This lesson is one of my student's favorites. Even though it involves picture books, the task I am asking students to perform is high quality. And, for many of my inner city students, hearing these books is a new experience and they love it.
I begin the lesson by holding up the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff along with some of her other If You Give a books. I ask students to raise their hands if they've heard it before and many, many of them have not. I read the book and I ask them, "Why did I read you this little kids book?" They answer in many different ways- "You like that book", "It's a good book", "The principal told you to" (my favorite!!).
I keep prompting the students until they see the relationship between the book and what we're learning. Finally someone says, "If you give a mouse a cookie, he causes all that mess." At least it's a start. We go on to discuss the direct causes and effects of each page and how the book is written like our chain reactions from the other day. (Chain Reaction lesson here)
I tell students that today they are going to plan out a cause and effect book with a chain reaction like Laura Numeroff did. The rules are this: you can't use an animal character and you can't use any of the effects that she did.
We then proceed to make the rubric together.
This lesson needs planning time before students can get their book to write in. I hand out the graphic organizer and explain how to do it. I really don't want to model here because I don't want the students to internalize my book or the way I would do it. I really want to see what they can come up with.
I give the students time to work again, monitoring to make sure they are clear about the graphic organizer. It is during this time that I talk to some of my higher achieving students about adding pages to the folded book. I tell them that if they want/ need to make more pages, they can.
Near the end of class, I have everyone stop working to gather back as a whole group. We take a few minutes to look over our planning and allow for sharing. I do a check in with the students to see who is finished and ready for their book and who needs to take their planning home for homework.
I show the students the little book they will be using and again wait for the excitement to die down before reminding them that all plans must be done in order to begin the actual book.
I learned my lesson from the mountain puzzle piece fiasco when I didn't give students a chance to plan. I set aside a whole period for the planning of this. I teach this lesson every year, and this is the first year I've given planning time and built in rubric checks and check in time. I'm hoping that the time spent doing these tasks pays off for my students in a better product and a deeper understanding of cause and effect relationships.
Cause and effect is always sketchy for my kiddos and I think it's probably because, like I said before, I have left steps out. I worked really hard this time to bring it all together and provide all the scaffolding necessary for all the students to be successful.