Tips and Tricks for Teaching Prepositions

Hello Teachers!

Teaching Prepositions is a fun part of grammar. Prepositions are an exciting way to explore the world around us! By using them, we can discover what’s next to, in front of, or behind something else. Teaching prepositions is a great opportunity for teachers and students alike; it fosters creativity and encourages deeper thinking about our environment.

As teachers, one of the most important tasks we have is to help our students understand and use prepositions. Once mastered, these small but mighty words enable learners not only with reading and writing fluency – they also assist them in expressing their ideas using precise location information. Teaching this critical aspect of language can be daunting at times; however, it offers us a rich opportunity for success as both teacher and student!

Introducing Prepositions

One of my favorite ways to introduce prepositions of location is by using simple exercises that provide an interactive and visually stimulating way for students to learn. These activities can offer differentiated activities and scaffolding.

For example, to introduce the lesson I ask my class to stand up and position themselves in relation to the classroom (e.g., behind my desk).

I then follow this up with more structured activities such as drawing a grid on the board with different objects placed at various points along it and asking students to describe their positions using prepositions like ‘above’, ‘below’, ‘to the left/right/front/back’ etc.

This type of exercise is particularly effective as it provides visual cues for students and allows them to practice speaking aloud in a controlled environment. I use songs, chants, and word walls to help cement the language I am presenting.   Furthermore, I love to use thematic units that focus on describing location.  Check out this transportation thematic unit that uses prepositions to describe location.

More Teaching Prepositions Activities

Another great activity I use for teaching prepositions to more advanced English students is storytelling.  Storytelling or picture-based activities require students to fill in gaps with appropriate prepositional phrases. For instance, create scenarios involving characters moving around a map or room and ask your students to describe their movements using prepositional phrases (e.g., “He moved across the room towards the window”). This type of exercise encourages creative thinking as well as helps to build confidence when using prepositional phrases correctly.  Click here to view a thematic unit focusing on prepositions.

In addition, you could use physical objects using the above activity, such as dolls or figurines placed on desks or tables to demonstrate locations within a scene (e.g., above/below/between).

Involving real-world items gives students more tangible representations which can make it easier for them to understand abstract concepts such as positioning relative to other objects.

Furthermore, this type of exercise also helps develop spatial awareness skills which will become increasingly important later when studying topics such as math and science, too! 

Don’t Forget

All-in-all, teaching prepositions to English learners can be both fun and educational!! With activities and units link here tailored properly for each language level of your students – combining physical items alongside imaginative tasks – it won’t take long until all your ELLs will know how to use those little connecting words accurately!

It is also important for teachers to be aware of cultural differences when teaching English learners – some cultures have different conventions when describing locations. Familiarize yourself with these before starting any lessons on this topic!

Additionally, for high intermediate or early advanced speakers don’t just focus on physical locations when teaching preposition use – you can also try asking questions that involve hypothetical locations like ‘above average’ or ‘below expectations’ too!

Let’s teach!

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