ALEX Lesson Plan


Frog Level: Quoting Accurately from a Text to Determine the Setting of a Fictional Narrative and Writing Explicit and Implicit Setting Clues in a Narrative

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Daryl Hyde
System: Shelby County
School: Chelsea Park Elementary School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 33022


Frog Level: Quoting Accurately from a Text to Determine the Setting of a Fictional Narrative and Writing Explicit and Implicit Setting Clues in a Narrative


This lesson will help students learn to quote accurately from a text when searching for clues as to the setting of the narrative fiction, chapter book Frog Level. Clues include both explicit descriptions of place, time, and socioeconomic status, as well as inferences drawn from events and the dialogue/narration of the first chapter of Frog Level. The assessment will include the students' quoting specific text from the first chapter to support their ideas of the setting of the book.

This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
ELA2015 (5)
1. Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text. [RL.5.1]
ELA2015 (5)
4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes. [RL.5.4]

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

Fifth grade students will be able to determine where, when, and in what socioeconomic setting Frog Level occurs. They will accomplish this by finding passages in the text that (either explicity or implicitly) support their findings.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

61 to 90 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

The students will need paper and pencils/pens.

Technology Resources Needed:

The first chapter of Frog Level (available for free at:

Also, you'll need a computer and a digital projector.


This lesson will have students hunting for clues as to the setting of a story, and it will help them to create settings for their own narratives. 

Frog Level is a novel I wrote and used in my fifth grade classroom. The first chapter is available for free through, and is viewable on any computer. 

It is a fictional account of a girl growing up in a small Alabama town. Through the course of the book, she realizes that her family is broken and she decides to fix them. However, after multiple attempts, she finds contentment even though she's unable to fix anything.

  1. 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.
  2. 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:

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)”


Assessment Strategies

The teacher will collect the samples of text that each student wrote and ensure that each student found at least two clues for each time, place, and socioeconomic status.


For students who have mastered the Primary Learning Objective, have them create a fictional narrative with time, place, and socioeconomic clues as to the setting.


For students struggling with this lesson, it may be a matter of too-difficult text, or they may be struggling with one of the three concepts of time, place, or socioeconomic status. This can be remedied by using picture books (such as Patricia Polacco's Aunt Chip and the Great Triple Creek Dam Affair). Students can read these with the teacher and they'll be able to find clues not only in the words, but the pictures, too!

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.