ESL Prepositions of Place: Games & Exercises

Instructor: Yolanda Reinoso Barzallo

Yolanda holds a CELTA Cambridge, a Juris Doctorate, and a Master of Public Administration. She is a published author of fiction in Spanish.

This ESL lesson gets students using prepositions of place while having fun. The lesson includes a way to introduce prepositions for activities and games so students can use their knowledge as they play.

If You Could Only Remember Where

To begin, students could have fun telling about times when they could not remember where they put a specific object. You could encourage them to talk about their experiences by telling one of your own. For instance, I would tell about the time my aunt was acting desperate at a store because she could not find her expensive sunglasses. She kept digging in her purse, her pockets, going back and forth between the store areas she visited. As the desperation became evident in her face, I asked her what was going on. When she told me I laughed so hard she had to wait until I was able to tell her, 'Your glasses are on your head!'

With this introduction, you could display a poster on the board to teach the basic prepositions first. Appropriate posters are easy to find in bookstores or on the Internet. The reason to use a visual aid is that images are self-explanatory of what 'behind,' 'on,' 'in,' 'above,' etc. mean.

To test for understanding, students can answer questions about items in the class first. For example:

  • Where is the projector?
  • Where is the teacher's chair?
  • Where is the computer?

Once your students are ready, they can have fun with the following activities.

Translating Worksheets into Sentences

The Internet is full of printable worksheets with images for students to write or speak about what they see by using prepositions of place.

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