Thursday, January 28, 2010

Norman Rockwell - Activity 7 Cause and Effect

This is part of the Norman Rockwell integration blog series. To gain access to all the blogs in this series, click the tag “Norman Rockwell” when accessing the Magazine on this site.

You are encouraged to try out these activities and to comment on the blogs, activities and ideas. You might even find that you can share other ways to integrate Rockwell into what you do! Your voice and ideas matter!

Muse Away!

ACTIVITYCause and Effect

We see cause and effect everywhere around us and it can also be seen in a snapshot moment of a Norman Rockwell painting. An effect is what happens. A cause is why it happens. With a little prompting, students will be able to identify these within the situation of the painting.


1. Have students look closely at the painting and allow for some time for first impressions and conversations about the characters and the situation.

2. Ask students to take a closer look at the painting and state the prompt that allows them to find details that lend themselves to cause or effect. For example:

  • What is happening in the painting?
  • What do you think caused that to happen?
  • What will happen next as a result of that action?

3. Assist students in completing a t-chart that has cause and effect as the titles of the two columns. Sometimes you will fill out the left side first and other times you will fill out the right side first.

4. After a short introduction to the activity, invite students to work in small groups or on their own with a new painting. You may want students to complete the WORKSHEET.

Worksheet link:

Implementation Ideas: (review)

  • Have a copy of a painting for each student. (They do not have to be the same.)
  • Give students a copy to use in small groups.
  • Place copies of paintings around the room and have students do the activity while traveling from piece to piece in an “around the world” format.
  • Do a shared lesson or activity with your whole class or with a small group.
  • Create a center in your room where students can visit and complete the activity.

Extensions and Variations:

  • Ask students to change the situation of the painting. A student states a cause and then says how that will effect the situation. For example, a student may state, “I will throw a ball at the boy.” The effect may be, “The boy will try and catch the ball and will drop the bottle in his hand.”
  • Do the reverse of the above extension. Have a student state an effect and then state what could cause that effect to happen. For example, if the effect is, “The girl hits that boy,” the cause may be, “The boy pinched the girl.”

Final Blog in this Series (due out on Saturday January 30, 2010) – Wrapping it All Up

Make a Comment - We want to hear from you. What do you think of this activity? Any extension or variation ideas? Comments are welcomed and encouraged.

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