This study can be used during or after reading The Hound of the Baskervilles. While there are many teaching guides for this novel which should be used for classroom analysis and critical thinking, this particular novel works great as a study on story setting if you are teaching the elements of fiction. There is also a developing writing practice which incorporates the studied material at the end of each worksheet/assignment. Handouts can be used in groups, as homework, or as whole class assignment, breaking away for individual writing tasks. Each handout can take anywhere from 30 min to an hour, depending on how it is used in the class.
Handout 1: The first handout familiarizes the student with how setting works in a story, how to apply setting concepts to a story, and write about setting in any story. It should be used after a solid introduction of setting to the class. Since setting relies on an author’s use of imagery, it can also be incorporated into a study of imagery and figurative language. Be sure your students understand imagery before using this handout. A general short story or a previous story read in class can be used with handout 1 and as a prelude to setting in Hound of the Baskervilles. This handout also practices providing support by quoting material. Handout 1 is versatile and can be incorporated into any story reading. (“To Build a Fire” comes to mind.)
Handout 2: The second handout can be used after reading the novel, but works best after reading chapter 6 in The Hound of the Baskervilles as part of setting concept development. The student responses require specific textual readings and have approximated page and paragraph references. The handout focuses on how descriptive language is used in a text to create a strong image of the setting and create mood.
Handout 3: The third handout focuses on how setting is used as part of the plot, directing students to see the story line in a unique way. This handout is also a practice in quoting material correctly as textual evidence.
Reading Prerequisites: Students must be familiar with plot, conflict, imagery and descriptive language, and characterization. Mood is introduced lightly, but can be a known concept as well. While the understanding of setting in a story is developed here, it is necessary to have taught setting ahead of time.
Writing Prerequisites: Students must be familiar with paragraph format, and incorporating and documenting textual evidence. This can be also be used to practice incorporating textual support if it is newly introduced. Each handout has an optional writing task. The worksheets are designed as a way to show students how to develop essay writing through “research” by turning their answers on the worksheets into a paragraph. Guide them by showing how to use/develop a main idea from one of their answers as a topic sentence, elaborate, embed their textual support into the middle of the paragraph, then use their own explanations of their textual support from the handout to complete their paragraph.
Since writing/discussing story setting requires the student to dig deep into vocabulary, creative language, and visual imagery, this packet is a great tool to use as a way of developing verbal language, writing skills, and higher-level thinking of a novel/story in an engaging way. The handouts in this packet use a study of story setting of The Hound of the Baskervilles to help students write, think, and discuss the structure, plot, and characters of a novel in a unique, concrete, and meaningful way that increases learning.
Jennifer L. Weaver