Lesson plan

Reading Logs to Go!

Show and prove! Use this lesson plan and say farewell to fiction reading logs of yore, as your students (literally) draw connections across theme, cause, and effect.
GradeSubjectView aligned standards

Students will be able to describe and illustrate instances of cause and effect from the beginning, middle, and ending of their fiction readings.

(5 minutes)
  • Ask your students for a volunteer for a brief demonstration of arm strength.
  • Have the student hold either hand straight out in front of them (preferably over a desk or table), where you will place one book at a time to see how many they can hold.
  • Place one book after another on their hand until they fall on the table and ask your class: What happened in terms of cause and effect?
  • Clarify: “Because the books were too heavy, the effect was that the books fell.”
  • Share that today’s lesson has to do with cause, effect, and fiction books! Explain that CauseAnd EffectAre events where one (cause) precedes the other (effect).
(10 minutes)
  • Read aloud a fiction selection to your students where you can draw at least three instances of cause and effect.
  • Complete the Early in the Reading portion of the Illustrating Cause and Effects Reading Log worksheet in front of your students.
(5 minutes)
  • Hand out and preview double-sided copies of the Illustrating Cause and Effects Reading Log worksheet to your class.
  • Lead your students through the middle and ending portion of the Illustrating Cause and Effects Reading Log worksheet as you analyze the earlier read-aloud.
(10 minutes)
  • Ask your students to turn over and complete their Illustrating Cause and Effects Reading Log worksheet using a fiction text of their choice.


  • Provide pre-selected levelled fiction texts for your students.
  • Teach this lesson after independent reading time with an emphasis on fiction texts.
  • Have your students use a sentence frame like, “Because , the effect was ,” to clearly describe instances of cause and effect.


  • Have students draft a graphic novel summary of their reading including cause-and-effect events from the story.
  • Students can illustrate finely detailed cause and effect posters with fine details and colour.
  • Offer optional reading logs related to poetry or theme, (see Suggested Media).
  • Overhead, document, or smartboard projectors make for easy student viewing during teacher-modeling.
  • With wireless technology, it is often possible to take pictures of student models or student work and print them to a wireless printer. Investigate the possibilities!
(5 minutes)
  • Show your students pictures in two sets of four that reflect cause and effect.
  • Number the panels: A-1, 2, 3, 4 and B-1, 2, 3, 4.
  • Have your students present a show of fingers on each hand (A pictures on the left hand and B pictures on the right hand) for the matching panels. For example, students would hold up one finger on their one hand and three fingers on their other hand if illustrations 1 and 3 were a match.
(10 minutes)
  • DISCUSS: What instances of cause and effect do you share with characters from stories of other places and time?

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