Activity Overview

Many long novels with multiple settings challenge for students with changes in setting and characters. Stories with many settings are also difficult because each setting portrays unique insights into the world of a specific character or group of people. Settings are as important as characters and, therefore, deserve tracking in detail. When followed closely, students can find rich symbols associated with settings and characters.

To help students grasp deeper meanings from setting, it is helpful for them to create a setting map that will allow them to document important characteristics of places throughout the novel. In the example that follows, students can use the setting map to see how each setting relates to its character:

Great Expectations Setting Map

The Forge This is Joes' workshop. Its characteristics are warm, bold, and sturdy. The definition of a forge has double meaning for Joe, as it is where he forges iron, and forges strong ties with others.
Satis House Latin for "enough", lore claims that anyone who lived in this house would have enough to satisfy them. However, when Miss Havisham was left on her wedding day, her home became a decaying time capsule; clocks were stopped, her wedding cake left out for years, and she continued wearing her wedding dress.
Walworth The name of Wemmicks’ home. He has built a literal moat and a metaphoric wall around himself. Who Wemmick is at home, and who he is at work, are completely different. His house is a miniature castle with draw bridge, a small farm, and a rooftop cannon that fires as specific times of day to mark the time.
Jagger's Home/Office Jagger’s home and office are much like his personality: cold and barren. They have no personal items, and are described as cold, dark, and dreary. No light is provided, and thick stale dust coats everything. Although his house is large, it is relatively unfurnished and seems empty; much like Jagger’s soul.
Barnard's Inn Pip and Herbert’s first apartment is a modest flat in a decent area of London. Like the two men just starting out, it is modest and humble. On the outside it looks presentable, but the interior looks is in need of updating. It represents the façade that Pip puts on. His outward appearance has changed, but he is still Pip on the inside.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that depicts the important settings of Great Expectations.

  1. Use the template provided by your teacher.
  2. Identify the main settings in the novel.
  3. Describe the setting and how it relates to a specific character.
  4. Illustrate each setting with appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  5. Save often!

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 9-10

Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)

Type of Assignment Individual

Type of Activity: Setting Map

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/3] Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/7] Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment (e.g., Auden’s “Musée des Beaux Arts” and Breughel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus)


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Setting Map Rubric #1
Evaluate your setting map using the criteria stated in the rubric below.
20 Points
15 Points
10 Points
Setting Description
The student effectively describes the setting by identifying the place, time, and atmosphere.
The student describes two elements of the setting.
The student describes only one aspect of the setting.
Role of Setting
The student effectively identifies how the setting contributes to the development of plot, characters, mood, and theme.
The student is able to identify how the setting contributes to the development of two aspects of the novel: plot, characters, mood, or theme.
The student is able to identify how the setting contributes to the development of one aspect of the novel: plot, characters, mood, or theme.
Shifts in Setting
The student identifies how the setting shifts and the effect this change has on plot, character, mood and theme development.
The student is able to identify how the setting shifts, and the effect this shift has on two aspects of the development of the novel (plot, character, mood, or theme).
The student is able to identify how the setting shifts, and the effect this shift has on one aspect of the development of the novel (plot, character, mood, or theme).
Final product contains accurate visual depictions of setting and characters.
Final product demonstrates an effort to accurately portray settings and characters though some aspects are confusing and/or inaccurate.
Final product contains irrelevant images.
Spelling, Grammar, Punctuation
Final product is free of spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors.
Final product contains up to three errors in spelling, punctuation, or grammar that do not alter the meaning of the text.
Final product contains more than three errors in spelling, punctuation, or grammar.

More Storyboard That Activities

Great Expectations

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