I often teach the setting of a story by discussing genres. I ask students to name where and when a specific genre takes place.
Here is an example:
Science Fiction >> Outer Space >> Future
Fairy Tales >> Magical Kingdom >> Usually Past
Realistic Fiction >> Real Locations >> Usually Present
Myth >> Heaven and Earth >> Past
Historical Fiction >> Real Location >> Past
Next we use vivid imagery to describe a setting. I really stress the “Show, Don’t Tell” concept. [You might enjoy reading this post on Show, Don’t Tell.] I have students use a chart with the five senses listed across the top. Under each category, I ask students to use short phrases to describe what a character would experience in the location.
Next students work in small groups to examine settings in picture books. Here is a list of Picture Books with Well Developed Settings from readwritethink. Students use the Show, Don’t Tell method of describing the setting in their picture book.
These free “Printable Charts for Setting” may be used with Activity 3. You can download the anchor chart of your choice by clicking on the images below. Printing instructions are found below the images.
With Adobe Reader 10 or newer, you can print posters by splitting the document across multiple sheets of paper called tiles. After printing, you piece the tiles together. If you have an older version of Adobe Reader, you can update to a newer version with a free download here: http://get.adobe.com/reader/
- Choose File > Print
A pop-up menu will open. Select the “Poster” option under “Page Sizing & Handling.” The poster is set to print 20 by 30 inches. This will tile over 8 pieces of paper. This size fits perfectly on the standard 22 by 32 inch flip chart. If you select “Size” in place of “Poster,” your poster will fit on a standard 8 1/2 by 11 inch piece of paper.
If you are looking for additional resources, you might like to take a look at “Characters and Settings.” This resource contains mini posters, foldable graphic organizers, and activities to help teach about characters and settings.