Good readers can understand or comprehend a story better if they understand the character and his or her traits. Character traits can be determined by using clues from the story of how the character looks, acts, and says to others.

Use the power point below to help you create questions you can ask yourself to better understand a character within a story.


A setting lets the reader know when and where the story takes place. It's important to pay close attention to the setting of the story because it can impact characters in different ways.

The setting of The Little Mermaid is the sea. Sometimes, the setting can cover many different times and places. For example, a science fiction story about time travel may take place across the deserts of the old West, in jungles filled with dinosaurs, and on a space station circling the earth—all in one story!

You choose a book with this picture on the cover. What can you guess the setting of the story is?
Setting desert
Setting desert

Check out the following example from Study island

Lola sat on the old, lumpy couch crying. She could let it all out here, alone in her mother’s small, quiet apartment in Galesburg, Illinois. The familiar walls were covered in rose pink wallpaper. Goldie, her mother’s eleventh fish, seemed to stare sympathetically at Lola through the fishbowl sitting on the counter. The smell of her mother’s vanilla candles comforted her aching heart.
Lola allowed herself to think out loud. “It is so unfair! I am the best person for the job. Instead, my classmates voted for Ricky to be class president. Ricky is such a clown—always making jokes. What can he offer the school? Now all my plans to improve the school seem worthless.”
Lola decided to stay home and sulk, rather than attend the football game that night. She wasn’t ready to face Ricky. She was sure he would have plenty of jokes to make at her expense.

What is the setting of the story?
A. Lola's mother's apartment
B. The town square in Galesburg
C. Lola's high school auditorium
D. A high school football game.

What details from the passage support the answer?

How does the setting affect the characters or their actions?
A. Ricky laughs and jokes about how he won the election.
B. Lola's mom is sorry that she is not able to comfort her daughter.
C. The classmates realize they made a mistake by voting for Ricky.
D. Lola openly expresses how she feels about the class election.

What details from the passage support the answer?

Breaking down a narrative story.

Open up the document to learn more about how to remember key points of a narrative story.

Click on the link above to learn about 10 different stories that connect to the theme "never give up"