Learning About Cause and Effect

F’s Story

I like flowers, and where there are flowers there are butterflies. F’s story looks at the value of the little things in life. Chaos Theory hints at disaster, but we can see how it can also lead to wonder and joy.


The butterfly effect, Chain of events, Cause, Effect, Florist, If-then

Lesson Ideas

Cause and effect, If-then, Subjunctive

The butterfly effect is a great way to practice cause and effect because it starts with something very small that everybody can understand. It slowly builds to something much bigger, global weather patterns.

We can start with if-then statements to identify steps in the changes from cause to effect. When our students are ready we can have them turn those statements into a narrative description of how it happens, perhaps even forbidding the use of ‘if’ in their writing.

Activity Sheet

Are you a creative person? I just have rough drafts for most of my activity sheets, maybe you can help me think of better designs for these.

This activity sheet puts a creative twist on a rote grammar structure. Practicing if-then statements with each example effecting the next. You may want to give your students a starting point and a goal. The butterfly effect is a well known but never explained if-then chain of events. If a butterfly flaps its wings in the Amazon … skipped over … then there will be a hurricane in Europe.

You can step up the grammar aspect by starting in the subjunctive If you could fly then…. And you can lighten the mood by beginning the lesson by reading the popular children’s book ‘If You Give a Mouse a Cookie’. I’ve set this activity up with a happy beginning and ending, it’s just the way I am.

If You Don’t Like the First Activity, Try This