Setting Teacher Resources
Find Setting educational ideas and activities
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Explore San Francisco's Chinatown in a lesson about the first few chapters of The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. Kids research Chinatown on the Internet and create a virtual tour of the neighborhood, including the foods, cultural events, and social issues that the residents are experiencing. They then map some of the landmarks from the novel, including Golden Gate Park and the University of California, Berkeley. For a writing activity, readers analyze the swan story from the beginning of the novel. Finally, they read an essay about Amy Tan and decide if her experiences are similar to the protagonist in the first two chapters.
“An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” Ambrose Bierce’s short story, is used to model how structural moves, the decisions an author makes about setting, point of view, time order, etc., can be examined to reveal an author’s purpose. Groups examine the three parts of the story and collect evidence to show how the point of view, tone, and mood change in each part. They then posit theories about why the author may have made these choices and share their ideas with the whole class.
Introduce your class to literary analysis with a series of activities that has them examine book and movie reviews. Groups then draft their own review of a text, select a digital medium, and craft a presentation.
Are you in need of a new way to teach learners sequence of events and how to interpret a character's external motivations? Why not engage them in dramatic play? The class will use tableaux to convey the sequence of events in a familiar story; they will then convey setting, character, and action using the same technique. Afterward, they'll discuss how the tableau communicated the character's intentions in each scene.
"What my father had anticipated was now actually happening." The Chosen explores the complicated relationships between parents and their children. Readers make personal connections to Chiam Potok's story, set in Brooklyn's Hasidic community of the 1940s, through a series of problematic situation activities and discussions. Step-by-step directions and worksheets are included in the detailed plan.
The battle between the Free Staters and the Republicans in the 1922-1923 Irish Civil War provides the backdrop for “The Sniper.” Individuals prepare for a discussion of Liam O’Flaherty’s tragic short story by completing a study guide that asks them to define vocabulary words, identify literary terms, and answer fact-based questions about the tale. Consider providing groups with additional questions that require research into the civil war and critical thinking about issues raised by the story.
What is the initiating event? What is the protagonist's goal? What attempts are made to achieve this goal? What is the outcome? Model for your class how to map out the structure of any narrative. Readers then search for answers as the progress through a story. Although designed for use with Les Miserables, the approach could be used with any text. A worksheet is included.
Youngsters construct a map of treasures that they find along a nature trail as they hike. They also make sketches and create place names of some of the spots along the trail. Once back in class, pupils use their treasure maps to help them construct a story based on the map and their detailed observations. The engaging instructional activity does a nice job of combining language arts with life sciences. The teacher would be wise to have a treasure map journal made up ahead of time to show the class what they should be creating out on the trail.
Who is Herman Melville? Read and discuss "Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-street." Then, discuss the film adaptations of Melville's work and translate a passage of the text into modern-day English. Discussion questions are included, and be sure to check out the possible extension activities. From the New York Times superb Learning Network.
Do the actions of a character in a story change based on the setting the writer provides? Learners explore the concept of character action in relation to story setting by investigating the setting and events in the story Science Friction. They start by discussing how the main character's actions change throughout the story as the setting in the story changes. They also work specifically on using context clues to anticipate what the character might do at the end of the story.
Explore figurative language with your secondary class. Extending a language arts unit, the lesson prompts middle schoolers to examine how an author's word choice establishes a story's tone, possibly using metaphors, similes, onomatopoeia, alliteration, and personification. They can then develop their own plots using figurative language.
Teach your third graders to compare and contrast literary elements in two different works on related topics. A pre-assessment activity asks young readers to identify story elements such as character, setting, plot, and main idea. Pairs then record the similarities and differences between the two poems or stories on a Venn diagram. Instructional tips, differentiated instructional support, and extensions are included.
How does an author develop his or her personal writing style? This presentation starts by looking at E.E. Cummings and some of his most notable works. As an author with a lot of style, he's the perfect example! Then, terms such as figurative language, symbol, irony, and imagery (among others) are defined and examples are given. Several practice opportunities are also provided.
Students define the concept of fairy tale and identify typical characteristics of this genre. They use illustrations as cues to retell favorite fairy tales and discuss common themes and emotions expressed in these stories.
Through this three-day lesson plan, learners will develop an understanding of several elements of narration such as plot, characterization, setting, point of view, and theme. Reading several fiction texts and taking notes using dialectical journaling, your class will make analytical observations, comparisons, and ask textual questions. Using the data collected, they will present their findings in an analysis. Home connections, extensions, and differentiation activities included.
An extensive lesson on art analysis, storytelling, critical thinking, and observation awaits your class! They learn to observe and read art the way they would a story; paying attention to details, historical context, and visual cues that describe a place, time, and thought. The lesson is broken into four parts, where learners discuss what they see, review content specific vocabulary, and finally create a work of art that expresses a story. Note: The lesson could be used in either an art or language class.
Understanding the essential elements of a story (setting, characters, plot, solution, conclusion), is very important for young readers. In this language arts lesson, 2nd graders complete a picture sequencing activity based on three famous Fairy Tales. Students are then asked to write about what is happening in each picture. There are some excellent blackline masters embedded in the plan that are used to carry out this terrific lesson.
Students discover the elements of a story (introduction, plot, climax, resolution, denouement). In groups of five, one student writes an introduction and passes it to the next person, who writes the plot and passes it to the next person, until an entire story has been created.
Second graders read The Piano and become familiar with racial discrimination. In this racial discrimination book lesson plan, 2nd graders answer comprehension question to focus on the importance of the book. Students discuss the reader's purpose in this story. Students discuss the main character's love of music. Students write a response to literature.
Students read and analyze the short story, "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," by Flannery O'Connor. They write a one-page response, explore various websites, take an online interactive journey, and write a final assessment paper.