Friday, October 10, 2014

Using Picture Books to Teach Cause and Effect

Hey ya'll! I know I have been away from this blog for way too long. I feel that I have lived away from home for the past two months.  We have been so busy with school, volleyball practice, volleyball games, and cow shows! In fact, my family is currently away at our state capital enjoying a fun filled two days of cattle shows.  I thought I'd pop in and share with you some things that have been going on in my classroom.

Cause and Effect

I absolutely love using picture books to teach reading strategies and skills to my students, and one reason is because the students love this as well.  We have been studying cause and effect.  There are so many choices for picture books to help model this strategy with your students.  I wanted to share a few of my favorites with you.  

The Memory String by Eve Bunting is one of my favorite books.  It is such a sweet story of a young girl's loss, the memories of her mother, and the new memories that she will make.  This book is an excellent choice because it contains many situations of cause and effect that are perfect for discussion or to chart.

Pinduli by Janell Cannon is a great story for introducing cause and effect.  This story is also a wonderful tool to help students realize that saying unkind things can be very hurtful to others.

The House on Dirty-Third Street by Jo S. Kittinger is a new discovery for me.  I absolutely fell in love with the message of this book, and I thought this story was sweetly told.  This is a story of a young girl and her mother who must move into a house with an overwhelming amount of repairs.  After reaching out to the local church, people in the community come together to help this family fulfill the family's dreams of a home.  This book shows the best of a community and how we can greatly affect people's lives when we reach out to others. My students and I enjoyed this book very much.  In fact, it was one of my students who recommended it to me. Once again, this book is perfect for cause and effect.

Someday a Tree is one of my absolute favorite picture books ever. I read this to my students every year whether it is to review cause and effect or perhaps to just enjoy the beautifully written story.

I am not a big Madonna fan even though I grew up in the eighties, but I have to admit that I enjoy her book, Mr. Peabody's Apples. It teaches a wonderful lesson of the power of negative words and of how gossip can hurt other people.  There are many excellent situations of cause and effect that can be charted in this book.  By creating of chart of this story and leaving it up in your classroom, you not only have a wonderful reminder of cause and effect, but you also have a wonderful reminder of how negative words can hurt others; win-win.

Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing by April Jones Prince is a wonderful story of the Brooklyn Bridge and how P.T. Barnum helped dismiss rumors that the bridge would not be safe.  This is another great choice for teaching cause and effect. 

What are some of your favorite picture book recommendations for teaching cause and effect?

Have a blessed day!


  1. Thank you for this great post and book lists!
    Tales of a Tenacious Teacher

  2. Thank you, Kelli! I'm so glad that you enjoyed this post.

  3. Great post! I love to use The Lorax for cause and effect.

    1. Thank you, Alicia! The Lorax is a wonderful idea for cause and effect!

    2. The "If you give a mouse a cookie" series is another good one for teaching cause and effect!!

  4. What a great list! It has completely different books from any other lists. I can't wait to read these books.