October 31, 2015
by Angela Fiorille

Lesson plan

Tell Me More: Characters, Settings, and Events

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Do you need extra help for EL students? Try the Characters and Settings pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
Grade Subject View aligned standards
Do you need extra help for EL students? Try the Characters and Settings pre-lesson.

Students will be able to select and describe characters, settings, and events in detail, using specific examples.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
  • Gather the students together.
  • Write "character," "setting," and "events" on the board.
  • Talk through each, asking students to explain what they are and why they are important for reading.
  • Remind your students that a character is an actor, such as a person or animal in a story. Tell your students that a setting is where and when the story happens, and an event is something that happens in the story.
(20 minutes)
  • Tell your students that the focus of today's lesson is on choosing one character, one setting, and one event to describe in detail from the stories they are reading.
  • Read aloud a book of your choice, preferably one with a strong character, setting, and event to pull out.
  • Once you are finished reading, show the three anchor charts from the worksheets.
  • Model completing each one, sharing your thinking aloud.
(25 minutes)
  • Have students work in groups or pairs to read the short story "Jack and the Beanstalk" together and verbally fill in the Describing Characters, Settings, and Events worksheet together.
  • Have students share out their work with other groups or pairs.
(25 minutes)
  • Pass out the Describing Characters, Settings, and Events charts.
  • Instruct your students to use the books that they are reading.
  • As students work, provide support as needed.


  • Instruct your students to choose a scene from the story to illustrate. In this drawing, have them circle the items that depict the setting and character.


  • Have your students come up with their own stories, and instruct them to exchange these stories with partners. Direct the partners to identify the major characters, settings, and events from the story.
(10 minutes)
  • Write the paragraph frame on the board and have students complete it on a half sheet of scratch paper:
    • "Characters are ____. Settings are ____. Events are ____. I know how to describe characters, settings, and events by ____. It is important to be able to describe these story elements because ____."
(5 minutes)
  • Ask your students to share why they think it is important to think about characters, settings, and events. Make sure they understand that it helps improve their overall comprehension.
  • Invite student volunteers to read one section of their completed worksheet (choose character, setting, or event) aloud to the whole class.

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