Subject: ELA (English Language Arts), ESL/ELL (English Language Learning)

Lesson Length: 30 - 45 mins

Topic: Cause and Effect Signal Words

Grade Level: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Standards / Framework:

Brief Description: Students will learn about cause and effect words and use them in their own writing.

Know Before You Start: Use this lesson to emphasize the signal words that are used to indicate a cause or an effect.

Hook: Read and discuss the first two panels of the sample comic. Review the meanings of the words “effect;” what happened, and “cause;” what caused the effect to occur.


  • Have students read the last two panels independently. 

  • In writing or out loud, ask students to identify the words that signal cause or effect. Use sentence stems as needed.

    • The word ____ tells me the cause.

    • The word ____ tells me the effect.

  • Create a class T-chart of words that signal cause and effect. Hang this in the classroom as a reference. 

  • Extension: have students create their own comic that represents a cause and effect.

Closure: Review the signal words for cause and effect. Tell students to look for these signal words while they are reading to help them understand.


  • Adapt the sentences to be more complex or simple as needed.

  • Have students practice included cause and effect signal words with the teacher or with a partner.