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What are Settings?

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The authors
Team Digital

Basics on the topic What are Settings?

Join Zayd and Ari and learn about settings in stories.

Transcript What are Settings?

"What are you up to, Ari?" "Oh, don't worry about it! You'll find out later." "I hope nothing is wrong." It looks like Ari is busy writing something, but what could it be... oh! It looks like birthday invitations for Zayd's surprise party! But, it looks like Ari is missing some important information. Ari needs to let their friends know when and where the party will happen, but isn't sure how. Let's help them learn 'What are settings' so that they can send these invitations to their friends! A setting is when and where something happens in a story. Did you know that a story can have more than one setting? A setting can be where something happens, like your school, your house and even a time such as autumn, summer or three o'clock in the afternoon. The setting of a story can even change like when a story starts in the day time, but ends at night or if it starts in the summer and ends in winter! Now that we've learnt a bit about settings, let's help Ari write their invitations! First Ari needs to say when the birthday party is happening. The word ‘when’ tells us we are talking about the time the party is taking place. Sometimes the author gives us this information, but if not, we have to guess based on the pictures and words. Based on the picture, when do you think the party will happen? The sun is shining, the calendar says Saturday and the clock says four o'clock so the party will be at four o'clock on Saturday afternoon. Next, Ari needs to say where the birthday party is happening. The word 'where' tells us we are talking about the place it is happening. The author sometimes gives us this information, but if not, we need to guess using the pictures and words. Based on this picture, where do you think Zayd's party will be? This picture shows a lot of trees and flowers so Zayd's party will take place in a forest! Before we see the party, let's review. Today we learnt about settings. The setting of a story tells us when and where something happens. It can be a physical place, or a time of day and the setting can change during a story. Now, let's see how that surprise party turned out. "Surprise!" "Wow! All of this is for me?" "Yes, happy birthday! Now, blow out the candles before the cake melts." "Ari? A little help here?"

What are Settings? exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learnt? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video What are Settings?.
  • Place or Time?


    Place means where a story takes place.

    Look for locations like a house or desert and match them to the Place category.

    Time means when a story happens.

    Time can be at night, in the summer or at 5pm on July 19th!



    • The clock reading 3:00
    • The calendar showing 3rd October
    • The sun showing daytime
    • The island
    • The house
    • The tent in the forest

  • Where and when is this story set?


    Look at the picture, what do you see? What does the sky tell you about the time?

    A garden is outside, a museum is inside.

    Is this story set inside or outside?

    What time of day do hedgehogs usually come out?



    • garden
    • evening

  • Use the clues to find out the setting.


    The whiteboard in the image tells you where the setting takes place.

    Are you more likely to find a whiteboard at home or at school?

    The calendar and clock in the image tell you the time and day.

    • What time does the clock read? AM or PM? Remember, AM is the morning and PM is the afternoon and evening.
    • Which day is circled on the calendar?

    The correct answer is:

    • School
    • Morning
    • 4th April
    The whiteboard tells you the story is set in a classroom. So, the setting is at a school.

    The clock reads 8:00 AM. This tells you it is morning.

    The calendar shows the month of April and the 4 is circled. This tells us the day is 4th April.

  • Do you know these key words?


    Remember, setting includes the time and place a story happens.

    This is an example of a time a story could take place.

    Can you guess the definition of time from the options above?

    Ari and Zayd are at the beach. The beach is an example of a place.

    • The setting is where and when a story takes place.
    • The time is when a story happens.
    • The place is where a story happens.
    • The character is who the story is about.
  • Use the clues below to find the setting.


    The moon tells you about the time the story takes place.

    What sort of time do you see a moon?

    The tree and tent tell you the place where the story happens.

    In which image would you most likely find a tree and a tent?


    The correct answer is the campfire, shown above.

    This image matches the clues: night, forest and campsite.

  • What's the story?



    Say which animals you see in the photo.


    Say what's happening in the photo. What are the characters doing?


    Are the characters on a mountain? At the beach?


    Is it day or night? What season do you think it is?


    Who: penguins and a seal

    • who = the characters in the story
    What: a party
    • what = the events that happen in the story
    Where: a hut on an iceberg
    • where = the place a story happens
    When: a winter day
    • when = the time the story happens