Exploring Cause and Effect Using Expository Texts About Natural Disasters

This site opens to a preview/overview of the lesson and includes tabs that link to NCTE/IRA and state standards, resources and preparation, and the instructional plan with assessment. Expository texts are a key component of literacy but often do not get introduced to students until the later grades. This lesson helps students explore the nature and structure of expository texts that focus on cause and effect. Students begin by activating prior knowledge about cause and effect; the teacher then models discovering these relationships in a text and recording in a graphic organizer the relationships that the class finds. Students work in small groups to apply what they learned using related books and then write paragraphs outlining the cause-and-effect relationships they have found.

Standards & Objectives

Learning objectives: 

Student Objectives:

Students will

  • Access prior knowledge by identifying what they know about cause-and-effect relationships
  • Gain knowledge by defining cause and effect, learning key words that indicate cause-and-effect relationships in expository text, and reviewing a text containing these relationships during a whole-class exercise
  • Apply what they have learned about cause and effect and demonstrate comprehension of it by locating cause-and-effect relationships within expository text, recording these findings on two graphic organizers, and then using the organizers to write a paragraph


Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 

Helpful Hints

Materials and Technology:

  • Danger! Volcanoes by Seymour Simon (SeaStar Books; 2002)
  • Computer with Internet access
  • LCD projector