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Three Hands-On Mini Lessons On Prepositions

written by: lauraleemoss • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 8/2/2012

Tired of teaching prepositions with worksheets? Your students probably are fed up too. Look at using small preposition lessons to add spice into your grammar curriculum.

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    Prepositions can be tricky little words for students to master. Identifying them and finding where they are commonly located in sentences can be hard. Try moving onto unique activities if your students are struggling and you have exhausted regular preposition exercises. Below are some preposition mini lessons which are also easy to modify based on students' abilities and grade levels.

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    Mini Lesson #1: Shoe Box

    The purpose of this activity is for students to apply their knowledge of prepositions in a spatial activity. Students will move during this activity and movement lends itself to remembering.

    1. Ask students to bring a shoe box from home. Provide toothpicks, pipe cleaners, glue, tape and paper.

    2. Explain how prepositions show location. Almost all prepositions can complete the sentence, I am ____ the box. (Show students how prepositions such as with, inside, outside, around, below, underneath, above, and beside work in the blank).

    3. Have students write a predetermined amount of prepositions that work with the scenario on different pieces of small paper. Instruct them to glue or tape the paper to a stick of their choice and mount it in the correlating place on the shoebox. A piece of paper really will be 'underneath' and 'in the box.'

    4. Display them around the room and encourage students to interact with them.

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    Use a Simple Shoebox

    Photo: Flickr
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    Mini Lesson #2: Singing

    The focus of this mini lesson is for students to memorize prepositions in a unique manner. Nothing works more than singing a song to help students remember a list.

    1. Assign students to write prepositions in alphabetical order.The list should include: aboard, about, above, across, after, against, along, among, around, at, before, behind, below, beneath, between, beyond, by, down, during, except, for, from, in, into, like, of, off, over, past, since, through, throughout, to, toward, under, underneath, until, up, upon, with, within, without.

    2. Play the tune of 'Yankee Doodle Dandy' one time for students. Play the song again, only reciting the list to show students how the prepositions fit into the song. Continue playing the song until students are singing their lists as well.

    3. Get creative with the song. Students may rap the words to tune or add other lyrics as reminders. Hold a competition for the most creative take on the song and reward winners.

    4. Remind students to sing quietly or in their heads as they complete future activities and tests.

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    Mini Lesson #3: Sports' Story

    The focus of this activity is for students to compete in writing a prepositional sports story. Students will apply their knowledge of prepositions in writing.

    1. Students should write a story about a sporting event of their choice. No matter the sport, they can use many prepositions in telling their stories. For instance:

    At a baseball game, Jimmy went into the dugout and found a ball underneath a pile of gloves. Jimmy returned to the mound and looked at the stands. He was tired, but knew he could later go with friends to the ice cream store.

    2. Total prepositions used to find the class winner.

    3. This exercise lends itself to other activities as well. Make copies of stories and have students find prepositions in each other's stories.

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    Do you have other suggestions for preposition mini lessons? If so, be sure to visit the comments section below.