Teaching Cause and Effect with Songs

For February, I am creating a series of four blog posts on songs to use while teaching text structures. Cause and effect was one of the more difficult to think of songs. If you know of any classroom friendly songs, please include them in the “Comment Section” at the bottom of the post.

When You Wish Upon a Star would be a great song to introduce you “Cause and Effect” Lesson. The song has a couple of cause and effect relationships :

  • When you wish upon a star – anything you heart desires will come to you.
  • If your heart is in your dream – no request is too extreme.

The song also contains personification (fate steps) and a simile (like a bolt out of the blue).

Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh ( A Letter from Camp) 

This song was written by Allan Sherman and Lou Busch based on a letter full of complaints Allan received from his son while he attended Camp Champlain in Westport, New York. This fun song is perfect for cause and effect.

It’s My Party, sung by Leslie Gore, was recorded in black and white. The video below contains the original song played in the movie Problem Child (1990). In the movie, Junior gets revenge for not being allowed to watch the magic show. The video is full of Junior’s antics which make fantastic cause and effect discussion examples.

Spinning Wheel by Blood Sweat & Tears won three Grammys in 1970. It is a metaphor for the cycle of events we go through in life. The song begins with “What goes up, must come down.” See if students can find these:

  • You got no money and you got no home.
  • Don’t worry; things will work out. 
  • By following the  “straight and narrow highway” (moral integrity) you will shine.

The Light by Disturbed tells the story of a fireman who is injured in a fire and goes through a difficult rehabilitation process only to find happiness in the end. The message is really positive. People must go through ‘dark’ periods in order to finally see ‘the light.’ The video has a great cause and effect message.

If I Had a Hammer by Peter, Paul & Mary is an exceptional 1960’s folk song. The video below, filmed at the Civil Rights March on Washington in 1963, can be used to not only discuss the cause and effect events mentioned in the song the song but also the causes and effects of the Civil Rights March.

Teaching Cause & Effect with Songs




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Gay Miller


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