Lessons & Units

Setting 3rd Grade Unit


Lesson 1 Visualizing a Setting Determine the setting using context clues and visualization.
Lesson 2 Setting’s Effect on a Character's Actions Identify and describe how the setting affects the character’s actions.

Unit Extension Ideas

  • Have students discuss how a story would change if it was in a different setting. For example, if Little Red Riding Hood took place in a city, how would the story be different?
  • Teachers can read “Tripping over the Lunch Lady” by Angela Johnson in Tripping over the Lunch Lady and Other Stories, edited by Nancy E. Mercado, aloud. Students can identify the implicit setting and how it affects the characters’ actions. Note: Do not read the title of the short story so students can visualize the implicit settings. Discuss how the characters’ actions would change if the setting were different.
  • Students can read books that have been made into movies, such as Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan or Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. As students read such stories, have them draw a picture and write a description of each setting. Then watch the movie version of the story and have students compare their pictures and descriptions to the setting depicted in the movie.
  • Students should continue to:
  • Identify how a setting affects a character’s actions.
  • Identify implicit settings and the context clues that help them.
  • Visualize settings in read aloud sessions and chapter books.
  • Have students write about a favorite activity in two different settings. How do their actions change in each setting, for example, swimming in a pool in the middle of the day and swimming in a pond late at night? Students can also write about a favorite character and write a story with the character in two different settings. How does the character's action change in each setting?
  • Students should include explicit and implicit settings in their stories. Encourage them to write stories that include a change in setting.
  • Have students write stories with an implicit setting, then a partner can illustrate the setting or describe the setting.
  • Continue to have students use their five senses to describe a setting. Students can use a graphic organizer to describe a setting, and then use it to write a story. (See Additional Activity A in Teacher and Student Materials below.)

More Books for Teaching Setting

Uncle Jed's Barbershop
Arthur for the Very First Time
Class Clown
Danny the Champion of the World
City Green

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