Activity Overview

The setting in a story includes where and when the story takes place. There are usually several settings in a novel. In historical fiction novels such as Midnight Without a Moon, when the story takes place is extremely important, as it is centered around an important time in the past. This novel takes place in the deep South, during a time of segregation, racism, and the unfathomable mistreatment of African Americans. For this activity, students will describe and illustrate the where and when of Midnight Without a Moon.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Due Date:

Objective: Create a storyboard that describes and illustrates the setting of Midnight Without a Moon. You must incorporate where and when in your storyboards.

Student Instructions:

  1. Click “Start Assignment”.
  2. Write a setting in each heading.
  3. Create an illustration that represents each heading using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  4. Write a short summary of each heading/belief in the space below the illustration.

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/6/5] Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, or plot
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/7/3] Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot)


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

Simplified rubric for setting
Proficient Emerging Beginning
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.
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.

How To Discuss the Interaction of the Setting With the Characters in “Midnight Without a Moon”


Identify the Settings

Ask the students to read and analyze the story carefully and identify the locations and the time period mentioned in the story. Students can also analyze the settings particular to the characters such as the house Rose lived in or her dream of moving up North and how it was a better place as compared to Ma Pearl and Papa’s place.


Examine Historical Context and Background

Though “Midnight Without a Moon” is historical fiction, however, the setting and the time period presented in the narrative in close to accurate and present challenges faced by many people of that time. Students can give these settings some historical context and background with the help of research and reading more literature to understand the significance of these settings.


Analyze Behavior Patterns

Talk about how the characters handle the difficulties the location presents. Teachers can focus on questions such as “When the characters are in the location, do they ever feel empowered or limited by it?” Help the students examine and analyze behavior patterns and the reactions of the characters to the settings.


Examine Influence on Character Growth

Consider how the characters' development is influenced by their surroundings. Students can reflect on how the setting contributes to the character development and use references from the text to back their points.


Create Setting Chart

Once the students are more familiar with the settings present in the story and have also performed their own research regarding the historical context and current significance of a particular location (not fictional), ask them to create a setting chart that includes creative visuals, some facts regarding the setting and other important details. Ensure that students perform this activity for a setting that has some historical significance and not a fictional setting like a character’s house.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Setting in “Midnight Without a Moon”

What are some important historical references portrayed with the help of the setting in the story?

The historical context of Mississippi during the Civil Rights Movement introduces themes of racial segregation, inequality, and the fight for civil rights that pervade the lives of the individuals, greatly influencing the setting.

How do the settings and the characters interact in the narrative?

The characters' everyday problems are determined by the setting, which also has an impact on their relationships, careers, and personal goals. Their perceptions of the world around them are shaped by it.

What role does the setting play in the development of themes?

The setting offers a rich backdrop for the deeper analysis of the story and acts as a potent lens through which themes of justice, resiliency, and identity are examined.

This Activity is Part of Many Teacher Guides

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