Setting the Stage

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SWBAT determine the setting a story using key details from the text.

Big Idea

Students discover the setting of a story goes beyond where it takes place. They analyze a story to take into account key details to determine the setting, such as time and season.

Do Now

15 minutes

I told students the setting is the time and place of the story. I explained that while the story takes place at school, there are other elements that determine the setting, such as time of day and time of year. I then reviewed the settings poster with them. (Note: The attached list is not exhaustive. Add clues as needed.)  

Using the story Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, I modeled determining the setting of the story using story clues and writing it on the Where Am I? graphic organizer. (See attached Think Aloud.) Finally, I guided students through completing the remainder of the graphic organizer using story details to gain a complete picture of the setting.

Independent Practice

20 minutes

Working in pairs, students worked to determine the main setting in The Ballad of Mulan on the other side of their student sheet. I deliberately made the sheet two-sided so that students would have a model to reference during independent practice. I circulated around the room to assess students as they worked.


20 minutes

I assessed students as they worked. I formed small groups and retaught as needed. To reteach, I reviewed the story clues poster with students. Then I had them ask, "Where does the story take place? How do I know?" They would tell me details from the story that helped them determine the setting, then write their responses on the graphic organizer. Having students focus on the text helped them make the connection to the concept of determining the setting.