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Common Core Reading Lessons: Cause & Effect



cause & effect
The reason why something happens (Cause) and what happens as a result (Effect).

First Grade  – Lessons: Identify effects when given a cause in fiction. 2) Identify causes when given an effect in fiction. 3) Identify explicit causes and effects in fiction.
Second Grade – Lessons: Identify and describe explicit effects in fiction. 2) Identify and describe explicit causes in fiction. 3) Identify explicit cause-and-effect relationships in fiction.
Third Grade – Lessons: Use signal words (if, then, because, since, so, before, after) to show cause-and-effect relationships. 2) Describe implicit effects when given a cause. 3) Identify implicit cause-and-effect relationships in nonfiction.
Fourth Grade – Lessons: Use signal words (as a result, until, therefore, hence, consequently, for this reason) that show cause-and-effect relationships in expository texts. 2) Identify multiple causes and effects in historical fiction. 3) Identify cause-and-effect relationships in myths.
Fifth Grade – Novel units.
Sixth Grade – Novel units.


Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.
Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.
Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.
Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.
Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events
Refer to parts of stories, dramas, and poems when writing or speaking about a text, using terms such as chapter, scene, and stanza; describe how each successive part builds on earlier sections.
Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.
Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.
Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions).
Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.
Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.
Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.
Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.


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