Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Just Because

Janice Jowers
Okaloosa County Schools


Students listen to a story and determine the cause and effect relationship of one event in the story. Students then write about and illustrate cause and effect sentences that relate to them.


The student understands a variety of textual organizations (for example, comparison and contrast, cause-and-effect, sequence of events).


-THE BATH (Sullivan, Carolyn, Melcher, Chet H., Blaga, Jeffrey J., Lucas, Mark R., and Skoglund, Philip. THE BATH. Racine, WI: GROW Publications, 1995.)
-Chalk board or white board for the teacher to record student responses
-A sheet of paper with the key word sentence prompts written on them for each child (found in Associated File)
-A sheet of paper for each child to write their response sentences, with a space designated for the child to illustrate one of the sentences


1. Obtain a copy of the story THE BATH (Sullivan, Carolyn, Melcher, Chet. H., Blaga, Jeffrey J., Lucas, Mark R., and Skoglund, Phillip. THE BATH. Radcine, WI: GROW Publications, 1995.)
2. Preview the story to familiarize yourself with the contents.
3. Prepare the front board with two columns that say -cause- and -effect-. Under the -cause- column, put -Hairy smelled.- Under the -effects- column, prepare lines or spaces for three or more student responses.
4. Download and make enough copies of the sheets with the cause and effects prompts (see Associated File) for each child to have one.
5. Obtain enough sheets of paper for every child to have a sheet on which to write their responses and draw their illustration.


1. Prepare the chalkboard or white board ahead of time. The board should have two columns, one saying -cause- and the other -effect-. Under the heading -cause-, write -Hairy smelled.- Under the -effect- column, draw three lines to be filled in later with the studentsí responses.

2. Review cause and effect relationships with the students. The cause is what happened in the beginning. The effects are the things that happened because of it.

3. Read the story, THE BATH, aloud to the students.

4. Ask the students what happened because Hairy smelled. (Students also review the story's sequence of events at this time.)

5. Record responses on the board under the -effect- column. (examples: Hairy had a bath. -I- had a bath. -I- became frustrated.)

6. Bring the concept closer to the studentsí lives by mentioning things that could have happened to them.

7. Distribute the sheets with the cause and effect prompts (see Associated File) and the ones for the studentsí responses.

8. Have the students write sentences to complete ten of the key word prompts, relating the cause and effect of each event in their lives.

9. Have the students illustrate one of the sentences.

10. On the back of the student response sheet, have the students list five events from the story in the correct sequence.


Formatively assess the sentences the children have written in response to the key word cause and effect prompts.These sentences should reflect reasonable cause and effect relationships.

Also look at the sentences the students have written on the back of the response sheets to formatively assess each child's knowledge of sequence of events. The GLE states that the students should understand a variety of textual organizations, including cause and effect and sequence of events.

Web Links

Web supplement for Just Because
Carol Hurst

Attached Files

A list of the cause and effect key word prompts.     File Extension: pdf

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