events had on other events in the story.
Once we finished reading the story, we set to work in our Kagan groups to identify and match up the cause and effect events from the story.
cause and effect hands on game
To get this activity organized, I made 4 copies of the cause and effect sentences. I added 4 arrows so the students could show which way the event flowed.
Then I explained the activity and set up some expectations (students MUST work together) and put 10 minutes on my timer.
The students had a blast digging in and matching up the events!
This group is “talking it out” making sure that the cause “clouds” matched up to the “effect” rectangles.


Here’s another group working together…
Once the group finished pairing up the events, they flashed me the “thumbs up” signal. I came over and had them explain {justify} the order they put the cards in and how they were related. I was amazed to see how  our once “Achilles heel” skill melted into an almost strength, especially when the students were “justifying” their answers!  You can grab this fun and interactive activity for FREE here.

Click, Clack Shades of Meaning

Another lesson I was able to pull from this book was synonyms. Now, Common Core specifies that I can’t just teach what a synonym is anymore… now I have to teach the “shades of meaning” between synonyms. So here’s what we did!
After reading the story initially, we focused in on the word “furious” and how it was used to described the farmer and how he felt toward the cows and chickens.
We brainstormed some synonyms for “furious” and quickly came up with mad, angry, and upset. Then, I pointed out that these words do mean something similar, but in very degrees and we worked together to show the words in order from weak to strong.
We discussed how more intense “furious” was than “upset”. We were able to practice our new found understanding using the center, “Amazing Mitten Words” from my Snow Days Literacy Center pack.
To get our feet wet, the kiddos just had to match the strongest word with the group of words. Next week, I will pull out the “option 2” set I made that has all three pieces trimmed and have students use the center in a more intense way. (You can grab this CCSS aligned center and more by clicking here!)
Be sure to swing back by later this week to see how else we used this story!
 Understanding cause and effect can be tricky for students. This post outlines how to use the well loved story, "Click, Clack, Moo" to help illustrate this tricky concept. Love the collaborative game freebie in this post too!


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Hi, I'm Leigh.

The Applicious Teacher is all about creating hands-on and engaging lessons that align with the standards while still having time for your life. This is your place for ideas, tips, and resources for the REAL teacher!


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