Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Cause and Effect

Recently, many of my students missed a couple of questions on their quarterly standardized predictor test which were about "author's organizational pattern." Looking at the test, it seemed that they were more confused by the terminology rather than unable to tell if a passage was organized chronologically, so I gave them a guide to the patterns that our state thinks they ought to know (chronological, sequence, comparison/contrast, cause and effect, problem/solution, and generalization), and then pulled a few passages from a Common Core Standards sight that would allow them to practice.

Here's one:

One day Dino the Dinosaur decided to go for a walk to the watering hole. It was a sunny day and the sky was blue and clear. Dino was thinking about his girlfriend Dina when he saw a pack of wild lizards and animals running through the plains in a frenzy. Dino tried to ask the critters why they were running, but they just kept running. Dino scratched his dinosaur head and continued walking toward the watering hole. Soon after, Dino heard a loud thumping noise like the slow beat of a drum. The earth shook and fruit fell from the trees, but Dino was so deep in thought over his girl Dina that he didn’t even notice. The thumping grew louder and louder as Timmy the Tyrannosaurs Rex approached Dino. Dino kept thinking about his girl Dina until the moment Timmy ate him.

The choices were A) Chronological, B) Cause and Effect, C) Sequence, or D) Problem/solution

The majority of students chose B, and when I asked them why, they explained that the cause of Dino's death was that he was distracted.

They have a point.

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