StoryTales Set


Learn about story settings and fundamental narrative structure and elements.

0-30 min
Reception-Year 1


  • Review this lesson plan and choose what you need from the Teacher Support box.

  • If necessary, pre-teach these related vocabulary words: story, stand, background card, setting, character, details.

  • Consider the abilities and backgrounds of all your students and decide when and how to introduce and differentiate lesson content, activities, or concepts.

  • If the background cards are missing or broken, you can download them from the Additional Resources section of the Teacher Support box.


  • Talk about how every story has a setting in which the story takes place. Give the students an example of a recent story they heard in class and discuss the settings in the story.

  • Show the students the StoryTales background cards and tell them that these cards show different settings on each side.

  • Pick one of the background cards and model how to describe the setting.

  • Ask the students to pretend they are in the setting shown on the card. If necessary, model how to act and move in the setting. Repeat with different settings as many times as desired.


  • Demonstrate how to build one of the stands for the background cards.

  • Ask the students to take turns placing a background card in the stand.

  • Ask one student to pick a side of a background card and describe the setting to the other students; add any details that the student left out.


  • Discuss the importance of story settings.

  • Consider asking questions like:

    • Why is it important to describe the setting of a story?
    • How do details help the audience understand a story?
  • Talk to the students about how settings can also give the audience clues about the type of story they are reading or hearing.


  • Tell the students it is time to play a game. Place all of the background cards in a bag or under a cloth and secretly pick one.

  • Describe one of the settings shown on the card while the students guess which one it is. Or give clues by role-playing what it is like to be in the setting.

  • If this is too difficult, lay out all of the cards to make it easier for the students to guess which setting you are describing.

  • If appropriate, ask each student to take a turn choosing and describing a background card.

Did you notice?

  • Ask guiding questions to elicit students’ thinking and their decisions while ideating.

Observation Checklist

  • Review the learning objectives and educational standards addressed in this lesson (Teacher Support box). 

  • Share specific student responses and behaviors at different levels of mastery.

  • Use the following checklist to observe students’ progress:

    • Students are able to describe things and events.
    • Students are able to, with prompting and support, identify settings in the story.

Teacher Support

Students will:

  • Learn how to use the background cards
  • Learn about story settings
  • Use descriptive language

For up to 6 students.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.3 With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.