When it comes to fiction writing, sometimes teaching setting can be the most daunting.
When helping students with setting, I often follow a very specific set of steps to guide them through so that they can create the most perfect setting for their story. I found these steps to not only increase student productively and engagement, but reduce all of that “I don’t know what to write” that we LOVE to hear during our writing block.
**1. Nailing Down “Time” When Teaching Setting
Introduce your students to the concept of time in storytelling. Encourage them to experiment with different eras, from the medieval times of knights and castles to the futuristic landscapes of space and technology. Help them understand how the choice of time setting can influence the tone and mood of their stories.
Tip for Teachers: Spark their creativity by asking questions like “What would happen if your characters lived in the age of dinosaurs? How would their daily lives be different?”
**2. Using the Correct Location
Guide your writers in selecting the perfect backdrop for their stories. Discuss the impact of different locations on the plot and characters. Whether it’s a bustling city, a mysterious forest, or an underwater kingdom, emphasize the importance of vivid descriptions when teaching setting to transport readers into the heart of the story.
Tip for Teachers: Encourage students to close their eyes and imagine the setting. What do they see, hear, and smell? Help them translate these sensory experiences into words.
**3. Fascinating Facts: Adding Spice to the Story
Teach kids the power of interesting facts in enriching their narratives. Whether it’s a historical event, a scientific discovery, or a cultural tradition, integrating these details not only adds depth to the setting but also makes the story more engaging. Emphasize the importance of research in creating believable worlds when teaching setting to your students!
Tip for Teachers: Challenge students to become mini-experts on a chosen topic related to their story. This not only enhances their writing but also broadens their knowledge base.
**4. Creating the Perfect Mood
Help students understand the emotional impact their settings can have on the reader. Discuss how the choice of words and descriptions can create a mood that enhances the overall experience. Whether it’s a spooky haunted house or a cheerful carnival, guide them in setting the emotional tone.
Tip for Teachers: Use visual prompts or music to evoke specific moods. Ask students to describe how these stimuli make them feel and incorporate those emotions into their writing.
**5. Sensory Symphony: Painting with Descriptive Details
Encourage the use of sensory details to bring settings to life. Remind students that readers want to experience the story through sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. Challenge them to paint a vivid picture in the minds of their readers by incorporating sensory details seamlessly into their narratives.
Tip for Teachers: Engage students in hands-on sensory experiences related to their settings. If it’s a beach scene, bring in sand and seashells to stimulate their senses.
These steps have proven to be extremely beneficial in helping my students create the perfect settings for their stories.
Would you like a resource to help with this? Check out my Developing Setting resource by clicking here!
Need help developing ideas for character traits? Try this blog post!