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(VIDEO) How to Target Cause & Effect Sentence Structures Goals With Literature-Based Speech Therapy

Updated: Oct 21, 2023

Watch This video for an easy, step-by-step guide on how to address your students' cause and effect goals using storybooks in speech therapy

As school-based speech-language pathologists, we have many students on our caseloads that have speech therapy goals around recognizing and explaining cause and effect dynamics. Developing your students’ ability to recognize cause and effect relationships will make them better readers, better thinkers, and better learners. It can even improve their social relationships. Teaching students to explain cause and effect relationships will develop their ability to for­mulate complex and compound sentences, and make them better writers too!

Watch this video, or read on below, for a step-by-step guide on how to support your students' ability to identify and explain cause and effect dynamics in storybooks:

StoryWhys book companions are a great, low-prep way to teach your students about cause and effect. You can find the materials to teach cause and effect in both the both the comprehensive StoryWhys book companions (which target many different language skills including cause and effect), as well as in the Spotlight Series book companions for Cause and Effect.

STEP 1: Print out the Sentences Cutouts and the Cause and Effect Graphic Organizers sections of the book companion. You can either print the answer key, or refer to an electronic copy.

Book page numbers that the different cause and effect dynamics occur on are indicated above the scrambled sentence, and on each cause & effect graphic organizer. Since page numbers are not indicated on the pages of the Where the Wild Things are book, I considered the first page of the story to be page 1.

Cut out the scrambled sentences, being sure that you keep each sentence separate. You can attach them to their respective graphic organizer. You’re now ready to start reading the book with your students!

STEP 2: As you read the book with your students, pause after reading the pages that have a cause & effect graphic organizer associated with them. Give your students the sentence fragments to assemble. This encourages an exploration of syntax through trial and error; encourage your students to keep moving the sentence parts around until they have assembled a sentence with the conjunction “so” or “because” as the connector.

Please note that, in sentences with because, the graphic organizer should feature the “effect” box on the left, and the “cause” box on the right. This is done for you.

STEP 3: Once your students have assembled the sentence correctly, have them glue it onto the graphic organizer, putting the cause part of the sentence into the cause box, the effect part of the sentence into the effect box, and the conjunction that connects the two clauses. If you’d like to work on writing goals with your students, have them transcribe the sentence onto the graphic organizer.

As you proceed through the book, repeat this process on all pages that have a cause and effect graphic organizer associated with it.

Want to teach your students about cause and effect while helping them to generate complex and compound sentences? Get StoryWhys book companions that specifically target cause and effect and sentence building here.


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Have you heard? StoryWhys now offers the Speech and Spell series of resources. I am always trying to tie articulation work and spelling together in my therapy and I've never found any good resources out there to help me do this. So I made my own! Many more speech sounds and spelling rules to come. They'll be 50% off for 48 hrs when new resources are added to the StoryWhys store. Find them here.

Did you know book companions can be among the best speech therapy materials for elementary students? Explore all of the StoryWhys book companions for speech therapy in my store. You'll find comprehensive book companions that target many different language skills or Spotlight Series book companions that focus on one type of skill, all using high-quality, beloved storybooks.

And get your FREE, 71-page book companion for speech therapy on the Special Offers page.


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