Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Match It Up!

Farrah Milby
Orange County Schools


After receiving definitions for cause and effect, students move around the room to match either a cause or effect with other students. This lesson uses poetry as the text to teach cause and effect.


The student understands cause-and-effect relationships in literary texts.


-Overhead projector, chalk board, or dry erase
-Copies of poem, "The Tongue Sticker Outer" from [Falling Up] by Shel Silverstein available from or a media center/library
-Copies of poem, "Sarah Cynthia Slyvia Stout Would Not Take The Garbage Out" from [Where the Sidewalk Ends] by Shel Silverstein available from or a media center/library
-Copies of poem, "Strange Restaurant" from [Falling Up] by Shel Silverstein
-Chart paper
-Copies of assessment (see Associated File)
-Index card for each student
-Cause and effect cards for matching (see Associated File)


1. You'll need to have an overhead, chalkboard, or dry erase board.

2. On chart paper, or overhead film provide the poems, "The Tongue Sticker Outer" and "Strange Resturaunt" by Shel Silverstein. These are found in Shel Silverstein's book [Falling Up], available through or from a media center/library.

3. Prepare cards for the cause and effect matching game. You'll need either a cause or effect for each student. This game uses "Strange Restaurant."

4. Have ready copies of the assessment using the poem "Sarah Cynthia Sylvia..." by Shel Silverstein.

5. You'll need an index card for each student.


1. Get students' attention by having each student quickly write one event on an index card. Examples would be "I brought in my homework" or "The cat ate its food." Collect the cards. Sort through the cards and create "silly" causes and effects. Read a few aloud. For example, "The cat ate its food so I brought in my homework." Ask students why the "silly" events don't match up.

2. Explain to students that today they are going to learn about cause and effect. They will be expected to show what they have learned in a matching activity.

3. Return to the index cards. This time read one event and have students raise their hands to give an appropriate effect. Give students three or four examples like this.

4. Write "cause" on the board. Beside it, define the word. For example, cause: an event that leads to another situation, the reason an event or situation happens, what makes someone or something act, feel, or react.

5. Return to the index cards again. Read a possible effect. Have students raise their hand to give an appropriate cause, a reason why that might have happened.

6. Write "effect" on the board. Beside it, define the word. For example, effect: the result of an action, the consequence of a action.

7. Read aloud "The Tongue Sticker-Outer" by Shel Silverstein. This can be found in his book [Falling Up]. Discuss the causes that led to other situations, and effects which are the results of the causes. For example, the boy stuck his tongue so far, it reached the heavens. The cause--stuck out his tongue, The effect--it reached the heavens. Give an example from the poem, then have students think about the cause and effect, and share with a partner. After everyone has had a chance to share, ask for a pair to explain the cause and effect.

8. Read aloud "Strange Restaurant" from [Falling Up] by Shel Silverstein. Hand each student a card with either a cause or effect from the poem. Explain that they are to find the cards that match. Then they can decide as a pair how to explain the cause and effect to the class.

9. Allow students time to find matches, discuss and then share with the class.

10. Give each student a copy of "Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take The Garbage Out" by Shel Silverstein. This can be found in his book [Where the Sidewalk Ends.] Students are to read the poem, and identify the causes and effects in each statement. Collect and evaluate.


Students read a poem and identify causes and effects in statements made about the poem. The students demonstrate understanding if they identify both causes and effects correctly. If students identify less, they need to try again. Other poems, stories, and activities can be used for reteaching of those students.


1. Have readily available various other poems that show cause and effect for examples. If students finish work early, have them pick a poem and identify the cause and effect.

2. For ESL and below grade level readers, pair them with students that can help while doing the activities. Also pictorial causes and effects can help them understand. For example, use a picture of trash piling up and a picture of a girl.

3. The Beacon Unit Plan associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on the link located at the top of this page. (Or by using the URL Once you select the unitís link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, Attached Files. This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files (if any).

Attached Files

Assessment for Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout     File Extension: pdf

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