The setting of the story is the time and place that it occurs. Every story has a setting. The setting helps to create the mood of the story. It influences how readers feel about the text. I will give you an example to show you how much setting may affect the mood of the story.
Imagine a story about a girl and a boy playing hide-and-seek. Pretend that the conflict in this story is that the girl cannot find the boy no matter how hard she looks. The setting of this story will have a huge impact on the mood, or how readers feel while reading the text. If this story took place in a candy shop during the day, it might have a happy or playful mood. But if this story took place at a cemetery during the night, the mood would be down right frightening.
Being able to identify when and where the story is taking place is a basic reading comprehension skill. Here are a sampling of worksheets to help students practice identifying settings. In each worksheet students read a variety of short texts and then must infer the setting based on close reading. Then they must explain their answers. These worksheets are great practice for determining the setting of a story. I have also included a PowerPoint lesson on setting. This lesson contains definitions, examples, and useful tips. There is also a practice activity after the lesson. I hope that these resources help students master the skill of interpreting literary settings.
Setting Worksheet 1 – In this double-sided worksheet, students read short stories. They determine the setting based on textual details and explain their answers. With five passages and ten problems, this worksheet gives students great practice with determining story settings. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 2-6
Setting Worksheet 1 RTF
Setting Worksheet 1 PDF
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Setting Worksheet 2 – Here is another setting worksheet with five short passages and ten questions. Students determine the setting in each passage based on textual clues. Then they explain their answers. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 2-6
Setting Worksheet 2 RTF
Setting Worksheet 2 PDF
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Setting Worksheet 3 – Here is one more setting worksheet. As with the others, this one has five passages and ten problems. Students determine the setting of each passage based on textual clues and explain their responses. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 1-5
Setting Worksheet 3 RTF
Setting Worksheet 3 PDF
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Setting Lesson – Here is an animated PowerPoint slideshow that teaches students about setting. It has definitions, tips, and examples, not to mention five practice problems after the lesson.
Setting Lesson | PowerPoint
Common Core State Standards Related to Setting
Expand to View All Common Core State Standards Related to Setting
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.3 – Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.3 – With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.3 – Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.3 – Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions).
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.3 – Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., how characters interact).
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.7.3 – Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot).