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.
- in/ on – a house during a cold winter
- in/ on – a refrigerator
- on/ under – a kitchen table
- next to/ in – a swimming pool
- near/ at – a beach
- on/ opposite – a theater stage
- beside/ on – your bed
- 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!)