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Where Is It? A Kindergarten Lesson Plan on Directional Words

written by: Patricia Gable • edited by: Carly Stockwell • updated: 3/21/2013

Are my keys here or over there? Could they be under the pillow or in my pocket? Directional prepositions are used a great deal in our everyday conversations. Here’s a lesson plan that will reinforce these words with your students.

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    An important part of early education is building a child’s vocabulary. Students need to understand everyday words and use them correctly in conversation. Chances are your kindergarten students know or have been exposed to the directional words listed below. To be sure, practice using these prepositions by doing a few fun activities provided in this lesson plan.

    Kindergarten Lesson on Directional Words Objectives:

    1. Students will determine the relative location of objects using the terms of location, direction and distance such as:

    • above, down, around, in front of, behind, inside, between, left, right, middle, on, outside, under, over, up, below, first, last, out, in, near, far, here, there

    Materials:

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    Lesson Procedure

    Begin by asking individual students where specific items are in the classroom. On the board you will want to write down a few of the directional words that the students used. Explain to them that these words are important in conversation and that they need to be used correctly. Provide some examples.

    Would it make sense to say:

    • Let’s go inside to play on the playground?
    • Please put your papers under your desk?
    • Look at the bird down in the sky!
    • The dog’s tail is in front of him.

    Now divide your class into two teams. Instruct each team to get in a line and sit facing the other team. Allow for space between the two teams. Put the chair in the space between the two teams.

    Rules:

    1. The first player of Team 1 will be given a card (or you can choose to read the word to the child in a whispered voice).

    2. The player is not allowed to talk.

    3. The player places an object in relation to the chair according to the word on the card. (For example, “under" the chair)

    4. The first player of Team Two has to correctly say where the object is.

    Continue until each child has had a turn. You will quickly see which children need further instruction on these directional words.

    Assessment:

    Provide each student with a copy of the house (printable page) and some crayons. Tell the students that you are going to give them five exact instructions about what to add to the house. You will say each sentence two times. They should not add anything else to the picture. Here are some samples of what the five instructions could be:

    1. Color the middle window on the house.

    2. Draw a tree on the right side of the house.

    3. Draw four flowers under the tree.

    4. Draw a dog in front of the house.

    5. Draw a circle around the first flower.

    Optional Activity:

    Provide each student with the printable boat worksheet. Use the same directions that you did in the assessment above but this time the students will work in pairs. One partner gives five directions and the other person draws. Then they reverse roles and do the activity again.

    Suggested Books to Add to the Lesson:

    Ayres, Katherine. Up, Down and Around. Candlewick, 2008.

    Cleary, Brian. Under, Over, by the Clover: What is a Preposition? Millbrook Press, 2003.

    Pitzer, Majorie. My Up and Down and All Around Book. Woodbine House, 2008.