Students will be introduced to cause and effect using Barefoot, a book about the Underground Railroad. Barefoot tells the story of a fugitive slave escaping captors through the help of the creatures surrounding him. Students will also have the opportunity to learn about history and consider causes and effects related to the Underground Railroad.
Read through the book, including the author’s note, and determine appropriate places to stop.
Obtain a map of the United States in order to show students where the Underground Railroad occurred.
Have objects set-up to demonstrate cause and effect.
Prior to reading:
Set up an object that is tall, and throw the ball at it so that it topples over. Ask the students what happened and other questions leading them towards identifying the cause of the item toppling, and the fact that the toppling was the effect of the item being thrown.
Introduce the graphic organizer and demonstrate use with the previous example. Do examples until students understand how to use the graphic organizer and create cause and effect sentences. Students should have their organizers and writing utensils accessible during reading.
Explain that today’s book is historical fiction, and we’re going to be looking for situations with a cause and effect relationship in the story.
Show the cover and have students predict/infer what this book will be about. Ask students what they know about the Underground Railroad already, allow time for sharing and discussing the historical importance of the book. Use the map to show what region of the U.S. the story is taking place.
During reading: Throughout reading, stop at designated places and have students write down one cause and effect they found from those pages. Do the first few as a class to make sure everyone understands the task. Make sure chronological occurrences aren’t confused with things that are cause and effect. Also, take time to ask questions about the story, such as : why do you think the author refers to the slave as “barefoot” and the people after him as “heavy boots?” What do you think the animals represent? What do you think is going on? What do you notice about the pictures?
Encourage several students to share cause and effect relationships they discovered, turning to them in the book to show the picture of that section of the book. Then, re-read the book and go through all the cause and effect relationships present by calling on volunteers to share their answers.
Read the author’s note and partner-share whether or not they think the animals did those things in order to cause the desired effect, or if it was a mere coincidence. Ask students why they think the author wrote the book, and discuss if they think the book has a message to give. Is there an overall theme?
Discuss times in their lives they’ve done something to cause a desired effect (give examples) as a whole class. Discuss how it can be helpful to understand the concept of cause and effect. Then, have them write down three cause and effect sentences that happened that day. Students should turn papers in for teacher to assess.
Teacher will listen for student responses for correctly identified causes and effects.
Teacher will look at students’ verbal and written responses for correctly identified cause and effect relationships from Barefoot.
Teacher will look at students’ written responses for correctly written cause and effect sentences.
*Students use their current chapter books to find cause and effect relationships in the storyline.
*Students think of what they can do to cause a certain effect (to improve the school grounds, improve their school experience, etc.)
*Students look in newspapers for current events and try to root out the causes of some issues.