Teaching Cause and Effect with Songs

Teaching Cause and Effect with Songs

Teaching Cause and Effect with Songs is one in a series of four blog posts on using songs to teach text structures. The text structure 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.

This handout contains all the song titles listed in this series of posts. It also has a series of printable organizers for students to use with the songs.

Get the handout for this cause-and-effect blog post including the song list and graphic organizers.

Songs for Cause and Effect

Teaching Cause and Effect with Songs - When You Wish Upon a Star

When You Wish Upon a Star 

This is a great song to introduce your “Cause and Effect” Lesson. The song has a couple of cause-and-effect relationships :

  • When you wish upon a star – anything your 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)

Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh ( A Letter from Camp) 

Allan Sherman and Lou Busch wrote this song based on a letter full of complaints Allan received from his son while he attended Camp Champlain in Westport, New York. Allan’s son experiences many misadventures due to homesickness making it a fun song that is perfect to teach cause and effect.

Teaching Cause and Effect with Songs - It’s My Party sung by Leslie Gore

It’s My Party

This song, 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

Spinning Wheel by Blood Sweat & Tears

“Spinning Wheel” 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.
Teaching Cause and Effect with Songs - The Light by Disturbed

The Light by Disturbed

“The Light” 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

If I Had a Hammer by Peter, Paul & Mary

“If I Had a Hammer” is an exceptional 1960s 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 and Effect with Songs
Teaching Cause and Effect with Songs

More Cause and Effect Songs

  • “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel (1987)

“We Didn’t Start the Fire” describes various historical events and relationships between them.

  • “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson (1988)

“Man in the Mirror” talks about making positive changes within oneself to create a better world.

  • “Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin (1974)

“Cat’s in the Cradle” explores the cause-and-effect relationship between a father not being there for his son and the resulting strained relationship.

  • “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey (1981)

“Don’t Stop Believin’” is about the cause-and-effect relationship of never giving up on your dreams and persevering through tough times.

  • “The Times They Are A-Changin’” by Bob Dylan (1964)

“The Times They Are A-Changin’” discusses the relationship between social and political change and the need to adapt to a changing world.

  • “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten (2015)

“Fight Song” describes the relationship between standing up for oneself and persevering through challenges to achieve one’s goals.

If you missed the link above, here it is again.

Get the handout for this cause-and-effect blog post including the song list and graphic organizers.


Check out the other posts in this series.

Gay Miller

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