Saturday, April 30, 2011

Cause & Effect Writing Samples

Cause and Effect Lesson Extension:
I chose to continue my students' practice with cause and effect by having them consider changes that happened in the week's comprehension text and talking with a partner to determine the cause. An additional language goal, besides the use of connecting words to link the cause and effect, was the use of present tense verbs in questions with did. I framed it in a way that's comprehensible for second graders: did is a robber who steals the past tense from verbs. So students discussed with their partner how to ask themselves about the reason for the effects (changes) in the text with a question.

Examples of student work: This helped me to informally assess which students already knew (or knew what sounded right) about the tense change with use of did and those for whom it was a new concept. They loved the structure of the paper because it was very clear for them how to organize their ideas! And I appreciated that I could use a highly familiar text for the lesson, so no vocabulary instruction or building background was needed, but there was authentic content.

We will continue to use their framework next week, using a different text. My assessment, which I will start the following week, will involve giving students a text at their level and asking them to identify a change independently, write the why question they should ask themselves, identifying the cause, and writing both together in a sentence with the connecting word of their choice. I will need to take away some of my scaffolding next week: students will need to find the changes on their own and remember how to use the connecting words without the organizer.

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