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NEC4208's Message:

My 4th graders do not undertsand the question that wil be on the state test.. Why is the setting important to the story? Use two details to support your answer." Any suggestion for strategies and stories to use?

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
abeteach 03-24-2015 11:49 AM

Place your students in groups of three or four. You may choose to have them assembled according to reading ability. Give each group a book to share. The assignment for each group is to take turns reading the book. Then the students should determine the setting, when and where the story takes place. Finally the group should present the information to the rest of the class.
Now provide magazines for every student. The assignment is for the student to search for a picture, which could depict the setting of a story. Cut the picture out and glue it onto some construction paper. Next the student needs to write a short three or four sentence story based on the picture.
Review with students:
Why is the setting important in this story?
Would the story be the same if it happened in the winter? summer?
Would the story be the same if it happened on a farm? in a city?
Would the story be the same if it happened at night? during the day?

teachwitheart 03-21-2015 06:14 AM

I had this issue when we first started talking about setting this as well. We were reading an excerpt from On the Banks of Plum Creek in our Anthology and students were really struggling with WHY both the time and place were important. I had students recreate the story in small groups given a different setting either time, place, or both. Their stories were creative and fun, but it helped them to see why it was necessary for that particular story to take place at that place during that time.

ArtsyFartsyII 03-09-2015 12:27 PM

Maybe define "integral setting" versus a backdrop setting. If they have it in their head that setting is a general term, then drilling down to learn the difference between something more specific might help.

Linda/OH 03-08-2015 01:59 PM

Great ideas so far! I was also thinking setting also relates to time. We're going to be reading historical fiction soon where the time period is integral to the story.

So for example in Pink and Say, the setting is during the Civil War. To understand the story, you need to realize the where and when of the events.

ConnieWI 03-08-2015 05:54 AM

The attachment has a list of books for setting. A few of these might be good books to share aloud with students and then ask the question "Why is the setting important to the story?"

Over several days, read several of these books. Then spend several days modeling what the answer to the question might look like. Have students give you ideas, and then write them on chart paper.

Over the next several days, continue to read books, and have students work with a partner to answer the question. On your overhead, share what students write with the whole class.

Then read aloud another book, and have students work independently.

With all this practice, students are going to begin to see certain ideas that reoccur. For example, habitat for a certain kind of animal might repeat itself...the animal could not live in a desert if it needs lots of water to survive. Another example might be a person who makes clothes using skins of polar bears so could not live on the Great Plains. Students need to focus on things like food, clothing, homes, habitat, farming, culture, etc.

NEC4208 03-06-2015 03:11 PM

Thanks. The kids all want to answer the setting is important because we need to know where the story takes place or they say a setting is important because a story has to have a setting. They totally don't get it.

yesteach 03-06-2015 01:59 PM

some stories setting isn't necessarily important - it could have happened anywhere. However, some couldn't take place any where or time else. My third graders are reading Miracles on Maple Hill and the maple syrup business plays a large part in the story - it has to be set where there are maple trees and that type of business.

My second graders are reading Trumpet of the Swan - the setting has to include places where a swan could live - you couldn't have the story set up in a desert, there'd be no pond for the swans to live in...

fromkto3 03-06-2015 01:52 PM

We just discussed this today. We read an adaptation of "King Lear" and at a point there was a massive rain and wind storm going on when King Lear had been rejected by his second daughter. He was described as being miserable due to the rejection. I asked the students if we would get the same sense of his discontent if it had been a bright sunny day.

What if you displayed different images of settings and overlaid a quote from a story and then asked the students if/how the image matched the mood of the text?

NEC4208 03-06-2015 08:39 AM

My 4th graders do not undertsand the question that wil be on the state test.. Why is the setting important to the story? Use two details to support your answer." Any suggestion for strategies and stories to use?




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