Direct effects activity | BCHydro Power Smart for Schools

What's the best way to show direct effects?

Create a web to show the direct effects of an action.

Activity Image
2, 3
30 mins


In this activity, students will use the criteria and a thinking strategy to consider the direct effects of an action. While this activity uses examples related to environmental actions, any science concept, phenomenon, or content could be used to help nurture the competency of evaluating.


What you'll need

  • “Direct effects” slideshow
  • “Identifying direct effects” handout
  • “Assessing my ability to identify direct effects” rubric
  •  Digital projector and screen

  1. Open up and display the “Direct effects” slideshow. Show your students slide 2 and ask them to look at the images. Draw their attention to the image of the sun and invite them to imagine the sun on a hot day. Ask your students, “What does it feel like? What may happen as a result?” Now draw their attention to the other images. Ask your students, “What is happening in these images?” 
  2. Explain to your students that these images all show results or effects related to the hot sun. Ask your students to decide which of the effects shown is directly connected or related to the hot sun. 
  3. Invite the students to share their decisions and thinking with the class. Invite your students to use their thinking to co-create, or present to them, the following criteria for direct effect.
  •  A direct effect clearly causes a change or leads another action
  1. Show slide 4. Ask your students to identify the direct effect of the hot sun, keeping in mind the criterion. Draw an arrow from the sun to the direct effect students identify (the melting ice cream cone.) Now ask the students to identify what would be the direct effect of the other images, and draw arrows from one image to the other. Explain to the students that they have created a direct effect web (slide 5). Ask the students to suggest other effects that could be direct effects and add these to the web.
  2. Show slide 6. Ask your students to suggest the effects of a downed power line. Note their answers on chart paper. Guide the students in sorting the ideas from the chart paper: Which of the results or effects are direct? Which might be related, but not direct effects? Remind your students to use the criterion for direct effect to guide their thinking.
  3. Explain to students that we must observe any dangerous situations, like fallen power lines, and remember Down. Danger. Dial and shuffle at least 10 metres away before dialling 911.
  4. Provide each student with a copy of the “Identifying direct effects” handout. Prompt the students to label the web using the direct effects and any related effects of planting a tree. 
  5. Encourage your students to share their direct effect webs with the class. 
  6. Conclude this activity by inviting your students to suggest other situations where they might use the criteria and direct effect web.

Modify or extend this activity


Ask your students to create a web that shows the direct environmental effects of their daily actions. They can use words and drawings. Remind them to use the criteria for direct effect. 

Curriculum Fit

Grade 2, 3 Science

Curricular competencies

  • Consider some environmental consequences of their actions
  • Make simple inferences based on their results and prior knowledge
  • Identify some simple environmental implications of their and others’ actions
Applying and innovating
  • Contribute to care for self, others, school, and neighbourhood through personal or collaborative approaches
  • Transfer and apply learning to new situations


Throughout the activity consider how well students:

  • Think collaboratively during class discussions
  • Use criteria to guide their thinking
  • Use sources of information and prior knowledge to make meaning
  • Transfer and apply learning to new situations

Guide students in using the “Assessing my ability to identify direct effects” rubric during the activity.


Select the materials you require for this activity or download all

Direct Effects Slideshow

327.5 kb pdf

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