Cause and Effect with Strega Nona

I love Tomie dePaola stories, and Strega Nona has always been one of my favorites. What's not to love about never ending pasta!?!

This week, we've been working on cause-effect relationships, which can be pretty tricky for students. I love to use folktales and fables as anchor texts for teaching cause and effect, because there is always a moral or lesson to be learned as a result of a character's choices. This time I used Strega Nona. 

I always introduce cause and effect by pushing a student on my rolling desk chair. Kids love anything to do with the rolly chair.
Ask- What happened to Student? She rolled across the room. Why? She rolled across the room, because Mrs. Maiorino pushed her. 
Cause- The chair was pushed. 
Effect- Student rolled across the room. 
That led us to a few more real-world examples before diving into the story  

Since many of my kids had already read or heard Strega Nona, I introduced my anchor chart and set the purpose for listening. What happens as a result of Big Anthony touching the pasta pot?

After reading, we discussed the purpose for listening in pairs at the carpet.  Then, in their table groups, students were given a noodle that I made using yellow bulletin board paper.  On the noodle, each group had to write one effect that came from Big Anthony disobeying Strega Nona.  Each group shared out, and we added the noodles the pot.
Sidenote- I had a pretty vision of how this would look once the chart was complete.  The noodles are a little limp in the pot.  Oh well.  #realclassrooms

The noodles read:
  • The pot overflowed with pasta.
  • The pot began to overflow, and the townspeople were panicking!
  • The town was covered in pasta.
  • Strega Nona and the townspeople get mad at Big Anthony.
  • The town is covered in pasta.
  • Big Anthony had to eat all of the pasta, because he touched the pot. 

Lastly, students completed two cause-effect prompts in their literacy journals.  You can grab a copy here.

They did a really great job.  Cause and effect is hard, but these kiddos got it! I was super proud of them.  They loved the story, and they especially loved the big noodles.
Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment

  1. Thank you so much for this lesson idea. It will work well with my 3rd grade EIP/ESOL class. They have been struggling with reading concepts all year and I am trying to find different ways to reach them using mentor texts. I appreciate it!


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