Practice with Prepositions (Part One)

A fellow teacher requested material on prepositions of location to accompany an old video of mine that addresses this topic. I’ll share two activities below that would serve as a review of a large set of prepositions. If you have ideas of your own, please feel free to share them.

  • Quirky Questions

Create several items as follows: Give a choice of two prepositions followed by an object. Ask the students to create two questions with both prepositions. They must then answer the questions appropriately. This can be done as a class or in pairs.

Model:                 in / on   – your head

                                Q: What’s in your head?              

                                A:  A brain.

                                Q: What can be on your head?

                                A: A hat.


  1. in/ on            – a house during a cold winter
  2. in/ on            – a refrigerator
  3. on/ under    – a kitchen table
  4. next to/ in   – a swimming pool
  5. near/ at       – a beach
  6. on/ opposite  – a theater stage
  7. beside/ on   – your bed
  8. above/ in  – the trees


  • Scenic Portraits (A spin on a classic activity)

STEP 1 – Create five categories: places, professions, animals, foods, containers. As a class, list 3-4 items for each category. Ask questions to prompt students. For example: Name a place you like to visit. Name a place you don’t like spending time in. Name an interesting profession. Name an animal you’re scared of. Etc.


PLACES: beach, mountains, work, hospital

PROFESSIONS:  astronaut, dancer, soccer player

ANIMALS: snake, bat, bear, shark

FOODS: banana, spaghetti, ice cream

CONTAINERS (things that hold other things): box, backpack, purse

STEP 2 – Have students work in pairs. Both must try to draw the same picture without looking at each other’s work. Student A will choose one or two items from each category and explain where people and objects are in relation to each other. Students A and B will draw their pictures without comparing until the last direction is given.

Model: “A dancer and a soccer player are at the beach. The dancer is on the left. The soccer player is on the right. There is a box next to the soccer player. A banana is in the box. There’s a shark in the ocean. The dancer and soccer player are standing in front of the ocean.”

VARIATION: Create a similar text as a class. Then have each student draw the scene. Compare pictures to be sure the placement of all objects is accurate (and to enjoy everyone’s art skills, or lack thereof!)


7 Comments Add yours

  1. Rone says:

    Hello Jennifer…
    I need help on how to develop some speaking and listening activities about St Patrick’s Day which is coming the next week. So I’d be really thankful if you could give me some hints…


    1. englishwithjennifer says:

      Hi Rone –
      How about I offer some ideas via today’s posting. Great topic! Thanks!

      1. Muhammad haris says:

        hi jennifer
        can you describe me grund

      2. Please join my community forum. You can search for information. I have posted information on gerunds there.

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