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Setting Investigation

written by: Marlene Gundlach•edited by: Amanda Grove•updated: 11/1/2009

Studying setting helps students to further study a story and can aid in comprehension. This activity gives readers a chance to take a thorough look at the setting of a story.

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    The Setting

    A story's setting helps describe where the story happens and the time it takes place. It answers the questions when and where. The setting of a story can affect the mood of a story and the characters. It can involve the place, time, weather, social condition of the time period, or the atmosphere. When a setting strongly interweaves with the plot of a story, it can aid in comprehension and make the story more interesting to read. The activity below will give students a stronger understanding of setting.

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    Choose a Setting

    This activity for teaching setting starts with a basic story. By using familiar stories, students can focus on the setting of the story. Offer the follow options:

    • The Three Little Pigsthree little pigs 
    • The Wizard of Oz
    • Finding Nemo
    • Cinderella
    • Toy Story
    • Star Wars
    • Little Red Riding Hood
    • Harry Potter Series
    • Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

    Once students choose a story, they then need to choose one specific setting from the story. They will also need to specifically choose the month and year the setting takes place. To further study the setting, ask students to also tell what time of day the setting is best shown or when the action takes place in the particular setting. They should choose a specific time, and label it as a.m. or p.m.

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    Using the Templace

    When working with the setting investigation template, have students follow these directions:

    1. Use the template, draw in pencil an aerial view of the setting from the story you chose.
    2. Draw it like a map, including all of the important places, details, and characteristics. Label all of these features using small, dark printed words.
    3. Fill in the box at the top of the page with the story name and the place from the story that you chose.
    4. Fill in the clock with hands that show what time of day and the month and year of the setting.
    5. Lightly color the map with color pencil so that your labels are still visible.