Lesson Plans


Exploration Lesson #21: Cause and Effect
Location:Harbins Elementary
Grade: 4
Social Studies
4SS-11 read for main idea... detail... sequence of events and cause and effect relationships in a social studies context (QCC) (4SS_B1998-11)
4SS-22 explain the purpose of exploration and the effects on the Native Americans (QCC... CE) (4SS_C1998-22)

Language Arts
4LA-14 identify causes and effects of events in texts (QCC... CE) (4LA_B1998-14)

Type: Regular
Core/Supplemental Materials:
Our United States pp. 50-77
See resource guide for hard copy of attachments.
Options: yarn, folders, vis-a-vis pens, construction paper ships
Assessment: Attachment 1
Internet Links:
Assessment Option(s):
See Attachment 1

Students use the Age of Exploration as a basis to show cause/effect relationships. The lesson can be used as a skills
sheet, bulletin board, discussion, or folder game activity.

Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills: Information about explorers and Age of Exploration

The following are cause/effect relationships from the Age of Exploration. They can be used either on a skills sheet, class
discussion, folder skills game or as a bulletin board. If used as a bulletin board, make ship halves showing the cause on
one half and the effect on the other. Students need to match cause to effect thereby making a whole ship. (LA 14)

*Cause: Marco Polo told of rich Asian empires.
Effect: Europeans became interested in Asian culture and trade.

*Cause: Prince Henry was fascinated with ships, maps and riches.
Effect: He started a school to teach navigation

*Cause: No one knew the continents of North and South America existed.
Effect: Christopher Columbus found America and though it was China.

*Cause: A cartographer (or mapmaker) honored Amerigo Vespucci by putting his name on a new land.
Effect: America got its name.

*Cause: Spanish explorers came to America looking for gold and silver.
Effect: Conquistadors attacked Native American cultures and claimed lands for their country.

*Cause: European explorers brought many diseases with them.
Effect: Hundreds of thousands of Native Americans died.

*Cause: Vasco Da Gama rounded the southern tip of Africa.
Effect: A water route to Asia had been found.

*Cause: The Catholic church of Spain acted to spread Catholicism.
Effect: Missions were built to convert Native Americans.

*Cause: Europeans wanted furs for hats, coats and other clothing.
Effect: The French set up trading posts in Canada

Key for Assessment (see attachment 1 from your hard copy of the 4th Grade Social Studies Resource Guide)
1.g 2.a 3.f 4.b 5.e 6.i 7.c 8.d 9.h

Writing Response: Explorers have had a great impact on our life today. Name three cause/effect relationships that
exist between the Age of Exploration (cause) and life today (effect). Explain the relationships.

Make a folder game (laminated), have 4-5 causes listed on the right side. On the left side, list appropriate effects in
mixed order. These could be from the explorers unit (choose several obvious ones from above) or from life situations.
(Ex. It is raining outside today (cause) we will not go outside (effect). Have students match the cause to the appropriate
effect by drawing a line with a vis-a-vis pen. This could also be done as a bulletin board activity using yarn to connect
causes to effects or use the ship idea from # 1 above. (LA 14)

Using the textbook or their explorer notes, students need to write as many cause/effect relationships as they can in a
30 minute time period. They will then create a game board, rules, and game pieces that will require the use of cause/effect

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