Our recent blogs featuring the book selections In the Tall, Tall Grass and The Doorbell Rang were each designed, in part, to reinforce associating the SGM icons to the story components of the Setting, Initiating Event in a story (Kick-Off), and Actions of characters in a particular setting. Settings do not just involve the time and place of a story but also all the typical things that can happen in that Setting. An Initiating Event, or Kick-Off, occurs in a Setting, causing events to unfold.
Another story that I frequently used in kindergarten and first grade for development of the concept of the Setting was Bear Feels Scared by Karma Wilson. As always, read the book for enjoyment with the children. Then, choose any of the following ideas and modify them to meet the needs of your students.
Elicit words from the students to describe the setting of the woods. The text and illustrations will give plenty of ideas. Use the SGM Magnets as shown at right, creating an expository list map.
A simple project—easy for you to create—to further form this connection between the SGM icon and “Setting” term is shown below. Students may copy words from the list or you might want to have them written out for them, depending on the child(ren). The star icon is found on page 140 of the Braidy the StoryBraid manual.
- As each child finishes his/her Setting activity, have him/her share with you, or others, putting the words they have glued on to their star into sentences to describe the words. You could also write these sentences on the whiteboard with the child(ren), underlining key words such as and and also.
- Expand on this activity by doing the same for the lair as well. Putting both lists side by side is a great way to contrast the two settings in this story.
- The procedure for the lair activity below is the same as for the woods. Notice how another color paper was chosen to contrast the two settings. You could just use two separate colors for the words and keep the setting icon the same color. These could be laminated and used as a sorting activity with the students: all the words to describe the woods/all the words to describe the lair. Whatever works for your students is fine!
- Depending on your students and your objectives, you may want to have students use their completed activities above to do a writing activity. Create a simple handout as shown.
Fold it in half and write woods on one side and lair on the other.
Ask the child to write sentences about the woods on one side and the lair on the other.
Have the children take their projects home to share! As an added extension, if you are interested in bringing in the five senses to the setting, check out our previous blog: Story Grammar and the Classroom Curriculum: The Five Senses, 5/16/15.
Bear Feels Scared is also a wonderful selection to talk about changes in Feelings… how bear felt at the beginning of the book as compared to the end. It also works very well for perspective taking.
Sheila Zagula works with MindWing Concepts in product development, drawing on her expertise and talents as well as many years of implementing the Story Grammar Marker® and related materials. Her teaching career spans thirty-eight years, most recently as literacy coach in the Westfield Massachusetts Public School System. Sheila has experience as an early childhood educator, a teacher of children with special needs, and a collaborative instructor within an inclusion framework serving children in grades K-5.
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