Setting – Literary Elements Activities

Literary Elements, Reading

After spending two great weeks learning about characters as a part of our literary elements study in first grade, we moved on to learning about setting.  Setting is a tough one for first graders and it always has been for some reason.  The main part we focused on for these two weeks was where the story took place. We did discuss the time and the “when it took place” part of setting, but that discussion took place whole group.

Below are some awesome stories we used to focus on setting:

  • Library Mouse
  • Shark in the Dark
  • Swimmy
  • Chewy Louie
  • Zinnia and Dot
  • Corduroy
  • Owl Moon (used for their assessment)
  • The Gingerbread Cowboy (used for their assessment)
Setting Activities:
  • The easiest setting activity we did only takes a white piece of paper. We had students write the title of the story, name the setting, and then draw a picture of the setting.
  • Then, after a training on staff development day, I realized the Brace Map (thinking maps) would be a great way to identify what details led to the identification of the setting.

  • For practice and for our two Friday assessments, we used the setting page seen below…
Here are a few kid examples for the story – The Gingerbread Cowboy.  My favorite part about this assessment is kids not only have to identify the setting, but they also have to provide evidence from the book that led to them picking that setting (the upping of the rigor in Common Core :-))
The setting is desert.  I know this because in the book there is sand in the desert and cactus.
The setting is the desert. I know this because in the book there was cactus and a coyote and the wild pigs.
Below is the rubric we used to grade the setting portion and reading response.

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