Do Your Students Have these Vital Life Skills?

Do Your Students Have these Vital Cause-Effect Life Skills?

Are your students limited to one connection when it comes to cause-effect reasoning and social problem-solving skills that are so necessary for functional life skills? This isn’t always a problem when students are young.  However, in middle and high school they need to be able to think and plan a bit further to develop independent living skills.

cause-effect, problem solving activities, speech therapy, special education


Making the Cause-Effect Connections

cause-effect, problem solving activities, speech therap, special education

Predicting multiple possible causes and consequences is part of what helps us make decisions about the correct response to make. Then, being able to see the impact these actions have on others helps us to live in groups.

For example, my student, ‘R.’ could answer, “What happens when you leave the pizza in the oven too long?” with “It will burn.”

But, when asked why else this is a problem, he couldn’t see the bigger picture and provide anything else that would happen.

Say, for example:

  • Now there is nothing for dinner and we will be hungry.
  • If the pizza stays in too long, it could cause a fire.
  • It will make smoke and we will have to open the windows.
  • My parent will be upset about burning dinner.
  • My brother will be annoyed that his favorite dinner burned.

His partner in the group, ‘M’, however, could come up with examples of why burnt pizza was a problem, but couldn’t tell why the pizza was burned in the first place.

Do your students have the cause-effect skills they need for solving life's problems?

This group worked out quite well as they both looked at the same picture sets and discussed the events with each other, helping to fill in the gaps.

Of course, students need to have an experiential basis for a variety of situations (although I wouldn’t burn the pizza on purpose) but pictures and practice can help fill in some of the gaps.

Cause-Effect Activities

‘Cause and Effect Activities’ was developed to help the students be able to expand these critical thinking skills.  The pictures were dependent on those available at the time it was made. However, the visuals for building skills follow a format that works for any pictures you have, in addition to those in the set.

Build student skills using visual strategies from a picture level to sentences.  Then add figuring out cause-effect  in short problem scenarios.  Finally, work on explaining the scenarios in compound sentences that will make it clear. This all-in-one set is designed for multiple levels of the same skill!

strategies for cause-effect, mixed groups, differentiated instruction, speech therapy

Get your concrete thinkers to expand skills and come up with multiple causes and effects.  This leads to improved problem-solving in both real-life activities and social scenarios. The problem isn’t always just in the burned pizza.  Rather, it is a bigger problem because of all the other effects that could be occurring at the same time!


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I’m Linda, an SLP who loves helping you build effective communication skills for your students using strategies and visuals. Pictures are time consuming, so let me make your life easier!

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