- The teacher will introduce three components of the idea of "setting," writing on the whiteboard/interactive board/chart paper the following concepts: place, time, socioeconomic status.
- A class discussion regarding these three concepts should include:
A) Place can include the very narrow location of events in a story (something can happen in a library or a school building or the hallway of a home). Place can also include a more general idea like a whole town or a state. You'll see both in Frog Level.
B) Time can include the actual time of day. It can also include the season of the year or a time period (either by specific year or a general era reference). You'll see all three in Frog Level.
C) Socioeconomic status of the characters affects the environment significantly. If a character lives in poverty, you wouldn't expect them to have the resources to solve problems like Donald Trump. (The socioeconomic clues are fairly implicit in Frog Level and are the main reason the reading portion of this lesson should be done together with teacher and students.)
(A side note: I've included in these lesson plans specific text given in the book, in order of appearance, with a label of either (T) for time, (P) for place, or (S) for socioeconomic status. See #7 below.)
3. The teacher will read aloud (after instructing students to listen only and not to write anything) the first chapter of Frog Level (available at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00G1VS1NU/ref=s9_simh_gw_p351_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0AXRWQM05JVV6C444TF1&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1630083502&pf_rd_i=507846
4. After the teacher reads the chapter once, the students are asked about the setting, specifically if they have ideas about where and when the story takes place, and if socioeconomic status has any bearing on the story. Have students (without teacher input yet) write their ideas on the board next to the appropriate word. For example, "Alabama" would be written next to "Place," "in the afternoon" would be written next to "Time."
5. The teacher will then read chapter one again, this time instructing the students to write down specific words they find that reveal anything about the time, place, or socioeconomic status revealed in the story.
6. When finished reading, the students will read aloud what they wrote, telling if it applies to time, place, or socioeconomic status. If the class and teacher agree with the students' selected texts, the students will write the exact text on the board next to the appropriate setting concept.
7. The teacher will now go back through, pointing out many examples he/she sees, and asking students to write them down. Below is a (non-exhaustive) list of many examples that you may or may not have considered:
"afternoon on the last day of school (T)";
"frail wood (S)";
"cinder block wall (S)";
"the river (P)";
"concrete floor of the kitchen (S)";
"empty house (P)";
"I was already sweating, both from my just finished tantrum and the late may Alabama heat (P-Alabama, T-late May, and T/S-no air conditioning in house.)";
"the shaggy carpet of the hall (P)";
“through the plastic-curtained window above the sink (P/S)”;
“coming out of the woods in back of our house (P)”;
“Why ain’t you swimming with your school folk? (P)”;
“Now, that don’t seem right (P)”;
“down the dark hall (P)”;
“I went to my room and put on my work dress. This was roughly the same pattern as my school dress (T-since girls don’t wear dresses so much anymore)”;
“under the chicken house (P)”