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Free & Differentiated Worksheets to Study the Setting (Elementary)

Do you want some setting worksheets? The setting of a story means the time and place of a story, and it’s one of the important story elements. During years of teaching, I have seen teachers, including myself, oversimplifying the study of setting by just focusing on identifying the “where” and “when” of a story. However, there is more about the setting of a story that our students should learn about!

Therefore, apart from the two basic questions–“When did the story happen?” and “Where did the story happen?”, let’s think about “How does the setting impact the main character’s actions?” “How does the setting affect the plot of the story?” “How do we describe the setting of the story?” etc.

free & differentiated setting worksheets

Today, in this post, I am going to share with you some differentiated worksheets that I have used in my class. Students start by identifying the setting of a story, then they describe the setting, analyze the setting, and finally move to write about the setting of a story.

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1. Setting Worksheets: Identify the Setting

This first worksheet has two short texts, and each short text has three short-response questions: 1. Where did the story happen? 2. When did the story happen? 3. Does the setting affect the story? How?

For example, the first text says, “On a sunny and breezy day, James’s family went to a nearby park for a picnic in the afternoon. His dad brought a barbecue stove, and his mom prepared some flavored meat skewers. James also had some snacks and drinks with him. The family had a wonderful time in the park.”

Therefore, the story happened “in a park near James’s house” and “in the afternoon of a sunny and breezy day.”

The third question is more higher-order thinking and open-ended. The setting affects the story for sure, but there is no standard answer for how. Thus, students may say, “If it were not a sunny a breezy day, James’s family might not have gone outside for a picnic,” etc.

2. Setting Worksheets: Describe the Setting

describe the setting

After being able to identify the setting of a story, students move on to describe the setting.

For scaffolding, they will first look at a picture and read some vocabulary. Next, they need to decide which words are perfect for describing the setting in the picture and which are not.

In addition, they can also brainstorm some other words. Finally, they need to use the words to write sentences to describe the setting in the picture.

*Click here to get the freebie!

*If you like this worksheet and want more, you may purchase the full version here.

3. Setting Worksheets: Analyze the Setting

Analyzing the setting is not an easy task as compared to identifying and describing. These worksheets are wonderful and really helpful.

There is a story that is perfect for students from 2nd to 4th grade to read. After reading the story, there are different types of questions to help students thoroughly analyze the story’s setting.

You may also pick different questions for different groups of students as differentiation. For instance, students who need more support, may work on the multiple-choice and drawing questions.

On the other hand, students who need more challenges may work on the graphic organizer or short-response questions.

4. Setting Worksheets: Write About the Setting

write about setting worksheets

Moving from reading to writing is a challenging step for most of our students, but it’s necessary. According to Bloom’s Taxonomy, “Create” is the highest level of learning. That’s why I put the setting writing worksheets at the end of this packet.

For each writing task, students will look at the picture carefully, and use the right descriptive words to describe the setting in the picture.

If you think it’s too hard for your students and they need some scaffolding, they may work on the “Describe the Setting” worksheets first as mentioned above.

*Click here to get the freebie!

*If you like this worksheet and want more, you may purchase the full version here.

5. Answer Keys

As always, answer keys to all the questions (except writing questions) are included in both the freebie and the full version product. Therefore, you can also use this as homework or an independent packet for students to work on by themselves.

setting worksheet answer key


To sum up, I hope I have shared some useful ideas that inspire your teaching of the setting of a story. You can simply follow the progression and make your own worksheets for your students, or save your planning time by getting the freebie or the product.

Click here to get this freebie.

setting worksheet product
setting ppt

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Enjoy your teaching,


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