Read Alouds for Problem and Solution, Cause and Effect

November 28, 2016

Later in the fall and heading towards winter, we begin to really focus on problem and solution and cause and effect in our stories. My first grade students by this point have been introduced to these ideas, but now they will dive in and not only identify each of these in a story, but also take note on how important they can be to the plot.


I wanted to share some of my favorite read alouds for both skills. First up, problem and solution:

Enemy Pie by Derek Munson:

This book has a very clear problem, but the solution is the fun one here! With a twist at the end, your students will be interested to see what happens in this story to fix the problem. This book is also a wonderful character education read aloud to help students who may be having trouble with friends (or “enemies”).


Crazy Hair Day by Barney Saltzberg:

In this story, Stanley accidentally celebrates crazy hair day one day early and arrives to school feeling quite embarrassed. There are many ways this problem could be solved, but his classmates choose a heartwarming way to make Stanley feel included!


A Chair for My Mother by Vera Williams:

In this story a family spends a long time saving up money for a new chair. The problem presented here requires a long, dedicated solution, with many lessons to be taught to your young students along the way.

You can grab each of these books here:
Next, I teach about cause and effect using the following books:
The Rain Came Down by David Shannon:

This text highlights cause and effect very clearly. Each character does something that causes another character to react. On each page your students will be able to readily identify a cause and effect going on in the text.


Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish:

Good ole Amelia Bedelia always has my kids laughing as she constantly mistakes the meanings of words without using context clues. We always have a lively debate at the end of the story about whether or not Amelia Bedelia should’ve lost her job.


Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst:

In this classic, we talk about how the way Alexander is feeling and acting effects what happens in the story. We love to discuss ways we could’ve changed his day to help Alexander have a better, happier day and how those causes and effects might occur in the context of the story.

You can grab those three books here:

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I have also made read aloud lessons and response sheets for ALL the above books and more that you can find by clicking the image below if you are interested:

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