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Indicator 32 – Cause-Effect Analysis

Delivering Instruction

Developing Thinking Skills

Indicator 32 - Cause-Effect Analysis UETS 2d., 3f., 6d., 7e., 7f.

Effective teachers provide activities in which students think about possible causes or potential effects of an action. They encourage students to predict the outcomes of variable situations that result from complex cause-effect relationships.


  1. Use the discussion of cause-effect relationships to lead to the analysis of complicated problems, a higher-order cognitive skill:
    • Teacher: “We have been discussing some of the causes of crime. We have said that crime is the result of certain conditions: loss of identity, rapid change, and poverty. Let us now look at the effect of these conditions. We call it crime. What are the different types of crime? What do they cost society, both monetarily and socially?"
  1. Incorporate cause-effect strategies into your plan to allow students to see your lesson objectives as part of a larger curriculum in which one concept must be mastered before the next one can be learned.
  2. Have students determine, as far as materials are available, in a microbiology class, the cause of a particular epidemic such as the hanta virus or e-coli; then have them determine the effects of such viruses when they are untreated and the effects a particular treatment with medication will produce.
  3. Experiment in a physical education class with the benefits of muscle stretching before exercising rigorously as opposed to the disadvantages of not stretching at all. Students might then draw conclusions about life-long wellness skills and muscle strain and injury.
  4. Construct a situation that allows social studies students to determine the effects of starvation arising from overpopulation and propose possible remedies.
  5. Ask students to predict what characters in a story will do in the next chapter.   Encourage them to support their predictions with facts from the story. After reading the chapter, have students compare and contrast their predictions with the actual story outcomes. Have the students discuss how their prediction would create different effects on the characters.
  6. Supply students with several visuals. Have the students select a picture and determine whether it is a cause or an effect. If they choose it as a cause, have the students write what the effect would be. If they choose it as an effect, have the students write what the cause would be.

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