Setting-Focused Short Stories


Why do this project?

One of the biggest mistakes writers make in developing their story is neglecting the importance of setting. Character, plot, and dialogue are all essential to story progression; however, so is setting. It serves a purpose far beyond a backdrop for the action. Setting can frame mood, meaning, and thematic connotations – Haley Newlin

We tell stories all the time and so it is natural for apprentice writers to want to write them.

Children at this age can, however, have the misconception that engaging stories are simply based on action and plot alone.

Our writing projects for Year Four show children how writers think carefully and deeply about their characters – and also about their settings. One should develop children’s ability to write stories which are character-driven, while this one focuses on creating a vivid setting. When children get to Year Five, they will be able to combine what they have learnt in our developed short story project.

In this project, children will learn that settings can be treated as additional ‘characters’ and take on human traits and emotions – this is known in writing circles as ‘pathetic fallacy’. Seeing settings as characters influences how they are described and how they behave.

Additionally, children will learn that setting descriptions can be based on how the setting is observed through a character’s eyes at the time. For example, two people may well describe the same place in very different ways depending on their mood, morality or intentions.

Finally, this writing project builds on what the children have learnt in Year 3 and prepares them for what they will tackle in Years 5 and 6. You will also see techniques learnt in this project influencing their other writing, including Memoir and Sensory Poetry.

This class writing project provides you with:

+ Comprehensive teacher notes:

  • Suggestions for both year group and whole school writing progression
  • Advice for teachers on how to write great mentor texts
  • Over 50 writing study and functional grammar mini-lessons
  • Suggested book list for your classroom library

+ Our popular and photocopiable child-facing Genre Booklet which includes:

  • Year 4 purpose and audience writing wheel
  • Publishing and performance menu
  • 4 exemplar texts
  • Idea generation techniques
  • Dabbling and drafting advice
  • Revision checklist
  • Editing checklist

+ Our quick guide to teaching writing

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