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setting task cards

Setting Task Cards: Differentiated & Fun

What do early finishers do in your class? For me, the best activity to do is working on some task cards related to the lesson objective. Previously, I shared some slides and worksheets for teaching the setting of a story. In this post, I am going to share some setting task cards for early-finishers and small groups.

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setting task cards

Basically, there are 36 cards (4 different types) for students to practice identifying and describing the setting of a story or a picture. Students can record their answers on the provided recording sheet. There is also a matching game for you to engage your struggling learners.

1. Setting Task Cards (Card #1-12): Identify the Setting of a Story

Each of these twelve cards has a short story and the question “what is the setting of the story?” Students are supposed to read the text carefully, then identify the “where” and “when.”

For example, in the task card below, the setting is “an ice cream shop in Mandy’s neighborhood” and “during the day.” Students can simply record their answers on the recording sheet as shown in the picture below.

If you want to go deeper with your top students, you may also ask students to think about the questions “how does the setting affect the character’s actions in the story?” “How will the story change if we change the setting?” etc.

To help your struggling learners, you may print the matching cards (shown in the picture above), and give students the task cards to match. After they feel confident about the matching game, you may withdraw the cards.

2. Setting Task Cards (Card #13-28): Describe the Setting of a Story

Setting Task Cards #13-20

During our narrative writing unit, I noticed that some of my students, especially ELLs, don’t have the vocabulary to describe the setting in their own stories. Therefore, I created these cards to help them expand their vocabulary.

As you can see from task Card #13 in this picture, each of these task cards has a picture and a multiple-choice question.

Students are supposed to look at the picture and read all the vocabulary carefully, then decide which set of words best describes the setting in the picture.

For the picture on task Card #13, we should choose choice A: peaceful, quiet, beautiful. In choice B, “cozy” and “dry” don’t really match the picture, while in choice C (dark, creepy, dusty), all words are not a good fit for the picture.

Setting task cards with pictures

Setting Task Cards #21-28

These eight cards also have a picture and a blank for students to think up the right word to fill in. For instance, in task Card #24 (shown above), the sentence is “Nikki goes to __________ with her mom every weekend.” After looking at the picture, students should fill in the setting word “supermarket” to let the sentence match the picture. These cards are perfect for lower grades or students who need more scaffolding.

3. Setting Task Cards (Card #29-36): Write About the Setting of a Story

These cards ask students to write a sentence or two to describe the setting in a picture. The answers for these cards are open-ended, so you can use them with any group of students.

However, if you think some of your students need support, direct them to work on Card #13-20 first to learn some descriptive words before writing.

For Card #30, students may write “This is a vast and dry desert,” or they may add more details to describe the desert. For instance, “This is a vast and dry desert with burning sands.

Suggested answers keys are provided.

4. Answer Keys and Recording Sheets

No time to check students’ answers? No worries. I have included suggested answer keys to all the task cards. You can check the answers in minutes, or you may ask students to do a self-check.

setting task cards answer keys


These 36 setting task cards (4 different types) are all you need to help your students study the setting of a story. They are great for early-finishers and small groups. However, if you prefer some ideas about worksheets, you may check out this blog post to get and try out the freebie. For PPT slides to teach a lesson about the setting of a story, click here.

setting ppt
setting worksheet product
setting bundle

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Enjoy your teaching,


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