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Preposition Activities for Middle School

Instructor: Sharon Linde
Teaching your students about prepositions doesn't have to turn into nap time. This lesson provides ideas for games and activities that will keep middle school students engaged while learning about prepositions.

Prepositions - A New Start

Many of us can recite a list of prepositions we were required to memorize in grade school. Starting with 'about' and going on down the list, we knew the words but often didn't know quite what we were saying or why these words mattered.

Teaching about prepositions can make sense to all students with a little fun and active learning. When kids get busy and interact with the content, they are likely to learn the why and what. This makes the learning stick around a lot longer.

Preposition Battles

Setting - Whole group

Materials

  • Prepared index cards with prepositions, one written on each
  • Prepared index card with nouns, one written one each

Instructions

  • Divide students into small groups and dedicate a portion of board space to each group. Allow students to think of a team name and label their space.
  • Distribute five preposition and five noun cards to each group, face down.
  • On your go, instruct groups to flip all of their cards over and create prepositional phrases. One player at a time rushes to the board and records a phrase for the group. For example, the cards 'under' and 'tree' can form a phrase 'under the tree.'
  • Each student in the group must write one phrase on the board before any student gets a second turn.
  • Play against the clock, seeing which group can get the most in five minutes, or see who can get ten prepositional phrases first.

Extensions and Adaptations

  • Only allow groups to flip one preposition and one noun card at a time. They must make a prepositional phrase with those cards. These phrases may end up being silly, such as 'under the scissors' or 'around the towel.'

Sweet Prepositions

Setting - Small groups

Materials

  • Fun-size candy, such as M&M or Skittles
  • White boards
  • White board markers

Instructions

  • Divide students into small groups and have them sit in a circle. Then give each student a bag of candy.
  • Instruct students to open their bag of candy.
  • Choose a student from each group to go first. Then start a story out loud. For example, 'Once upon a time a group of students went to the zoo.'
  • The student you chose to go first for each group then must continue the story, attempting to use a prepositional phrase. This may take a few sentences.
  • Once the student has used a prepositional phrase, he or she may eat one candy and record the preposition on a white board.
  • Play passes to the next player. Prepositions may not be reused.
  • Continue until all candy has been eaten or until students are unable to think of more content.

Extensions and Adaptations

  • Brainstorm a list of prepositions to post for students to reference.
  • Conduct this as a whole class activity. Make a recording of the story to be played for students afterwards.

Acting with Prepositions

Setting - Small groups

Materials

  • Prepositions, written one each on index cards

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