Sunday, March 30, 2014

Quick Tip #6: Cause and Effect

There are times when I need something "particular" to use with a group of students or in a classroom. That is, I have something "particular" in mind and then I can never seem to find exactly what I'm looking for [just like when shopping for something I NEED]. The consequence, making something to FIT my needs!

Quite some time ago, I was looking for something to help me teach/explain consequences of behavioral choices. Of course, I couldn't find something that fit the bill. Once again, I created something.

As a part of a bigger lesson in a small group session on consequences for behavioral choices, I teach cause and effect.

1. On a small white board that I hold in my hands while sitting at my group table I draw each of the following pictures one at a time and generate discussion. A rain cloud is the "cause." The "effect" happens after it rains. What might happen after it rains? (fill in one answer per line generated by the students - for example: makes flowers grow, gives grass and trees a drink, makes mud puddles, etc.). I then move on to the next picture. "Mean words are the cause. What might happen after the mean words (effect)?" "A punch is the cause. What might happen after the punch (effect)?"

2. Next, on a large room magnetic whiteboard, draw a large circle and divide it up into numerous pieces. I tend to do this in the morning before the day begins in order to save time during the group session. For the first game, fill in various "causes". Put a magnetic spinner (to see an example of the spinner I use, click on the Amazon link below) in the middle. Have each student gently spin the spinner and when the spinner lands on a "cause" the student needs to name an "effect" related to that cause. Depending on the number of students in the group and the number of "causes" I have in the circle, each student should get at least one turn.

3. After all the "causes" are completed, erase each one and replace with an "effect." Again, place a magnetic spinner in the middle of the circle and have students gently spin it. Students are to name a possible "cause" for each "effect" he/she lands on.

Sample Cause and Effect Statements

I find I am able to refer to this activity throughout the remainder of the group AND during any future sessions I have with the kiddos who have participated in this skill builder activity. I find it a fun, realistic, and easy way to discuss "consequences" of behavioral choices. The kids think it is fun to spin the spinner! Also, since I purposefully make the "causes" and "effects" specific to their age group and the concerns that have arisen - they seem to completely enjoy this particular activity.


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