Drawing a Setting


  • To recall the details of a book's setting
  • To understand that books are composed of pictures and meaningful words
  • To make pictures related to the ideas in a book

Paper, crayons

Literature Suggestion
Read Rabbits and Raindrops by Jim Arnosky, or any realistic animal book that includes a detailed setting.


Ask children to pretend they are rabbits (or the most important animal from the book you choose). Allow time for imaginative play and ask questions about what the "rabbits" are doing, what they like to eat, and where they live.


  • Read the book. As you read, help children notice the details of the setting by pointing out specific objects and animals.
  • After reading, ask children to recall the details of the place where the rabbits live. Hand out the crayons and paper. Ask, "If we wanted to make a nice place for the rabbits to live, what would be there?" (Examples: grass, hedge, clover, bees, grasshoppers) As children answer, they draw simple representations of each item.
Pose stuffed animals in a "woods." Help children design signs with words and pictures to show each kind of animal in their woods.

Observation Assessment

  • Proficient - Child can name details of a setting and can comfortably hold crayons, make a drawing, and describe what the marks on the paper (scribbled or recognizable) represent.
  • In Process - Child can name a few details with prompting, is awkward using crayons, manages to scribble, but has difficulty describing what he or she is attempting to draw.
  • Not Yet Ready - Child has trouble recalling a book's details, and avoids drawing or talking about what he or she might try to draw.

Excerpted from School Readiness Activity Cards. The Preschool Activity Cards provide engaging and purposeful experiences that develop language, literacy, and math skills for preschool children.

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