Cause & Effect - Interdependence Mentor Text

I'm so happy to be back to linking up with the sweet and smart duo, Amanda & Stacia, from Collaboration Cuties for their Must-Read Mentor Text linky! Today I'm sharing a wonderful story of science and service that I used to teach the concepts of interdependence and cause and effect.

Here is the Amazon summary:
For a long time, the people of Hargigo, a village in the tiny African country of Eritrea, were living without enough food for themselves and their animals. The families were hungry, and their goats and sheep were hungry too. Then along came a scientist, Dr. Gordon Sato, who helped change their lives for the better. And it all started with some special trees.
These are the trees,
Mangrove trees,
That were planted by the sea.
With alternating verse and prose passages, The Mangrove Tree invites readers to discover how Dr. Sato's mangrove tree-planting project transformed an impoverished village into a self-sufficient community. This fascinating story is a celebration of creativity, hard work—and all those mangrove trees that were planted by the sea!

When I first spotted The Mangrove Tree, I immediately recognized the beautiful collage illustrations, done by Susan Roth, as it reminded me of another mentor text I blogged about, Listen to the Wind (both books are so rich and Susan's artwork only make them better!) You can read my post about Listen to the Wind HERE.
Source: Amazon
This book is perfect for teaching cause and effect because planting the mangrove trees has so many positive effects for this village community. I know this week's linky focus is language arts, but besides cause and effect, this book has a science connection I have to share with you- The Mangrove Tree presents the story of an ecosystem in which the  interdependence between living things centers around the mangrove trees. This has been a perfect fit for unit of inquiry on living things.

I would recommend The Mangrove Tree for grades 1-5. After reading it aloud once for enjoyment, we reread it closely to discuss cause and effect relationships in the book. I modelled this thinking aloud for my firsties and invited them to help me compose thoughts for the anchor chart (shown below). I did all the writing, and my students benefitted from the deep discussion we had, however, older students could reflect on the text in a small group and record their own insights on a graphic organizer.

Based on a true story, there are also several photographs and facts at the end of the book that give more information about Dr Sato's project. The students really love this and so do I, especially as we approach Earth Day. The story is such a positive account of service and sustainability, and it's real- so powerful!

What books do you use for teaching cause and effect?
Thanks for stopping by!
Signature photo ScreenShot2013-04-26at54143PM.png


  1. This book looks amazing! We will be doing ecosystems and adaptations in a few weeks and this will be perfect! LOVE! Thanks so much for linking it up! Have a great day!

    1. Yay! Glad you can use the recommendation! Enjoy your week :)

  2. I just recently got this book and I think it is fantastic!! I'm really looking forward to reading it with my class! Did you know that has a great lesson plan based on this book? That's how I first discovered it and I was so excited to see it pop up on my Bloglovin' feed today!! Thanks to you I have another great idea for using the book in my classroom! Thanks!

    1. No, I didn't know that! I'll be checking it out! Thanks for the tip!!

  3. Karli,

    Thanks for the book recommendation and lesson suggestions! Like you said, the timing is great with Earth Day around the corner. Happy Sunday!

    :) Ash
    The Rolly Chair


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