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Prepositions are words which indicate position and placement. They also describe relations of time, manner or cause between things and movement to and from places. In the following games, you will need a table and some objects such as a vase, a bottle of water, keys, newspaper, book, and a croissant or slice of bread on a plate. You may also substitute other items of interest. Students take turns by asking each other and answering where the items are located on the table.
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Preposition Game About Location
Here is an example of the game with questions (Q) and answers (A):
Q: Où est le vase?
A: Le vase est sur la table.
Q: Bon. Demande à Ellen où sont les clés.
A: Ellen, où sont les clés?
Q: Les clés sont derrière le vase.
A: Très bien. Demande à Paul où est l’eau.
Q: Paul, où est l’eau?
A: L’eau est dans la bouteille. Où est la bouteille?
A: La bouteille est entre le journal et l’assiette.
Q: Où est le croissant/la tranche de pain?
A: Il/elle est sur l’assiette. Où est l’assiette?
Q: L’assiette est sous le croissant. Où est le livre?
A: Le livre est devant le journal.
For each correct preposition given the teacher may award points. In cases where the student responding gives the correct answer and the student asking the question thinks it’s the wrong answer, that student loses a point. The game continues until each student has had a chance to ask and answer a question. This game can then be repeated with different objects.
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Expressing Direction Game
Play another game with students to teach them how the prepositions à and de are used in relation to movement to and from places. They must first know that these prepositions combine with the definite articles le/les to become au/aux/du/des. The prepositions à and de are used before names of cities to indicate movement toward or away from. In these cases, the article is not used unless it is part of the name of the city.
Paris: Je vais à Paris la semaine prochaine. (I am going to Paris next week.)
New York: Il vient de New York demain. (He is coming from New York tomorrow.)
Le Havre: Demain, ils vont au Havre.
Now play this game. Students announce where they are going or coming from. Give them a list of cities and also some places of interest like: the museum, the library and school. They take turns at going through the door, saying sentences like:
Je vais à Paris
Je vais au musée.
They can even go in pairs or groups of three or more:
Nous allons à l’école.
They return through the door announcing where they have returned or are coming from:
Je reviens de Paris.
Nous revenons de la bibliothèque.
Je viens de Londres.
These games for your French class will have students understanding the relevance of prepositions of place in the real world.
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1. Prepositions (English/French) Picture Dictionary, http://www.enchantedlearning.com/languages/french/subjects/prepositions.shtml
2. General Notes on the French Prepositions, http://www.orbilat.com/Languages/French/Grammar/Prepositions/French-Prepositions.html