Grade Levels: K-3

These classroom activities are designed to complement the Setting topic on BrainPOP Jr.

What might happen?
Together with the class, read and discuss a fairy tale or fable, such as “The Three Little Pigs.” How might the story be different if it took place in a different time or place? What if the three little pigs lived in different types of houses? What if the story took place in the distant future? What might change? What might stay the same? Lead a discussion and write students’ ideas on the board or have students write their ideas in their notebooks.

To extend the activity, have students write or act out their own modified fairy tale or fable. Students can write their stories and illustrate them to create a book or they can break up into groups and perform their story in front of the class.

Setting Improv

Explain to students that improv is a form of comedy in which actors and actresses create skits off the top of their heads. Many improv shows begin with a specific time and place, which is agreed upon by audience members. Some improv shows may also begin with specific characters in a situation. For example, one idea might be The Boy Who Cried Wolf and his mother going to the grocery store together. Invite volunteers to come up and do improv comedy in front of the class. Other students can be audience members and call out ideas or you can put ideas in a hat or box to draw from.

To change up the activity, you can add twists to the improv sketches. For example, you can call out “Freeze!” right in the middle of a sketch and then name a different situation in which the actors and actresses must adapt to or students can yell “Freeze!” and tag out one of the actors or actresses to finish off the scene.

Setting Skit

Settings can inspire people to write. Together with the class, pick one setting, such as a haunted house, old castle, circus, farm, or park. Then break the students up into small groups and have each group create a skit that works in the setting. Encourage them to be creative when they write a script or story in which the characters interact with the setting. Each group can then draw or paint a backdrop for their skit and collect or make props as needed. Then have students perform their skits in front of the class. Students will be able to see how different stories can occur in the same setting and how characters can react differently to the same setting.

Art Connection

Paintings offer rich settings that can spark some imaginative storytelling. Find a reproduction of a painting that has a detailed setting, like a landscape. Post the picture in a place where all students can see it (or provide a different picture for each table of students.) Ask students to come up with a story that takes place in the setting they are viewing. Depending on their abilities, students can tell their partners their stories or write them down. Be sure to save room for some share time as these are bound to be creative!