3 Fun Ways to Teach Prepositions of Place in the Classroom
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All of these are prepositions – but you knew that, didn’t you? There are so many parts of speech English language learners need to get to grips with, and prepositions are a tricky one. Don’t let their small size fool you – prepositions are powerful little words. They allow us to show relationships between things. They are littered all over our language and they can be tricky little things. First of all, there are so many of them, including prepositions of time, place and movement. Secondly, because they all look so similar they are easily confused. Finally, if they are taught all at the same time their meanings can become confused.
Thankfully, though it can be tricky, teaching prepositions doesn’t have to be dull and boring. While there are ways and means to teach all the different kinds of prepositions effectively, we can’t talk about all of them in one blog post or we’ll be here til next Sunday. So today we’re going to focus on how to teach prepositions of place.
As you can imagine, teaching prepositions of place needs to involve actions and demonstrations in order to make the meanings of the words clear. Because of this, lessons which teach prepositions of place can be engaging and interesting. They need to include games and activities to make the prepositions memorable. Most important of all, they need to be fun and interactive so that your students don’t fall asleep in your lesson!
But first things first. The first thing you need to do is to teach the prepositions. With prepositions of place it makes sense that we do this in a very physical/visual way. Fortunately, prepositions of place are very easy to demonstrate. All you need is an object. This can be anything but it’s usually better if it’s a small object. You can then put this object in different positions relative to another, bigger object. For example, if you use a ball and a table, you can show the students the ball on the table, under the table, next to the table and so on. You might want to use flashcards at this stage.
Read more: Using Flashcards to Teach Vocabulary
Once your learners are familiar with the different prepositions, make sure their pronunciation is good and drill if necessary. You might like to do a few controlled practice exercises to ensure your students really understand the usage of the prepositions. Then you need to play a few games to practise the language. This is where these activities come in: here are three fun ways to teach prepositions of place.
Draw the scene
Your learners don’t have to be Picasso to draw in the classroom – and neither do you, for that matter! Introduce a passage to your learners which includes the necessary prepositions of place. This would usually be a description of a room or a scene. Take some time to identify the different prepositions and focus on their meaning and pronunciation.
Once the learners are comfortable with the words, they can move onto producing the words themselves. To do this, each learner must draw a picture. It can be similar to the scene described in the passage or completely different. Once they have finished, in pairs they must describe their picture to their partners who must then try to draw the exact same picture.
This can also be done with a specific room. In other words, the teacher describes their bedroom to their learners who must then draw it. Then the students can describe their own bedrooms for their partners to draw them. Even better, ask students to describe their dream bedroom/bathroom/living room.
Spot the difference
This activity will ensure comprehension. Give each learner a picture. All the learners have the same picture but it is different, but similar, to yours. Describe your picture to your learners – There are two rabbits. The rabbits are sitting on a rock. The learners must listen to your description and identify any differences between the two pictures – No, the two rabbits are sitting in front of a rock.
A similar activity is to spot the difference in the classroom. You will need to prepare the classroom before the lesson. What you need to do is re-arrange objects in the classroom so that they’re not in their usual places. For example, you can put the bin on a chair, or a book under your desk, or a picture behind the door. Your students need to look around and, in groups, find the differences in the classroom. They can write these down and you can ask for feedback after a certain amount of time.
This is a consolidation or practice activity, or it can be used for revision purposes. Divide the students into teams. The learners in each team must stand in a line. Call out an instruction which includes a preposition of place and a classroom object – for example: The pen is on the desk. The book is under the chair. The girl is next to the bookcase. One person from each team must try to complete the task as quickly as possible.
Okay, we know we said 3 games but as a bonus, here’s another one:
Some of you might remember this from your childhood. The teacher gives commands to the students. Every time the teacher gives the command they must say Simon Says. For example, Simon says “Put the book on your head”. The students must carry out the command. However, when the teacher gives a command without saying Simon Says – such as Put the book on your head – if the students do the activity they are out of the game.
What you will realise from these activities is that they are quite basic. This is because prepositions of place are taught to learners who are still at a low level. Often this is because they are Young Learners. This is why many of these games are physical, as children learn well with Total Physical Response-type activities. Though prepositions may not be the most exciting language item to teach, by incorporating elements of fun and games into your lessons, you will help make a dry topic a bit more interesting. Having said that, for adult learners, Simon Says or the Preposition Race may not be appropriate, but the others certainly are.
Hopefully, these activities will help you when you need to prepositions of place to your learners. They are engaging and fun and should be suitable for students of all nationalities and backgrounds. Have fun!
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Rights concerning the processing of your personal information
- Right to restrict processing of personal information
- In some situations, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of your personal information. We may restrict your personal information by temporarily moving the information to another processing system, making the information unavailable to users, or temporarily removing published information from a website. We may also use technical methods to ensure the personal information is not subject to further processing and cannot be changed. When we have restricted processing of personal information, this will be clearly indicated on our systems.
- You can require us to restrict processing in the following circumstances:
- You are concerned that the information we hold about you is inaccurate. You can ask us to restrict the information until we can determine whether the information is accurate or inaccurate.
- We are processing your personal data unlawfully and you do not want us to delete the information but restrict it instead.
- We no longer need the information for the purposes for which we collected it, but they are needed by you for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
- You have objected to the processing (see below), and we need to decide whether the legitimate grounds we have to process the information override your legitimate interests.
Processing you think is unlawful
- If you tell us that you think we are processing your personal information unlawfully, but you do not want the information to be erased, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of that information.
- We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the processing is unlawful, and may also ask that you provide evidence to support this view.
Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
- You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate. You can require us to restrict how we use your personal information until we can verify the accuracy of the information. We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the information is inaccurate, and may also ask that you provide some supporting evidence of the alleged inaccuracy.
- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.