Students have been told repeatedly that every story must have several elements to make it complete. Setting is of those main elements that has a causal relationship to a novel's content and outcome.
is an excellent novel to use for this discussion. Ji-li's story would have a different meaning in any other country. The political conditions in China during the 1960's are the cause of her particular story. Prior to reading
the students will be given a map of China with population information. The places discussed in the story will be plotted on the map.
Forged by Fire
takes place in the midwestern city of Cincinnati, Ohio. The features of importance are the river in an urban area that has cold winters. Riverfront Stadium is a place of wonderment and fascination for a young boy. The story is a modern tale without any actual year references.
...and now Miguel
's action is located on the New Mexico/Colorado border in the Carson National Forest. Miguel prefers to call the area Rio Grande Sangre de Cristo, the mountain range name. Farm land, open space, animals and independence are the keys to this novel. The time period and farming concepts will require explanation, but are not far fetched for the students. Prior reading will have been
Where the Red Fern Grows
and other short stories with similar settings.
takes place in China during the '60's during the cultural revolution. The memoir format allows for the review of non-fiction materials. Students need to be reminded that the elements discussed in this curricular unit are equally relevant to non-fiction.
Upon completion of the three novels a semantic map will be completed by the students for the purpose of comparing the effects of the setting upon the story.