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Statements of Causes

by Kousar Parveen Shaikh | 04 Dec 2019
Resource Description: This lesson plan specifically focuses on writing skill of ESL learners. Students will reinforce their essay writing skills by exploring how to present convincing reasons behind a certain event in their texts.
Audience: Secondary
Audience Language Proficiency: Intermediate
Duration: 60 minutes
Language Skill: Writing
Content Area: English for academic purposes
Materials and Technology:

The lesson aims at strengthening ESL learners' essay writing skills through teaching a distinct rhetorical mood: cause and effect with a major focus on statements of causes/reasons.

 The students will:

  • explore pertinent vocabulary and transitions e.g. because, since, due to, etc.;
  • analyze logical reasons given in a read/text and brainstorm their own convincing reasons;
  • create cause-and-effect thesis statements, support arguments, and outlines.

Primary Outcomes:

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • think in a logical, and sensible way about several causes behind a particular effect;
  • compose cause and effect thesis statements on given topics with focus on causes;
  • create topic- and sentence-outlines for cause-and-effect essays/articles with causes as major details;
  • use pertinent vocabulary: conjunctions for introducing causes/reasons.

Secondary Outcomes:

Students will be able to explore and analyze various causes behind student-life stress.

Procedure: Please refer to the attached file.

The lesson plan uses performance-based assessment. That is students will be creating sentence outlines and using relevant conjunctions thus a complete skeleton (pattern/structure) along with flesh (content/ideas) and tendons (pertinent conjunctions) will be produced at the end of the lesson – presenting a product in accordance with lesson outcomes.


As a follow-up lesson, teachers can use topics such as 'effects of exercise' and/or 'relaxation techniques' to continue teaching same rhetorical mood: cause and effect, but with major focus on 'effects/results' this time. This will also create a link between topics; i.e. 'causes of stress' in this lesson, and 'effects of exercise' in the next one.

One of the useful activities for that lesson (statements of effects) can be 'breathe, stretch, and relax - and then complete a topic outline on effects of exercising' followed by a sentence outline, etc.


Picture 1 adaptation of:

a. Latemplanza. (2017). Open_books.except. [jpg file]. Retrieved from

b. Higgins, R. (2017). upset-2681502_1280. [jpg file]. Retrieved from

Picture 2.

TheDigitalArtist. (2017). stress-2902537_1280. [jpg file]. Retrieved from

Picture 3.

Self-created image through Microsoft word SmartArt


Callahan, R. (n.d.). What are the causes of stress among college students?. Retrieved from

List of connectors.

Self-created image through Microsoft word

Text in the table – synonyms for following dictionary entries

Because. (n.d.). In Lexico online dictionary (2019.). Retrieved from

Because of. (n.d.). In Lexico online dictionary (2019.). Retrieved from

Due to. (n.d.). In Lexico online dictionary (2019.). Retrieved from

Useful Links:
Uploaded Files:
TESOL Interest Section: Second Language Writing