Where are you? How a setting helps us better understand a story with Matthew Pate

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Learning Objectives

Where are you? How a setting helps us better understand a story with Matthew Pate:

In this lesson, students identify a setting and then create a space in Minecraft where a story can take place.

  • Students will create a Minecraft world, or an area within the world, that includes specific elements for the setting in a story.
  • Students will develop a written story that utilizes their Minecraft world appropriately as the setting.
  • Students will identify elements of setting in multiple examples of published text.

Next Generation Standards:

  • 1R3: Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, or pieces of information in a text. 
  • 1R7: Use illustrations and details in literary and informational texts to discuss story elements and/or topics
  • 2R7: Demonstrate understanding of story elements and/or topics by applying information gained from illustrations or text features.
  • 3R7: Explain how specific illustrations or text features contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a text (e.g., create mood, emphasize character or setting, or determine where, when, why, and how key events occur).

Guiding ideas for Where are you? How a setting helps us better understand a story

Mini-Lesson (whole class)

Check out a picture book with the class and spot the setting. Then you can help identify parts of the story from the book and work with the other students to create a list of setting features you know from different popular stories.

Next, the teacher will read aloud some phrases and words that the author uses to create the scene in your mind. You, and your fellow Minecrafters, will try and imagine the setting as the teacher points them out.

Student activities in Where are you? How a setting helps us better understand a story

Independent or cooperative group activity

Using Minecraft, students build a setting for a story they will create together later.

  • Note: Students can work with classmates to create the same setting in Minecraft and still end up with very different stories.

Students write or orally share a detailed description of their Minecraft world or a narrative that utilizes a detailed description as the setting for their story.

Performance expectations

  • Students should be able to produce Screenshots or screencasts of their created story setting
  • Students will be able to create a written story or a detailed description based on the setting they made with the class.
  • Students will be able to contribute to a class discussion or individual reflection on learning


  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking



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