Teaching Cause and Effect Relationships with A Turkey for Thanksgiving

Teach your students cause and effect relationships using A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting with the freebie in this post.
Nearly every teacher teaches cause and effect relationships in reading, yet for some reason, children struggle with this skill. Well, one of my favorite ways to help my students make the cause/effect connection is to use mentor texts to discuss "Why" questions. After all, if we can get our kids to come up with the because, then they begin to get it. 

For today's link up, I've chose to feature a lesson set I've put together for cause/effect for the book, A Turkey for Thanksgiving. Eve Bunting is another favorite author, and in fact, the post I wrote for her book, The Memory String is one of the most popular posts on my blog. Eve Bunting has written so many wonderful books including The Wednesday Surprise, The Butterfly House, How Many Days to America?, Someday a Tree, and Fly Away Home among many others. 

Lesson Introduction

To begin this lesson, I am sharing an anchor chart you can project and print for your students' interactive notebooks or you might make one like the one to the left from Second Grade Superheroes

As I refer to anchor charts, I enjoy sharing examples with students of every day cause/effect relationships. These provide the concrete thinking needed for us to get started. One of the best way to help kids understand is through discussion though, so you might have your kids work in teams to break down examples to share. Kids need to talk it out.

Here are a few examples you might use to get started:

1) Missing the bus
2) Forgetting Assignments
3) Storms
4) Burning food in the oven
5) Playground Conflicts
6) Lost library books
7) Making a friend
8) Getting an A on a test
9) Sending a thank you card
10) Putting balloons and streamers up in the classroom.

Using a Mentor Text

When you think about cause and effect relationships, one reason kids struggle is that they have to figure things out (infer), so using think aloud with a great piece of literature demonstrates further how cause/effect relationships work. If you don't have a copy of A Turkey for Thanksgiving, you can use the freebie I'm sharing with the Youtube clip embedded below.

My Freebie

Love This Book and Want MORE?

My freebie is a preview of a larger unit for this wonderful book. The full bundle includes quite a few FUN hands-on options for comprehension and writing. Here's a listing of what's included. AND...it's discounted for this weekend only. 
  • Schema builder (quick write about Thanksgiving plans)
  • Story elements turkey project
  • Vocabulary organizer and cards
  • Question Task Cards and Response Sheet
  • Four Square Thinking Map
  • Summarizing the Main Idea
  • The Cause/Effect Set
  • and A Class Book Project
44 pages (Digital or PDF)

Purchase it for $5.00 HERE

Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you'll find the cause/effect freebie helpful, and for other great ideas, check out the other posts linked up below.
Pin for Later:
Teach your students cause and effect relationships using A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting with the freebie in this post.


  1. One of my favorite stories! Thanks for the ideas to use with it.

    1. The full unit is discounted just during the link up period if you're interested. So glad you liked the freebie I shared. :-)

  2. You can never have enough activities for Cause & Effect! I love the book you chose :) Thanks for all of your wonderful ideas, Carla!
    The Techie Teacher

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you friend! Loved yours too. I'll have to look for that book now. :-)

  4. Thank you! Even my kindergartners loved that book!

  5. Love the lesson for the Eve Bunting book. I have the book and she's one of my favorite authors.
    First Grade Schoolhouse

  6. Carla, this is a fabulous post! I LOVE using mentor texts for teaching, too! Thank you!

  7. That is a terrific book! I mean how can you go wrong with Eve Bunting , right? Thank you for sharing your ideas!
    Reading and Writing Redhead

  8. I love Eve Bunting's books! Thanks for sharing your ideas for using this as a mentor text, Carla!
    Linda at Primary Inspiration

  9. What a great-visual way to teach cause and effect thanks for sharing! Also, thanks for the freebie:)

  10. I love that book! Thank you for sharing a wonderful free activity!
    Christine Maxwell Hand to Heart

  11. Great activity! THANKS! Happy Thanksgiving! Wendy 1stgradefireworks


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